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HP has announced a new hybrid Windows 8 tablet/notebook called the Split x2 and an Android tablet called the SlateBook x2. Expected availability in Australia is August 2013.

Announcement specifications are not necessary release specifications.

Split x2 – Windows 8 Hybrid

The tablet segment has a 13.3”, 1366x768 screen and runs an Intel i3 or i5 (we expect this to be the third generation – not the 4th generation Haswell chip) with 2 or 4GB/128GB/microSD storage, front/rear 1080p/8MP camera, Beats audio and the usual 802.11n and Bluetooth.

The docking base will have and extended battery, optional 500GB HD, USB 2/3 ports, HDMI out

Weight is a total of 1.9kg. We expect price to be under AU$900.

This is fundamentally different to the cheaper Envy x2 which is lighter, smaller (11.6”) and uses an Intel Atom Z2760 1.8Ghz dual core processor.

SlateBook x2 – Android Tablet

This is a 10.1”, 1920x1200, Android, Nvidia Tegra quad core 1.8GHz, 2GB/64GB tablet and docking/keyboard combo weighing 1.4kg. The dock has an extra battery.

Expected price will be under $550.

The specifications are typical because that is about all that Android 4.2 can handle until Key Lime Pie V5.x is released. There is a plethora of Android tablets and HP will have to rely on superior build quality and perhaps warranty and support to make sales against Samsung.

Opinion:

As a journalist who spends time reviewing the latest and greatest it is becoming increasingly hard to get excited about a new hybrid or slate or whatever. I look for innovation and something that differentiates products from their competitors.

First the Windows Hybrid space is booming – retailers are reporting very strong sales of Windows 8 combo tablet and keyboard as these replace home PC’s and are taken up as BYOD devices for work.

The Split has a bigger screen (great) and more power than its Atom based competitors but it could have been so much better if it had the Haswell CPU or some later technology like Wi-Fi AC. Still you can’t generally beat HP for quality and service.

In the Android arena HP are just keeping their hand in and unless the Slate is guaranteed to run KLP 5.0 then I would simply recommend you buy the cheapest Android tablet you can.

PS – the HP commercial only ElitePad 900 on the other hand is innovative and it’s the one that I want.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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