Many of the tablet and smartphone
makers are currently very busy with trying to squeeze higher and
higher resolution screens into their sub-10” devices. However, some
people just want a large, mostly trouble-free system that won't make
them have to squint to read text. HP seems to be targeting that
segment of the public with its
new Slate21, which boasts a big 21.5” touchscreen but sticks to
Android 4.2.2 “Jelly Bean” and hardware that wouldn't be
out-of-place in a high-end smartphone.
Starting at $399, the HP Slate21 runs
on an Nvidia
Tegra 4 SoC, which includes an ARM Cortex-A15 quad-core CPU and a
fairly respectable GPU inside. While we aren't sure of the RAM size,
HP includes 8GB of flash memory storage, an SD card slot for more,
three USB 2.0 ports, a front-facing webcam, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth
3.0, and DTS audio technology.
Meanwhile, the kickstand at the back
allows for angling the device at 15 to 70 degree angles, and
wall-mounting is also possible with the standard VESA mount on the
back. Finally, that touchscreen delivers a 1920x1080-pixel resolution
and is one of those much-hyped IPS panels, ensuring that the picture
won't become too distorted for those sitting next to you while
watching Full HD videos.
On the software side, HP claims to have
included USB keyboard drivers into the Android OS, alongside
productivity software from Kingsoft, and some pictures show a
matching keyboard and mouse. Thus, one may actually be able to get
some real work done with the Slate21. The Google Play store for
downloading more apps is also available, with Splashtop 2 HD remote
desktop software beside it for when controlling and accessing a Mac
or Windows/Linux-loaded PC becomes necessary.
All in all, HP's Slate21 looks like a
fairly well-equipped choice for a general-use PC. Although the
ARM-based CPU will pale in comparison to most Intel or AMD-based
systems (despite having four cores), power consumption should be low
– low enough, surely, to not require a fan for cooling. For all of
those email and Facebook-browsing grandmothers out there, the Slate21
may be just the ticket. You will have to wait until September to
order one, though.