Tuesday, June 04, 2013

HP elite pro tablet - try out

Our IT division is shuffling Windows 8 tablets across as they come available for evaluation. We hope to purchase at least four windows tablets to complement the iPads and Android tablets we currently use for various situated technology enhanced learning projects at CPIT. The HP elite pro tablet comes 'naked' or with a protective case with a booster battery or a keyboard cum case arrangement. Both arrangements work well but I was keen to see how the keyboard worked. Generally positive reviews from the UK register and the UK PC review and also from NZ business review and PC world.

Key board that comes with the tablet is well designed. The table slips into a rubberised holding sleeve. The keyboard has chiclet style keys which are comfortable to type on. The whole arrangement sits comfortably on a desk but feels top heavy when perched on your lap.When not in use, the pseudo laptop closes up neatly and weights about the size of my present netbook.The tablet itself does not have many ports, so the keyboard or protective case, adds usb ports. No HTML slot but an adaptor is available.

Tablet has front and back cameras. Easy to use and photos can be stored in the pictures folder, on the cloud in skydrive or emailed. Intuitive to work out, especially for people used to the windows interface.

As a whole, the tablet touch interface is responsive and the tiles front page is generally intuitive to use. The ‘desktop’ tile brings you into the familiar Windows desktop area and working with Word and Excel and apart from touch screed access, pretty much similar to working from a desktop.Searching within windows store requires pressing the windows and q keys, not obvious immediately and I required a google search to find out how. Will need to explore more of the windows short cut keys when we have the purchased tablet.

Pairing the tablet with the keyboard brings up the perennial question of whether going for an ultra book or laptop running the windows 8 system should be the way to go.I use a zaggmate keyboard attachment for my ipad when i need to do lots of typing but have found the arrangement to be less effective than using a netbook or laptop. Mainly due to the fragile nature of the connection between the ipad and the keyboard.However, the HP tablet's keyboard case is designed for a more stable fit although the arrangement is top heavy sitting on one's lap. 

All in, IT is happy to support the device so we will purchase a couple to add to our inventory. One with a case and one with a keyboard. I will bring the tablets to the manufacturing team for them to use with their integrated project-based teaching approach. The workshop environment will be a good test for the tablets' resilience and the ease of syncing files through skydrive.