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Till now, ASUS hasn't had much competition in dockable Android tablets. Sure, we've seen the odd model from Lenovo and other firms, but for probably the most half, "Transformer" has change into a type of phrases like "Kleenex" -- you realize, the type that refers simply as a lot to a class as a specific brand. Nonetheless, HP is throwing its hat in the ring. The SlateBook x2, solely the corporate's second Android tablet, is a 10-inch slate that competes on value as a lot as efficiency. For $480, the keyboard dock comes included, and the tablet itself boasts some prime-notch specs, together with a 1,920 x 1,080 screen and a Tegra four processor. And, after all, in addition to being a keyboard, that dock has a built-in battery of its own, promising to extend the whole runtime to as much as 12.5 hours. So is it adequate that you're going to remember not to name it a Transformer? With a matte plastic lid, completed up in a severe gray color, it can be straightforward to dismiss the SlateBook x2 as bland. In fact, the SlateBook is memorable, principally because it's one of many lightest tablets we've ever dealt with. At 1.34 pounds for the slate alone, it is lighter than each the present iPad (1.44 pounds), as effectively as the Toshiba Excite Pro, which weighs an identical 1.39. As you'd expect, then, that makes it easy to hold aloft for an prolonged time frame, not that you will must if you happen to make use of that keyboard dock. Even with the bottom hooked up, the entire thing weighs in at 2.Eight pounds, making it barely lighter than a equally sized laptop computer, even HP's personal Pavilion TouchSmart 11. What's good, too, is that the middle of gravity here is in the heavier dock piece, so not solely is the tablet gentle, nevertheless it also never tips over backward when you're working with it in your lap. That one winning quality aside, though, this can be a design with issues. For starters, whereas the plastic end does a great job resisting scratches, it manages to show a very good deal of fingerprints, even if it would not have a glossy surface. Ditto for the shiny metal brand on the rear cover, which is also ripe for grease stains. We're sure it was meant as a premium contact (steel accents often are), however more than something it just looks out of place. Worse, HP hid a very powerful buttons! Both the power button and quantity rocker are positioned on the again facet of the device, each flush with the lid in order that even if you already know what basic space they're in, they can still be difficult to search out by feel. Even after weeks with the tablet, I was extra likely to flip the tablet over and press the ability / lock button than successfully hit it with my finger. Which will get pretty old after you've got by accident let the tablet go to sleep for the umpteenth time. Since HP designed the SlateBook in order that there are barely any outlined edges -- simply gently sloping curves -- the company's design group had to put all of the ports on the bottom aspect, the one that matches into the keyboard dock. There, you may find a headphone jack, a proprietary charging port and an uncovered microSD slot to augment the 16GB of built-in storage. In fact, you've additionally got a pair of cameras, including a 720p front-facing webcam and a reasonably wimpy 2-megapixel rear shooter (no LED flash). That about covers the tablet itself, however as a result of this is supposed to be used in laptop computer mode some of the time, you may also find a handful of ports on the accompanying keyboard dock. These embrace a USB socket, further headphone jack, HDMI-out, a full-sized SD card reader and another charging port -- the identical type of proprietary socket featured on the tablet itself. Perhaps it is as a result of we've examined one too many Transformer tablets, however we were certain the SlateBook's keyboard dock was going to be cramped, flimsy and a ache to sort on. It appears, though, that our fears have been unfounded. After many years of cramming practically full-sized keyboards into tiny laptops (see: the Pavilion dm1z), HP is bringing that very same formulation over to its new Android tablet. Although the keys right here don't necessarily offer extra journey than what you may get on an ASUS Transformer, the underlying panel is sturdier, allowing it to face as much as more insistent typing. Additionally, considering this isn't quite a full-sized layout, the buttons are well-spaced and generously sized. In truth, yours actually hardly ever made typos whereas responding to emails, browsing Chrome or even scripting this evaluation. Pairing a trackpad with an Android pill is a humorous thing. On the one hand, Android wasn't designed for use with a mouse and keyboard. On the other, once you've got gotten used to typing on a keyboard dock, it may possibly feel cumbersome to elevate your hand away from the keys to scroll via a webpage or hit the little refresh icon. Basically, if you've got already settled into a typing groove, it is only natural to want to throw in a two-finger scroll. As it occurs, the trackpad