HP’s first Android-based hybrid tablet, the SlateBook x2, is set to make its appearance in markets sometime in August 2013, as per HP’s official SlateBook page. With SlateBook x2, HP has finally joined ASUS in the Android-powered hybrid tablet market. For starters, a hybrid is a kind of tablet with a detachable keyboard that gives it a notebook-like experience.
ASUS Transformer Pad is already popular among Android fans, and today ASUS announced Transformer Book Trio, a hybrid that dual-boots Windows 8 and Android. So clearly HP is going to face some stiff competition from ASUS. The price of ASUS Transformer Book Trio is not known yet, but it’s highly unlikely it would beat SlateBook’s $480 price tag because of Windows 8 that comes along with it.
Tech specs for SlateBook x2 read like:
- 1.8GHz quad-core NVIDIA® Tegra® 4 processor
- 2GB RAM or more
- 10.1-inch 1920×1200 pixel LED-backlit IPS touchscreen display
- Durable magnetic detachable hinge
- 2 batteries; one in the tablet and another in the dock
- 64GB of storage
- 720p webcam, 1080p rear facing camera
- SD card slot, combo audio jack, 1x USB 2.0, HDMI
- 802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth
- DTS Sound+ Solution
- HP-imprint finish in white or silver
- Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and Kingsoft Office suite
So on hardware front, there’s nothing revolutionary, but its pretty solid and on par with other similar tablets. SlateBook x2 was announced along with its Windows 8 counterpart, the Split x2.
Windows 8-based hybrids are nothing new, and many of these were promptly released around Windows 8 launch by companies like LG, HP, ASUS, and Microsoft. Microsoft Surface is a prime example of a Windows 8 hybrid tablet. But a lukewarm reception to Windows 8 resulted in declining sales of these hybrids. By introducing Android-based hybrids, perhaps companies want to give the hybrid concept another shot.