HP’s Slatebook 14 isn’t the first Android laptop, but it may be the nicest yet

April 28, 2014
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A new Android-powered laptop broke cover this weekend, and it’s probably the most interesting so far.

HP hasn’t yet officially announced the Slatebook 14, but it’s likely only a matter of time, as the video above was found on HP’s official website by the folks at Notebook Italia.

The Slatebook 14 looks to be a full-fledged laptop, coming with many of the features we’ve come to expect from modern portable computers, including a touchscreen. The device features a 14-inch Full HD screen, three USB slots, an HDMI slot, a microSD card slot, and a SIM card for always on cellular connectivity. On the inside, you get a quad-core Tegra processor (likely a Tegra 4) and 2GB of RAM, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and Beats Audio integration.

The keyboard is standard HP fare, with some modifications to accommodate Android, including a home button and a recent apps button. The large touchpad should be good for interacting with the device in a more traditional way, though the touchscreen should be perfectly fine for more casual interactions.

The Slatebook 14 is Google-compatible, meaning that you get all the million plus Android apps available in the Play Store, including the all-important Google apps. We’re probably looking at a Jelly Bean implementation, judging from the clock widget’s font.

Design-wise, HP’s classic yellow and black scheme looks pretty becoming on the Slatebook 14, with its clean lines and reasonably thin profile. The bezel around the screen is also relatively thin, and doesn’t give that tablet vibe we’ve seen with some Android convertibles before.

hp_slatebook_14_2

A couple of important factors will decide the success of this device – performance and price tag. People expect great performance from laptops these days, and we’re not sure the specs can deliver. But if the price is attractive enough, customers might close an eye on some of Slatebook 14’s less attractive aspects.

We’re looking forward to a full specs list and more details on the Slatebook 14, but it’s good to see a big manufacturer put some real effort into this format. So far, the closest we got to a good Android-powered laptop was Asus’ Transformer line, as well as the more conventional – though disappointing – Lenovo A10, which was released last fall as one of the first proper Android-powered laptops.

HP isn’t at its first foray into making Android-powered “PCs”. The company released several convertible and even All-in-One Android devices, such as the HP Slate X2 and Slate 21 we’ve got to check out at IFA last year.

Check out more on these two devices here.

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