right here is responsive sufficient that you may page up and down without having to take your fingers removed from the keyboard. It's a finicky setup, though, and greater than once, we gave up and swiped the touchscreen instead. On the plus facet, the touchpad's floor space is larger than we would have asked for, and the Android hotkeys (residence, again, search, quantity controls, et cetera) must be indispensable to anybody already used to keyboard shortcuts on their regular laptop. We would be mendacity if we said full HD decision was an ordinary characteristic for tablets, however at the very least with the expensive models, you're kind of in the clear. For the money, the SlateBook x2 affords a 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,080 show. Regardless of having an IPS panel, the viewing angles are a bit slim, although we suspect that has more to do with a low brightness ranking than a failure of the IPS technology. To be fair, too, we solely first seen the restricted viewing angles once we played a film with the pill lying face-up on a desk. And actually, that is mainly a scenario for us reviewers (we do have to test the battery life without the dock, in any case). Because this thing comes with a keyboard, we won't imagine why you'd want to watch a film with the pill mendacity flat -- not unless you forgot the dock at dwelling, anyway. As soon as you've put the pill in the dock, you can alter the display screen angle, so likelihood is good you will discover a sweet spot where the colors are brilliant and the distinction is balanced. To its credit score, HP put the two audio system on the tablet's front face, in order that the sound is at all times firing toward you. Nonetheless, even superb speaker placement doesn't do much to enhance the audio high quality. For one thing, the volume right here is pretty low. So low, actually, that we questioned at first if perhaps the quality itself would be respectable (oftentimes, units with weaker sound exhibit much less distortion and tinniness). Right here, although, the sound is each low and tinny -- principally, the worst of both worlds. Beats, with which it has a really robust and, uh, colorful partnership. As much as we mock HP's purple-and-black Beats-branded PCs, that may have been a welcome function here. HP solely recently re-entered the tablet market, and whereas it hasn't at all times gotten the hardware proper, it's executed the smart factor in sticking with unskinned Android (version 4.2.2, in this case). Even the record of pre-installed apps is pretty gentle. On board, we have now: Field, Evernote, Kingsoft Office, Skitch, Splashtop and TegraZone, for finding Tegra-optimized video games. Actually, most of the non-inventory apps listed here are from HP itself, together with Printer Management, ePrint, HP File Supervisor, HP Media Player and HP Digital camera, which we'll return to in only a moment. Within the meantime, the media participant permits for playback of music, photos and videos, with an choice to stream content material to a Miracast-certified display. You can too seize images or video from within the Media Participant app, within the event watching someone else's work inspires you to make one thing of your personal. At any charge, you may discover shortcuts on the home screen for HP's camera, media participant and file supervisor, however you possibly can remove all of them with a protracted-press, the identical way you'd get rid of some other shortcut. Like most other client electronics, the SlateBook x2 comes with a one-12 months warranty, together with 24/7 cellphone assist. The SlateBook x2 is only the second tablet we have examined with a Tegra 4 processor inside, however we're already properly convinced of the chip's immense efficiency potential. As you possibly can see within the desk above, Tegra 4 helps each the x2 and the Toshiba Excite Write sail previous the Xperia Pill Z (and its quad-core Snapdragon S4 Professional chipset) in benchmark tests. However the SlateBook beats the Write in each check (generally by a giant margin), even though they have the same Tegra 4 chip and 2GB of RAM. We're nonetheless not sure which means the SlateBook is exceptional for a Tegra four tablet -- we already had some misgivings in regards to the Write's uneven performance -- however in a approach, it does not matter: the x2 is fast and dependable. Transitions are clean and apps are fast to open. We also had no downside juggling between Gmail, several open tabs in Chrome and different miscellaneous apps, together with Fb, Twitter and a 3rd-social gathering media participant. As for gaming, it was clean sailing in Fractal Combat, where we were capable of fly our airplane upside down and then flip it over again, all without any stuttering. If there's one draw back to the performance, it is that the rear casing on the pill can get heat (not sizzling, however warm) without much provocation. That'll be a moot level if you are utilizing it in laptop computer mode, although you may discover your fingers getting a bit toasty if you are cradling the system in your hands. Once more, though, it never