The HP SlateBook x2 ushers in a new era: this is the first device we've seen use Nvidia's Tegra 4 quad-core processor. Pocket-lint had a hands-on play with this hybrid Android tablet meets laptop to see what we made of it.
The SlateBook is a Full HD 10.1-inch tablet with detachable keyboard dock, which while much like that of the older Envy x2, differs because it runs Android 4.2.2 instead of Windows 8. It's a wholly different prospect, but one we really rather like for a number of reasons:
READ: HP Envy x2 review
Tegra 4 means this is a tablet with more grunt than many others and combined with the right Android applications it's really not a million miles away from a full-on laptop experience. Compared to, say, a Microsoft Surface RT the HP - despite running a different OS, which has a variety of implications - also has price on its side: it's going to be less than £400 according to the HP representatives that we spoke to, possibly even £379 at launch.
The SlateBook is black and feels well built - it's solid and weighty without being overly heavy. Even though the tablet component makes it a little top-heavy when sat in its dock, it sits well on a flat surface. Typing is very comfortable too as the keys, despite being a little small, give enough resistance with each tap. The biggest downside we could see is cosmetic: the exterior is a bit of a sucker for fingerprints so it won't always look as pristine as it first does.
To separate the screen from the keyboard there's a silver latch to the centre where the two parts meet - tug that over to the side and it detaches without too much messing around.
Once released the tablet's 1080p IPS screen is a thing of beauty. The brightness and resolution are on par with that of the Microsoft Surface Pro really which, considering the price point, is quite something.
In use everything felt very smooth. We jumped into games via both Google Play and the Nvidia TegraZone app, while HP's built in its own file management system - built by CyberLink, if the logo's anything to go by - to access files on the 16GB SSD local storage or via the Cloud. If you want more space then there's both a microSD slot and SD card slot - the former on the tablet, the other on the keyboard base - to add plenty of additional space. That will come at further cost, but reasonable capacity SD cards aren't too expensive these days.
Battery life is the SlateBook x2's other big ticket. Tegra 4 already goes easy on the juice when it needs to, while the SlateBook's two-part build means there's up to 8 hours of life in the tablet and a further 8 hours in the keyboard dock which also houses a battery. In the short play we've had we can't confirm this will always be the case, but those are some very good numbers indeed.
In short: the HP SlateBook x2 looks good, is well built, has a great screen and Tegra 4 is an exciting prospect. If Android is the right fit for your tablet needs then the sub-£400 price tag seems very fair to us for what's on offer. Keep eyes out for this release before the end of August this year.