The major vendors have been doing the rounds out here in sunny California, gearing up a series of product launches to go hand-in-hand with Windows 8's launch later this month. Particularly interesting is the way Intel's hardware and initiatives have been working hand in hand with Microsoft's own design edicts with Windows 8; what we've seen behind closed doors isn't just a refresh for a new Windows, it's a sea change in the way interfaces and hardware are being designed for the future.

We've seen a few tablets, but today HP is announcing their ElitePad 900. Covering these events has been mildly frustrating because so many designs have been based on Intel's Clovertrail Atom SoC, and all I've been able to hear or mention has been "next generation Atom" or "Clovertrail." That's not much to go on when you're looking at x86-capable tablets running full Windows 8 (albeit 32-bit) in form factors that are mostly competitive with existing Android-based tablets.

Now that we know more about the Intel Atom Z2760, though, the details come into focus. HP's ElitePad 900 is a 10.1" tablet sporting a 1280x800-resolution IPS display in a 1.5-pound chassis, and it measures a slight 9.2mm thick. The marginal resolution is underwhelming in the wake of high-resolution Android tablets (let alone the staggeringly high resolution of the current generation Apple iPad), but the fact that it's running an x86 processor (the aforementioned Atom Z2760) along with full-fledged Windows 8 makes it worthy of attention.

HP's ElitePad 900 also features an NFC radio, 802.11a/b/g/n (2x2) and Bluetooth 4.0, and even supports a mobile broadband module and GPS. It includes 2GB of memory (presumably LPDDR2) along with up to 64GB of storage in an eMMC SSD. The battery is a 2-cell, 25 WHr polymer battery.

Where HP is breaking from the pack is in their "Smart Jacket" system, though. A Smart Jacket is essentially a peripheral you can dock the ElitePad 900 into, and jackets that were demonstrated included one that adds additional expansion ports and potentially more battery life (the Expansion Jacket) as well as one that turns it into a netbook proper (the Productivity Jacket).

This announcement is a bit of an early one, though. While the ElitePad 900 was being demonstrated, it's not geared for launch until around January 2013. Pricing has yet to be announced as well. If HP can come through and really work the Smart Jacket concept without burying it in overpriced peripherals, though, they may have a killer angle for their enterprise-geared tablet.

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  • hstukenborg - Monday, October 1, 2012 - link

    I haven't read the article yet, but anyone using a Cake reference is ok in my book.
  • ImSpartacus - Saturday, October 6, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I thought that was at least a little witty.
  • p05esto - Monday, October 1, 2012 - link

    I don't like the high resolution tablets at all. Have you surfed the web on them? The tiny little web site in the center is annoying. I'll take 1280 or even lower all day long.

    Everyone has an opinion. I say offer two options!
  • melgross - Monday, October 1, 2012 - link

    Don't know what tablet you're using, but I never have that problem. What sites are you specifically talking about?
  • p05esto - Monday, October 1, 2012 - link

    Basically every site on the internet. All web sites are pretty much designed for 1024x768. If the iPad is "scaling" the site to 2/3 times it's intended resolution you are missing the WHOLE point to high resolution and if anything you are seeing a fuzzy and less than ideal experience.

    This is fact by the way. What is opinion is how it looks when scaled so high, that is in the eye of the beholder (I don't care for it is what I'm saying).
  • p05esto - Monday, October 1, 2012 - link

    Should have attached this link:

    Are high-resolution displays screwing up the Web?
  • B3an - Monday, October 1, 2012 - link

    You're argument is stupid. Higher resolution is always better, and you can simply zoom in on web pages that are too small. If you have something like iPad 3 res then even when it zoomed in you still have a sharper image than a 1280x800 res display, because the pixels are so much smaller and closer together. Yes images will look a bit blurred compared to the default 100% size, but they will still look shaper than a much lower res diplay. And text will always look MUCH better at any zoom level.

    Btw LOADS of sites are not designed for 1024x768 anymore and haven't been for many years. Even Anandtech is 1100 pixels wide. Most sites aim to keep the horizontal width under 1280 pixels these days. I do this all the time, i'm a web designer myself. And pretty much no one designs a site with with 768 pixels height in mind... for the simply fact that you just scroll down if the layout exceeds this height, which it does on 99% of sites. Again including this site.
  • Sufo - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    I really like high res displays - I hope that the push in the handheld market pushes similar changes in the desktop market, however, say what you want, but unless a site is coded to swap in high res assets for an ipad 3, all images and icons look like blurry turds. There is no way around this, it's just a fact, and it affects the vast majority of websites.
  • Impulses - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    That's dumb, zoom and/or re arrange your windows, problem solved. Equating web surfing on a high res display (highly dynamic, are constantly being redesigned) with watching a VHS on an HDTV is not a good analogy, despite many of the same fundamentals being in place.
  • zappb - Monday, October 1, 2012 - link

    Now shipping with windows funball 8 bundled with free angry birds!!!!!

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