gets pants-scorchingly sizzling, so that you should not have to adjust your utilization habits much, if at all. HP claims that with the dock attached, the tablet can last as much as 12.5 hours. That is a greatest-case state of affairs, after all -- one we weren't capable of replicate. In our admittedly taxing rundown take a look at, which entails looping a video off local storage with WiFi on and the brightness fastened at 50 %, the tablet itself lasted just six hours and 34 minutes -- that's virtually five hours lower than the present iPad, and three hours less than ASUS' Transformer Pad Infinity. Even the Nexus 10, which we faulted for thus-so battery life, lasted about an hour longer in the identical take a look at. Sadly, considering how heavy the dock is (1.46 pounds), it does not increase battery life nearly the best way we expected it to. With the dock connected, we got an additional two hours and quarter-hour of runtime, bringing the overall to eight hours and 49 minutes. All informed, that is a respectable exhibiting for a 10-inch pill, but remember, there are fashions just like the iPad and Transformer Pad Infinity that can ship equal or higher results without the help of a dock. On the plus side, we do admire the non-obligatory battery life widget HP included, which shows you the remaining juice for each the tablet and the bottom. Not exactly a consolation for such subpar runtime, however at least you get a way of how shortly you are losing steam. Like we stated, ASUS doesn't have all that much competition within the dockable Android tablet class. The Lenovo IdeaTab S2110 we reviewed a yr in the past has been discontinued, and nothing related has taken its place. Acer has some dockable tablets, however they all run Home windows 8; the closest factor we will recommend is the forthcoming Iconia A3, and even that is not a fair match, as it's a decrease-worth product with inferior specs (1,280 x 800 display, et cetera). The most direct competitor, maybe (other than something made by ASUS), is the Toshiba Excite Professional, a 10-inch tablet with a sharper 2,560 x 1,600, 300-ppi screen and the same Tegra four chip used in the SlateBook x2. At $500, it's priced equally, and it comes with 32GB of inside storage, not sixteen (both method, you get a microSD slot). The plain commerce-off, so far as we will tell, is that the keyboard is offered individually for $42, and even then, it isn't a correct keyboard dock, however a wireless keyboard. At any fee, we have not examined it, so unfortunately we will not vouch for its performance or battery life. But, we did review the Excite Write (the identical pill, just with a pen digitizer) and we encountered some efficiency glitches. Hopefully, although, that's the form of factor Toshiba can handle with a firmware update throughout your complete Excite line. If you do insist on waiting for ASUS to refresh the current choices, it's already announced the brand new Transformer Pad Infinity, which also has a Tegra four chip and 2,560 x 1,600 display. It's also able to 4K output, according to ASUS, though that's principally a gimmick at this point, if we're being honest. Excited? So are we, but the company hasn't really introduced US pricing or availability but, so we can't even say for certain how lengthy you is likely to be waiting for this. These include the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, a skinny, waterproof tablet that begins at $500. Then, in fact, there's the iPad ($499 and up), not that that is a useful recommendation for anybody already bought on Android. This most likely goes without saying, but the HP SlateBook x2 is barely a sensible buy if you happen to intend to make good use out of the keyboard. It's vital to do not forget that the dock is not a fun extra here: it comes in the field, and it defines the way you're supposed to make use of the product. Should you do count on to spend a lot of time on email and note-taking, that is essentially the most snug keyboard dock on any Android pill, and it helps improve the battery life too. As a standalone pill, although, the x2 provides skimpy battery life and awkwardly positioned volume and energy buttons that may be onerous to search out by feel -- even when you have been utilizing it for some time. The smartest thing we will say in regards to the tablet itself is that its Tegra 4 chip yields fast, stable performance. Even then, Tegra four will in all probability power a lot of devices launched in the coming months, so it's not like HP can really declare credit score for that. Principally, then, if the keyboard is simply an accessory for you, you would be higher off spending $500 or so on a tablet with longer battery life and a more gorgeous display screen. It isn't like you've received any scarcity of choices. All products really helpful by Engadget are chosen by our editorial staff, unbiased of our parent firm. Some of our tales embrace affiliate hyperlinks. If you purchase one thing by one of those links, we might earn an affiliate commission. If you loved this article and you would like to get more info with regards to please visit our own web-site.