HP SlateBook x2 Targets iPad with $479 Detachable Android Tablet

HP is going right after the iPad with the SlateBook x2, the first Android detachable tablet with Nvidia’s powerful Tegra 4 processor inside. Available in August, this hybrid slate has a full HD 10.2 inch display and a keyboard dock with its own battery. HP has priced the SlateBook x2 aggressively at $479, which is $20 less than the iPad without a keyboard.

Together, HP estimates that the SlateBook x2’s tablet and dock should yield up to 14 hours of juice, making this a tempting buy for students and road warriors. We spent a little hands-on time with the SlateBook x2 and came away mostly impressed with HP’s effort.

MORE: Top 10 Tablets

SlateBook x2 apps

We noticed right away that the SlateBook x2 detaches fairly easily from its base via a latch, similar to the original Envy x2 powered by Windows 8. The slate itself weighs 1.4 pounds, while the dock weighs 1.48 pounds.

The keyboard on the SlateBook x2 offers plenty of travel and is fairly spacious for a 10-inch layout, while the touchpad is nice and large. We appreciate the dedicated Google Now button on the keyboard for quick searches, as well as the Recent Apps key for multitasking. Unfortunately, HP decided to keep the power button on the back of the tablet portion of the SlateBook x2, similar to the Envy x2. We’d prefer a button on the dock as well.

The port selection on the SlateBook x2 includes a USB port for connecting peripherals as well as a power jack. When closed this hybrid looks fairly sleek, like a traditional clamshell device.

HP SlateBook x2 USB port left side closed

The right side of the SlateBook x2 houses an HDMI connector, an SD Card slot and a docking connector.

HP SlateBook x2 right side closed

The 2-MP camera on the back of the SlateBook x2 doesn’t wow. In our brief testing the camera offered bright but grainy images. However, thanks to the HDR capability of Nvidia’s Tegra 4 chip, you should expect evenly lit video chats via the front camera. 

HP keeps things fairly light in terms of skinning Android Jelly Bean 4.2. However, you will find plenty of useful pre-loaded apps in the 64GB of pre-loaded storage. HP File Manager lets you toggle between files stored on the device or Google Drive, while Kingsoft Office software enables users to view, edit and create Office documents. As you might expect, HP offers its own ePrint software as well.

The HP SlateBook x2 has all the makings of a very compelling value. In fact, the $479 price is so aggressive for this tablet and keyboard combo that some shoppers may think twice about getting an iPad. The SlateBook x2 is also $30 cheaper than the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity and its optional keyboard. Stay tuned for our full review.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. Wingwang56 Says:

    Nice to see HP attempting some decent hardware and a semi-decent price. I look forward to the complete review.

  2. Darwin Says:

    Trolling for HP ads I see.

  3. KatePerry2 Says:

    One other new hybrid tablet device to launch this month is the Hummingbird PX103 by Aocos Electronics, and this model offers a “Transformer style” 10-inch device that includes a hard cover with a reverse side built-in keyboard that easily snaps into place, and is priced competitively at $249, with one of the first sites it’s available through is called TabletSprint — The PX103 is the third edition of this device and previous versions have offered an excellent build quality, and this new rendition has impressive features for a mid-range tablet… which spec wise include the latest Rockchip Quad Core processor and HD 1280×800 IPS screen, Bluetooth 4.0 (works with built-in keyboard), HDMI – 4K, quality dual cameras, a 7000 mAh battery, Android 4.2.2 and Google Play preinstalled with access to the Google App store… it offers an ultra-thin 9.6mm profile and weighs in at only 1.4lbs… and it’s also one of the first tablets designed to work with the new, low-cost Miracast HD Wireless adapter-dongle ($35) which compares to Apple’s Airplay device – and prior to this, the few HDMI Wireless systems available typically cost over $100. The Miracast device plugs into a TV’s HDMI port and allows users to stream HD movies and video from their tablet, display tablet content and use a tablet as a control device to play video games on to an HDTV.

    A 3G – HSPA+ version of the Hummingbird PX103 will also be released in June; and available through TabletSprint.

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