HP didn't just bring its consumer-friendly Slate VoiceTab phablets to Mobile World Congress this week - it also introduced a new tablet for business. The ElitePad 1000 G2 improves on the original ElitePad 1000 with a higher resolution display, faster processor and wider range of accessories, and we had the chance to try one out ahead of its expected March launch.
The outer dimensions haven't changed from the previous tablet, meaning the ElitePad 1000 G2 is backwards compatible with all previously launched accessories including the "jacket" sleeve covers which add extra ports, spare batteries or security features like fingerprint readers or smart card readers.
Built almost entirely from aluminium, with a plastic strip across the top rear of the tablet for the wireless antennae. Beyond Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet connectivity (the latter via a jacket sleeve cover), the ElitePad 1000 G2 will also include a global 4G LTE modem for super-fast wireless broadband. It certainly felt well-built, with no signs of flex or bend in the centre of the device - even when putting significant pressure on the screen using the bundled digitiser pen.
On paper, the 8-megapixel rear camera looks rather capable and has an accompanying LED flash, but unfortunately we weren't able to give it a proper test during our short time with the tablet. The front-facing webcam has a 2.1-megapixel sensor, which can be used for 1080p video calls.
The G2 is powered by a new fourth-generation quad-core Bay Trail Atom processor. The 64-bit Z3795 runs at 1.6GHz and is paired with 4GB of RAM to run the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 installed on the 64GB SSD. That means businesses will be able to install any application, rather than be limited to the Windows Store on Windows RT devices. Windows felt fairly snappy, loading Microsoft Word quickly and opening multiple browser tabs without slowing down, so it should be perfectly capable of everyday office tasks.
The 10.1in display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and has a higher resolution than the original ElitePad 1000. The 1,920x1,200 screen looked very Sharp, making small text easy to read, and viewing angles were reasonable. Colours were fairly vibrant and the screen looked very bright, showing no issues with light reflections obscuring our view.
The tablet itself doesn't have much in the way of connectivity, but the optional jacket sleeves can add multiple USB ports, video outputs and card readers. A desktop dock can turn the tablet into a full PC, becoming a single device for working at a desk and carrying with you on the move.
HP couldn't confirm an exact launch date to us, but the ElitePad 1000 G2 will be available through the official HP online store with prices starting from £433 for the tablet and increasing depending on configuration or bundled accessories.