With all of the hubbub surrounding NVIDIA opening pre-orders for its upcoming SHIELD gaming handheld last week, it seems that I missed the news of an interesting launch from HP: SlateBook x2. As the owner of one of the earlier ASUS Transformer pads (TF201), I’ve often wondered whether or not hybrid tablets had much of a future. Personally, I need a desktop OS if I expect to get work done, so despite owning a keyboard dock for the TF201, I’ve never used it except to increase battery-life.
I do wonder if things will change in the future, however, because with this launch from HP comes a bit of reassurance that some companies still have faith in the idea. Unlike the Tegra 3-based TF201, HP’s SlateBook x2 will bundle NVIDIA’s latest and greatest, Tegra 4, a quad-core chip featuring 72 cores. Other specs are ridiculously scarce at the moment, but we do know the tablet itself comes in at 10.1-inches and sports a resolution of 1080p.
Thanks to its hybrid design, two batteries are available when the dock is connected – perfect for those long car rides or flights. It’ll not surprisingly feature the latest version of Android, 4.2.2, and according to NVIDIA, its DTS sound solution will deliver a “concert like experience”. Unless the notebook smells of body odor and can push and shove me, I have major doubts about that.
The SlateBook x2 is slated (no pun, of course) to come out in August at a price of $479. That’s not what I’d call cheap, given some Ultrabooks can be purchased for the same price (and in a larger size), but the battery-life on this will be hard to beat. Plus, the convenience of being able to convert a notebook into a tablet at any time has definite appeal.