The HP Pro Slate 8 uses a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, which is capable of giving this device good if not stellar performance.
HP’s device has 2GB of RAM, a decent but not generous amount.
There are versions with 16GB and 32GB of built in storage; offering a 64GB version would have been a good option for a business tablet, but additional storage can be added via a microSD card slot.
At the time of this review, the Pro Slate 8 runs Google Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. This isn’t the newest version, as Android 6.0 Marshmallow was recently introduced, but HP has shown itself willing to release upgrades for this model; it was announced last winter with version 4.4, an upgrade to 5.0 came later, followed by the recent move to 5.1.1.
Unlike many of its competitors, HP didn’t feel the need to tinker with Android, so this tablet is running a “stock” version, which helps speed up the release of operating system upgrades. It also means that users who are already familiar with this OS won’t have a learning curve.
It comes with the standard suite of Android productivity software, as well as access to the Google Play store to get more. There is just a handful of third-party applications pre-added by HP, including Corel Painter Mobile, Evernote, Skype, and WPS Office. These might be useful or they might not depending on the user’s preferences, but they can’t be deleted. Some rival devices load their devices down with bloatware, but HP showed some retraint.
The Pro Slate 8 offers WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with Miracast support. It also has Bluetooth 4.0 + LE and Near Field Communication (NFC) with support for Android Beam.
There is no version of this tablet with built-in 4G LTE.
The main camera on the Pro Slate 8 has a 8MP resolution, which is high for a tablet. However, our tests show that this is a situation where the number of pixels doesn’t tell the story at all: pictures taken with this camera with mixed light and dark areas tend to have the light areas noticeably overexposed. It seems like the sort of under-performing camera that would have been in a good phone about 4 years ago.
The 2MP front camera is adequate for the non-demanding task of video conferencing.
In our real world usage, we were impressed with the battery life of the Pro Slate 8, as it lasted through three days of mixed heavy, moderate, and light usage.
In the Geekbench 3 battery benchmark, which torture test devices until they shut down, this HP model lasted exactly 7 hours. For comparison, the HTC Nexus 9 got a 5 hours and 25 minutes on the same test.