Hands on: $479 HP SlateBook x2 Tegra 4-powered Android tablet hybrid

If the HP SlateBook x2 lives up to its potential, people may finally forget about the TouchPad for good.

Not too long ago HP released the Slate 7 Android tablet, a product that represents a baby step back into the world of mobile OS tablets after the very public death of the HP TouchPad. The Slate 7 isn’t all that distinctive except that it’s rather striking in red and it costs just $170. A decent first effort, but a company has to do more than just make a low-cost tablet to get skin in the Android game. How about a 10-inch Tegra 4-powered Android hybrid for less than $500? Yep, that HP SlateBook x2 that leaked a few weeks ago is real, and it only costs $479.

We got a little bit of hands-on time with it and came away impressed. If the SlateBook lives up to its potential, people may finally forget about the TouchPad for good.

HP Slatebook x2

As you might guess from the name, the SlateBook x2 is a cousin of the HP Envy x2 Windows 8 hybrid we reviewed not long ago. The Android tablet has a similar design and aesthetic, keyboard, and wide touchpad. Now customers get a choice of two colors: black and silver. The display is smaller – 10.1-inches instead of 11.6 – with a full HD resolution. The screen is impressively crisp with bright colors and wide viewing angles. Just as with the Envy x2, the only ports on the tablet itself are a microSD slot and a headphone jack. If you want USB, full SD, and HDMI out, you’ll need the dock.

HP doesn’t deviate far from the Envy x2 with the dock design either. There’s less room for keys since the overall unit is smaller, but it doesn’t feel cramped. HP’s netbooks often had good keyboards back when those were popular, and that heritage shows here. The flat keys offer decent travel and feedback, and there’s plenty of space between them. We particularly like the inclusion of Android-specific keys. The top row ditches F1 to F12, opting for control buttons instead. Home, Back, Menu, and Search are all accessible from here, so you won’t need to touch the screen unless you want to. The touchpad is wide and responsive and capable of gestures to make navigating Android easier. Both the dock and the tablet have batteries, and you can at least double the longevity when they’re connected.

HP Slatebook x2 dock

Even with a battery inside, the dock doesn’t add that much weight, and the whole thing is light and comfortable to hold and carry. The units we saw are pre-production, so the final weight and build quality may be different. Still, the build felt solid and the hinge that connects the tablet and dock is pretty sturdy.

The SlateBook will be one of the first devices to ship with the new Nvidia Tegra 4 processor. From what we’ve seen of Tegra 4, users can expect amazing graphics and gaming performance. What little we saw of the operating system came across as smooth and speedy, which is no surprise. The SlateBook will ship with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and there’s no hint of a skin so far. That indicates that updates to any new versions of Android announced this week at Google I/O might not follow too far behind, though HP hasn’t commented on that. Company reps did say that the SlateBook will come pre-loaded with productivity apps, including Splashtop Remote, allowing users to bring Windows to the Android environment.

Overall, the SlateBook looks like a more than capable Android hybrid with a great screen, speedy performance, a good design, and pretty much everything you’d want in this type of device for a good price. As always, judgment is reserved for when we get the device in for a full review. It’s safe to say we’re very much looking forward to testing it fully.

HP Slatebook x2 - Detached

The HP SlateBook x2 will ship sometime this summer, likely right around back to school buying season. At $479 for both the tablet and dock as a package with 16GB of internal storage (32 and 64GB also available), this would make an excellent gift for a college or high school student to supplement their full-fledged computer.

(Update 5/16/2013: Our original post listed the internal storage as 64GB for the base price of $479, which was incorrect. The base price includes 16GB of memory; 64GB is available at a higher price.)


Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

Apple MacBook Air vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The MacBook Air was updated with more contemporary components and a more modern design, but is that enough to compete with standouts like Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 detachable tablet?

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

The LG V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Watch W7 are discounted for the holidays

LG announced a series of deals for the holiday season where you can buy the company's two flagship phones, the V40 ThinQ and G7 ThinQ, as well as its latest smartwatch, for between $150 and $200 off, depending on the device.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.