- Sturdy build quality
- Flexibility via accessories
- Long-lasting battery
- Mediocre performance
- No industry-standard ports built in
- Cost of accessories
Quick TakeUsers who want an affordable tablet with the ability to adapt via numerous optional accessories should not overlook the HP ElitePad 900.
‘Enterprise made affordable’ is the motto of the HP ElitePad 900. This business-class tablet looks to combine the build quality and design expected of an enterprise device, with the affordability found from competing tablets.
To further entice consumers, the device can be combined a slew of accessories that offer utility and added performance. However, the cost of these accessories (which are only offered from HP) quickly add up, making the once affordable tablet far more expensive.
The wide array of accessories and add-ons allows the HP ElitePad 900 to take on a variety of roles, but equipped with only an Intel Atom processor and Intel Graphics; does it offer the performance that business users need? Read the full review to find out.
Build and Design
The business-oriented HP ElitePad 900 offers a sleek, clean design. The tablet is protected by a silver aluminum casing that covers its back panel. Along the top edge of the device there is black rubber protective padding that extends and inch down the tablet’s back, encompassing the machine’s rear-facing camera. Finally, part of the display is black Gorilla Glass panel that contrasts beautifully against the vibrant display and silver coating of the chassis.
Measuring at 7 x 10.3 x 0.4-inches and weighing in at 1.5 pounds, the tablet is easy to use and travel with. In addition to being portable, the high-quality build is also extremely durable. The tablet holds up well, causing the chassis to remain firm even when extreme pressure was applied.
With quality materials, a light weight build, and a sleek aesthetic the HP ElitePad is a tablet that certainly looks the part.
Adding to the clean visuals, the display provides an excellent viewing experience. The tablet offers a 10.1-inch WXGA multi-touch display with a 1280 x 800 resolution and protective Corning Gorilla Glass. The strong color contrast and clean crisp clear image makes the HP ElitePad perfect for reading and viewing various types of media content.
The 10.1-inch display also boasts extremely generous viewing angles. The machine fares extremely well on the horizontal access with image quality holding up well past 100 degrees. The tablet’s visuals remain clear when viewing along multiple points of the vertical axis as well, with no noticeable image distortion. The flexible viewing angles ensure that regardless of how users hold the device it will offer crisp easy-to-ready image.
The only noticeable downside to the display is its reflective service. Unfortunately, the same glossy finish that provides users with bright vibrant color contrasts also tends to reflect images under most lighting conditions. Typically the reflections are rather faint, however with a dark solid color backdrop or extreme lighting conditions the reflections are much more noticeable, even distracting sometimes. This issue will be most noticeable for users who plan to use the device outside, in direct sunlight.
While the HP ElitePad lacks a stylus, the display offers solid controls. Responsive with little to no lag, every fingers swipe and click reads the first time it’s performed with no delay. The touch controls even allow users to perform more precise functions such as selecting passages of text or using multi-finger gestures with relative ease.
In line with the touch controls, the ElitePad 900 also offers a quality on-screen keyboard. The digital pad is responsive, with each key-stroke reading without lag. Like most digital keyboards, the tablet offers users the option between standard keyboard layout, split layout, and stylus-enabled layout; despite the lack of a bundled stylus.
There is a Bluetooth keyboard available for the HP ElitePad 900 ($60 additional), but unfortunately the review unit we received did not include it. Additionally, the ElitePad Docking Station ($150 additional) also offers additional USB ports allowing users to connect an external keyboard and mouse.
While the on-screen keyboard does offer solid performance, users interested in performance will want to invest in a physical keyboard. No matter how solid the digital controls are, it still falls short of the comfort and feel of a physical keyboard.
Buttons and Ports
Well it’s difficult to say that the HP ElitePad 900 has a disappointing port selection, because the tablet does not have a port selection. The only port the device offers is a “power and docking connector” located along the bottom edge of the tablet, which only works with HP products.
To be fair, both the HP Elite Docking Station and HP ElitePad Expansion Jacket ($100 additional) do offer a wide section of ports in the device’s stead, but being optional add-ons users will have to pay more for these accessories. The stand offers four USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, a VGA video output, and an Ethernet port. The sleeve offers two USB 2.0 ports, a combo stereo/headphone jack, an HMDI port, and a HCSD/MMC card reader. It should also be noted that the tablet can wear the sleeve and be attached to the dock simultaneously.
While the selection and layout of the ports is more than satisfactory, users will have to spend more to have access to these optional add-ons. Users expecting connectivity with the HP ElitePad 900 should be ready to spend more than the listing price.
In terms of buttons, the HP ElitePad 900 offers fairly standard button layout. The front panel houses a home screen button below the display. Volume controls are present on the back right panel of the device. Along the top edge the device offers a combo stereo/headphone/microphone jack, rotation switch, and a power button.