HP and Samsung have both rolled out two new laptop hybrids that can transform between full-fledged laptops with keyboards and independent tablets. The question on most consumers minds is "Which one should I get?" Well we can help you with that.
HP SlateBook x2
August is the expected release date for the HP SlateBook x2
The device will cost $479.99, a pretty hefty price for a 10.1 inch tablet, even if the keyboard dock is included in the price.
This is a 10-inch high-end Android tablet/laptop hybrid with capable specs:
It runs the newest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system on the latest quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, making it unique as one of the first devices to use that chip, in fact. At 10.2 inches, it's smaller than the new 13.3-inch Split x2, but it has the highest-quality screen with a full 1920 x 1200 resolution IPS panel.
Aside from that it has expandable 16GB storage and 2GB RAM. An innovative feature is the keyboard, "This little keyboard adds one USB port, an SD card slot, an HDMI jack, as well as an extra battery that could nearly double the tablet's battery life to somewhere around eight hours. Unlike many previous convertible devices, the keyboard dock is included in the SlateBook x2′s price."
This is a transformer tablet/laptop, the keyboard dock is detachable and can be slid out. No bending business where you can feel the keys, like with the Ativ Q. This feels better in your hands when carrying it around.
Android Community reports:
"The slate is well built, feels durable, but was a little heavy thanks to the aluminum design. The dedicated power and volume buttons being flat were a nice touch, and we also are huge fans of the front facing speakers on board. Something all tablets should have. We couldn't help but notice the design seems geared towards users keeping it in the dock, and it wasn't quite as pretty with that odd ledge on the bottom edge of the tablet where it docks into the keyboard."
Other features include:
One of the other nice things here is the slate is running a bone stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean build, comes out of the box with Chrome Browser, NVIDIA Tegra Zone for some stellar gaming, and much more. While we only had a limited amount of time with it, the slate certainly shows promise. It looks like HP is ready to get into Android tablets much more than before.
We are certainly intrigued by the possibility of the Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and Tegra Zone when it comes to gaming.
Samsung Ativ Q
Samsung has declined to give a release date.
Pricing for the Ativ Q isn't known yet, Samsung will probably announce soon given that the device appears to be largely functional.
The screen section can basically be bent backward away from the keyboard, allowing it to function as a tablet. It's also reasonably thin and light so you can carry it around like a tablet. CNET reports:
"It's a 13-inch machine with physical proportions roughly the same as any other 13-inch ultrabook's. It's 14 millimeters thick, which is satisfyingly skinny, it's small enough to slide easily into most backpacks, and at around 1.3kg (2.8 pounds), you won't struggle to carry it around for long periods either."
The specs are respectable for its purpose, with an Intel Haswell Core i5 processor, 13-inch display with a powerful 3,200 x 1800 resolution non-reflective display and a 178 degree viewing angle. Other specs include 4GB DDR3 RAM and 128 GB SSD, with battery life of up to 9 hours.
The Ativ Q is a hybrid laptop that can transform into a tablet.. The Samsung Ativ Q is capable of switching between Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS and Windows 8 by hitting an icon on the screen. It is worth nothing that the Ativ Q has stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which means you want have worry about OS updates.
It has all the functionality of the Microsoft Office Suite along with the option of downloading apps from the Google Play Store. In addition to the touchpad the Ativ Q also has a stylus S pen hidden inside it allowing you to write handwritten notes. It's tucked away un-intrusively toward the bottom of the device, so you wouldn't know it was there unless you were looking for it specifically.
One problematic aspect of the design is that when you bend the screen back you can feel the keyboard and the keys underneath. Samsung says that this was taken into consideration and the keys would not have any input while the device was in tablet mode. The hinges are durable and capable of switching with ease.
Currently we favor the HP SlateBook x2, it feels like a better made device despite the smaller screen size and somewhat smaller resolution clarity. The Ativ Q has a clunky feel to it while the HP SlateBook x2 feels well built. We also know more about the SlateBook x2, including price and release date while Samsung has been tight lipped about both of those.
That's not to say the Ativ Q doesn't have strong things going for it. The display is particularly crisp and clear and, even more attractively, it has stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The dual booting abilities might be likely to appeal to more professional users, who want the ability to use Office tools while having something to take on the subway to entertain them during their commute.
The screen is bigger than the HP SlateBook x2 which makes it stand out, the screen resolution is also higher and gives it greater clarity. The Nvidia Tegra 4 processor on HP SlateBook x2 is interesting and may allowing playing more demanding games compared to the Intel Haswell Core i5 of the Ativa Q.
Samsung needs to release pricing info and give a release date, which will allow us to get a better idea of how to compare the two devices. Right now we are taken with the HP SlateBook x2 and its stronger entertainment capabilities and design.
Do you prefer the HP SlateBook x2 or the Samsung Ativa Q?