HP ElitePad 900 review

Good battery life and accessories a plenty for this rugged Windows tablet, but the ElitePad 900 suffers from middling performance.

Performance

The ElitePad 900 is powered by Intel Atom range - so performance is modest.

In tablet mode, the ElitePad was responsive. Using the device in desktop mode shows up the limitations. Whilst the device doesn't appear slow, it's not build to handle strenuous applications, such as a large spreadsheet or PDFs. Another imitation is that this system is 32-bit, meaning that memory limits rule out demanding applications. A few too many open windows using Google's Chrome browser seemed to make using the tablet a drag.

Productivity decreases markedly without laptop peripherals too and the jackets don't sport a trackpad. To make full use of desktop applications, we had to connect an external mouse to the machine and you'll need a physical keyboard too.

Battery

The Atom chip excels when it comes to battery life. The Atom Z2760 system-on-a-chip (SoC) is more efficient than Intel's Core i range and allows for full-fat Windows to run (with all the apps that run on that platform too). In our HD video battery drain test, the ElitePad 900 managed around seven hours and 25 minutes from full charge.

The device does not allow you to swap out battery like the Dell Latitude 10. However, it is possible to add in a second battery using the Expansion Jacket and extend time away from the mains by 80 per cent.

Overall

There is a lot to commend the ElitePad for. It is certainly built with business in mind with its semi-rugged construction, its Client Security Suite (HP Bios Protection, Security Manager and HP Drive Encryption), Computrace and HP Support Assistant. But it is underpowered for the price and its design necessitates that you have to buy most of the accessories in order to get the most out of the machine. The performance means that while light productivity apps should work fine, more demanding workloads can be ruled out.

For the price, other tablets may offer much more value for money and productivity. If your IT department insists on having a Windows-based tablet, the Dell Latitude looks a better bet.

Verdict

For the price, other tablets may offer more value and productivity. If your IT department insists on having a Windows 8 tablet, the Dell Latitude looks a better bet.

Display: 10.1in, 1280 x 800 Gorilla Glass Processor: Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz Memory: 2GB LPDDR2 SDRAM Operating System: Windows 8 Pro (32-bit) Storage: 64GB eMMC SSD (32GB optional) Wireless: 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, 3G/HSPA+, NFC Ports: microSD, dock, headset jack, USB 2.0 with supplied dongle Camera: 8MP rear, 2MP front-facing Dimensions: 261 x 178 x 9.2mm Weight: 680g Battery: 2-cell 25WHr lithium polymer

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