- Hi-res screen
- Soft-touch back
- Low cost
- Needs a keyboard for content creation
Quick TakeThe HP Omni10 is a lightweight tablet that works well as a content consumption device or as a companion to a workhorse PC for professional needs.
Buyers looking for a budget-friendly, full-size Windows 8.1 tablet as an alternative to the more expensive Dell Venue 11 Pro or pricey Microsoft Surface Pro 2 should take a peek at the HP Omni 10. This Intel Atom-based 10-inch tablet is only $400.
Overall the tablet is a well-built, lightweight, content-consumption unit for surfing the Web, watching streaming videos, showcasing digital photos or reading emails. It provides all the functionality required in a tablet designed for consumers with the occasional professional need.
It’s clear the HP Omni 10 is a tablet and not a PC for replacing one’s notebook. However, if the device is paired with an external Bluetooth keyboard and office productivity apps, it can potentially cross over into the realm of the mobile business user who can use the tablet as a companion unit to their workhorse PC.
Build and Design
One of the nice features of the Omni 10 is its weight. At only 1.4 lbs. the device is a joy to hold, compared with other heftier tablets of this class. HP added a nice touch with the tablet’s rounded edge in the back. There is a graphite finish encasing the rear of the tablet that is not the typical hard, cold aluminum or plastic feel. Rather, the smooth graphite is soft and warm, providing one with the illusion of a cushioned grip. This helps end users holding the tablet for longer periods of time versus resting the tablet on one’s lap.
The Omni10 offers a bright 10.1-inch Gorilla Glass 3 display with 1920×1200 resolution. However, when compared with the $900 Surface Pro 2 while streaming an episode from the new CBS prime time show ‘Intelligence’, the screen on the HP slate did not appear as sharp as the Surface Pro 2.
Ports and Buttons
This HP model offers several ports, including a microSDXC slot for up to 128GB additional storage and a 3.5 mm jack for headphones. In addition, the tablet comes with a micro-USB slot, a micro-HDMI D-connector, and DC-in jack.
But whereas the expansion ports are definitely a plus for this tablet, their location is a questionable design choice. Except for the headphone jack, in landscape mode, the ports sit at the bottom edge of the tablet, near the Windows home key. Esthetically, the ports stay out of sight for users, and in some ways are protected from potentially grimy hands when holding the tablet, but it is simply not the best place. If the tablet needs to be viewed in landscape mode and propped up in a stand for hands-free viewing, cables emerging from the bottom of the tablet will get in the way.
In addition, if the Omni 10 sits in a folio-style case plus keyboard cover, it will cover the ports, and not provide the ease for plugging in the power adapter or other USB devices when necessary.
Meanwhile, the volume control is inset in the back of the unit, just at the rounded edge on the right of the tablet while the power button sits on the top right edge of the device.
HP sells the HP Omni 10 Stand Case for $40. While the accessory is similar to a cover and case that enables the tablet to stand, this reviewer would rather see more third parties offering external keyboard covers, similar to what Logitech and others provide for a variety of tablets on the market today. Everyone’s needs for cases are different and the feel and weight of one case may appeal to one user and not another.
HP also offers the HP 18W Charging Stand for $40, which allows the tablet to charge while one watches movies or surfs the Web.
The vendor does not offer a Bluetooth keyboard, but one can readily purchase them on the Internet or in a retail store to pair with this tablet. For any real content creation, this is a necessity as the on-screen Windows 8 keyboard takes up half the screen real estate, making it difficult to see documents in a landscape mode.
We’re just getting started — Page 2 covers the performace of the HP Omni 10 and it includes our benchmarks of this Windows tablet.