- Solid specs
- Accessories allow for flexibility
- Limited ports on the device
- Expensive, and accessories make it even more so
Quick TakeThe second-generation HP ElitePad 1000 has a base unit that's a solid but expensive no-frills Windows 8 tablet, with the option for significant expansion for those willing to pay the price.
The ElitePad 1000 G2 is HP’s latest 10-inch Windows 8 tablet. Should casual users choose it over Microsoft and Lenovo’s offerings, or is it better suited to business users? We takes a detailed look.
Build and Design
If you’ve mostly handled Android tablets and iPads, then the G2 will seem fairly large and heavy in comparison; but for a Windows 8 tablet, it’s actually quite thin, measuring just 0.36 inches. At around 1.5 pounds (680 grams), the weight is a little high relative to its competitors, versus the 1.26 pounds (576 grams ) of Lenovo’s 10-inch Windows tablet.
This is partially due to the materials. The back casing of the second-generation ElitePad 1000 is composed almost entirely of pure brushed aluminum, with a rubberized plastic fringe at the top where the wireless antennas are located. Many people find brushed aluminum to simply look better, and arguably be more rugged, but it’s heavier than plastic so it’s a tradeoff.
HP’s spec sheets boast about being designed to meet military standards for durability, but the fine print admits that this device hasn’t yet been actually tested to that standard, nor do they say anywhere what parts of that standard they’re designed for; drop resistance, temperature, water resistance? So although we’re happy to test specific claims about a product’s durability if the manufacturer guarantees it, here all we have to offer is a shrug of the shoulders.
The display on the ElitePad 1000 is both beautiful and durable. For beauty, it has a 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA) resolution, which spread across its 10.1-inch diagonal size means a pixel density of 224 DPI. Granted that’s not as high as some other devices, but it’s more than enough. Colors are great, and crispness is everything you could want. If you love video, it can display 1080P with no losses, but it can also handle regular apps in beautiful, sharp detail.
The durability comes from the Gorilla Glass 3. According to Corning, Gorilla Glass 3 is supposed to be 40% more scratch resistant than previous versions — particularly against deep scratches that weaken glass in the long term — as well as being slightly more flexible. Combined with the aluminum back, this makes for a sturdy device that probably won’t mind a couple of hits.
Other Buttons and Ports
There’s a docking connector on the bottom that HP refers to as the “System Connector.” The power button, microphone, headphone jack, and wireless switch are on top. The sides are empty, except for the covered microSD slot on the right, which can also hold a SIM card when applicable. if applicable, the SIM card.
No USB ports, no micro-USB or USB OTG, nothing. As you might imagine, for a business tablet that’s kind of a problem. HP does provide a dongle (at least, the box that we received) that lets you connect a single USB device to the System Connector. But that’s not exactly a substitute for having a real, built-in USB port that you can easily connect things to.
Here’s where the ElitePad 1000 G2’s accessories come into play. The Expansion Jacket is basically a sleeve for the tablet that adds two regular USB ports, an HDMI output, and an SD card slot, as well as room for an optional second battery to boost usage time by 20 hours. There’s also an as-yet unreleased Security Jacket promised on the HP site which would add a fingerprint scanner and Smartcard reader to the mix. Either way, the expansion sleeves are a major part of this product’s selling points: You can add massive functionality through them, if you’re willing to pay the price.
And that’s where you get to the cost. The basic Expansion Jacket has a suggested retail price of $79, and the optional battery for it has a whopping SRP of $149. (Although both of these items can be found much cheaper, as little as $50 each, from other retailers.) But either way, adding on to the ElitePad 1000 G2 will add a fair amount to the price (as well as some bulk and weight). The expansions make it much more capable than the competitors, but much more expensive as well.