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HP ElitePad 900

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What's Hot: Lovely design with aluminum casing, sharp IPS display, a variety of useful expansion jackets and docks make this very versatile.

What's Not: Expensive, not lighter than an Ultrabook when paired with the keyboard jacket. The Intel Atom Z2760 isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Few ports on tablet itself.


Reviewed October 2, 2013 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

The HP ElitePad 900 is a business Windows 8 tablet with a rare touch of style and class. The 10.1" Windows tablet is as good looking as the attractive HP Envy x2, with an aluminum back, tapered sides and a clean design. It's slim and at 1.38 lbs. the ElitePad is little bit lighter than the Retina iPad. Since it's a business tablet the 900 is MIL Spec 810G compliant and it has security features like HP BIOS Protection, LANDesk and Absolute Data Protect with 4 years included. The tablet is readily repairable by your IT department, which is a rarity among very compact Windows tablets. But you'll pay for those business features: the tablet starts at $649 for the 32 gig model, and you really want the more workable 64 gig model that starts at $749. That's not small change for an Intel Atom Windows 8 32 bit tablet, and the various expansion jackets that bring the tablet to life will set you back a few hundred dollars more. For consumers, the price is steep, though on HP's consumer site you'll find the tablet for $100 less. In fact, some retailers are further discounting it and bundling it with expansion jackets at a nicer price. For businesses that need a quality product with durability and security, the price is more palatable.

HP ElitePad 900

Specs at a Glance

The HP ElitePad 900 runs on a 1.5GHz dual core Intel Atom Z2760 CPU with Turbo Boost to 1.8GHz. This is the same Atom processor we've seen in all first generation Windows 8 Atom tablets, and it comes with 2 gigs of DDR2 RAM (not upgradable) and 32 or 64 gigs of eMMC flash storage. The tablet has dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and most models have HSPA+ 3G (but not LTE) on T-Mobile with 200 MB/month included. There's an option to get a 3G HSPA+ module that supports both T-Mobile and AT&T.

Jackets: the Heart and Clothes of the ElitePad 900

The ElitePad's family of accessories set it apart, and there's an Expansion jacket that adds USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, and an SD/MMC card reader and a secondary battery that lists for $149. Surprisingly, it doesn't add a lot of bulk or weight.

HP ElitePad 900

The $199 Productivity jacket has a built-in keyboard and a healthy selection of ports. Though small, the keyboard is surprisingly good with pleasing tactile feel and a reasonable amount of key travel. If you have very large hands, it might prove cramped since we're talking the same size as a smaller netbook or more robust Retina iPad keyboard. That said, I have large hands and very long fingers that are similar to a mid-sized man's hands and I managed just fine. This jacket turns the tablet into a laptop style device, and the keyboard plus USB ports are indispensable for business use. It weighs 1.87 lbs., so the combined weight of the jacket and tablet is about the same as 13.3" Ultrabooks on the market. This jacket has HDMI, 3.5mm audio, an SDHC card slot and two USB 2.0 ports (the Intel Atom Z2670 chipset only supports USB 2.0).

HP ElitePad 900

The $119 docking station adds Ethernet, USB ports, VGA and HDMI, so you can use the ElitePad 900 at your desk. There are dongle adapters for USB and VGA/HDMI (sold separately). HP has bundles that include your choice of accessories for minor savings. In our video review we show you all three accessories.


Deals and Shopping:


HP ElitePad 900 Video Review


Though not particularly high resolution, the HP ElitePad 900's display is excellent. At 10.1", we don't crave full HD resolution because Windows scaling and some third party applications don't scale well on tiny screens. Give me readable text and icons that are big enough to touch. Text is sharp and the display is very bright with pleasing colors and good contrast. The display is on par with the also excellent HP Envy x2 display and it's better than the TN panel used in the HP Split x2.

The 1280 x 800 multi-touch display responds well to fingers, but the Atmel pen HP promised early on never materialized. The display is clad in Gorilla Glass 2 for durability and the 16:10 aspect ratio will please business users who appreciate not having to scroll down quite so often.


As with all Intel Atom Z2760 Clover Trail machines, performance isn't a strong point. This isn't an Intel Core CPU and it's best suited to lightweight tasks like email, web browsing, MS Office and remote database access. You can do casual photo editing using Photoshop and it plays 720p video with ease, but this isn't a machine for software development or video editing. It's not a gaming machine either--forget World of Warcraft during downtime. Windows 8 app store casual games play fine though, so you can enjoy a bit of Plants vs. Zombies or solitaire. Go easy on the multitasking: 2 gigs of RAM means that you can run at most 5 programs concurrently (stick to 2 for better stability and performance).

RAM is capped at 2 gigs (a limitation of the CPU), and it's 533MHz (again, a limitation of the CPU's chipset). It has 32 or 64 gigs of eMMC storage (you get the idea, a limitation of Clover Trail) rather than the faster SATA interface that Ultrabooks with SSD drives use. The dual core 1.5GHz CPU can boost to 1.8GHz when needed.


PCMark 7: 1286

wPrime: 59 seconds

Windows Experience Index (scale of 1.0 - 9.9):

Processor: 3.4
RAM: 4.7
Desktop Graphics: 3.7
Gaming Graphics: 3.3
Primary Hard Disk: 5.8

PC Mark 7 Benchmark Comparison Table, Windows 8 Intel Atom (unless otherwise noted) Tablets:

HP ElitePad 900 1286
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 1425
Acer Iconia W3 1436
Asus VivoTab TF810C 1256
HP Envy x2 1424
Samsung ATIV 500T 1273
Samsung ATIV 700T (Core i5) 4034
Acer Iconia W510 1258
Asus VivoBook X202 (Core i3) 2218
MS Surface Pro (Core i5) 4657
Sony Vaio Duo 11 (Core i5) 4772


Battery Life

Why put up with the performance limitations of the Clover Trail Intel Atom platform? Great battery life and the silent, fanless design. The tablet can run as long as Android 10" tablets, it never gets hot (warm, yes) and it makes no noise since there's no fan inside. HP claims up to 10.5 hours of use with just the internal 25 WHr 2 cell battery, and while that's optimistic, we had no trouble reaching 8 to 8.5 hours with brightness set to 50% and WiFi turned on. The various jackets with secondary batteries can nearly double runtimes. That's great for a full Windows portable.


The HP ElitePad 900 is a business-worthy Windows 8 tablet that a consumer could love. The jackets remind us of the grand days of the HP iPAQ and its sleeves: they make the device useful in a variety of scenarios while maintaining portability and augmenting battery life. Build quality is top notch, the design is extremely attractive and the tablet is one of the lightest 10" tablets on the market, regardless of OS. The display is sharp and the resolution is appropriate for a 10.1" panel. Our only gripes? The price quickly becomes exorbitant with those jackets and dock options, especially for a system running on the not very fast Clover Trail Intel Atom. That said, you may find the tablet and jackets for less via online retailers.

Price: Starting at $749 for 64 gig tablet (expansion jackets, docks and dongles not included)


Related Reviews:

HP Envy x2 Review

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 Review

Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T



HP ElitePad 900


HP ElitePad 900


HP ElitePad 900


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Display: 10.1" IPS touch screen, 1280 x 800 resolution. Gorilla Glass 2. Intel HD GMA integrated graphics. HDMI and VGA via optional expansion jackets, dock or dongle adapters.

Battery: 25 WHr Lithium Ion rechargeable.

Performance: 1.5GHz dual core Intel Atom Z2760 (Clovertrail). 2 gigs RAM, 32 or 64 gigs eMMC flash storage.

Size: 10.24 x 6.98 x .36 inches. Weight: 1.38 pounds (tablet only).

Camera: 1080p front camera with privacy LED and 8MP rear camera.

Audio: Built-in stereo speakers with SRS enhancement, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 HS. HSPA+ 3G option on some models (T-Mobile only or T-Mobile & AT&T).

Software: Windows 8 32 bit.

Expansion and Ports: Power/docking port, 3.5mm combo audio and microSD card slot.



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