HP debuts enterprise-friendly notebook/tablet

Hewlett-Packard Co. is aiming one of its latest mobility products at what it sees as a growing number of users who lean towards work-oriented tablet devices that also come with a full function keyboard.

The company is calling its new HP Pro x2 612 a “business-focused Detachable PC.” It’s a high-powered notebook which transforms into a sleek tablet when detached from its keyboard, according to Daron Chalk, HP product line manager for Windows business hybrid product. HP says the machine is quite different from “attachables,” which are more like consumer-focused tablets that can be attached to keyboards.

HP is positioning the Pro x2 612 “exclusively for enterprise users.” It has a 12.5-inch touch display and is available with either an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor and a vPro option. It also comes with a host of enterprise-friendly features you normally find in high-end HP laptops such as: HP BIOS, HP Client Security, HP Sure Star, smart card reader, HP TPM and optional fingerprint reader.

in story HP x2 612 1
HP says enterprises can consolidate notebooks and tablets with one device. Photo: HP

The tablet itself supports 3G and 4G LTE, has a USB 3.0 port, a micro SD card reader and a micro SIM card reader. It has eight hours of battery life and it gets an additional eight hours from the optional full-function backlit keyboard that comes with a VGA RJ-45, display port, two USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader port and side docking connector for an optional HP ultra slim dock. There is also an optional battery-free Wacom pen with built-in holder.

HP also has a much slimmer and lighter travel non-battery keyboard that comes with a kickstand.

HP is betting that the market for full notebook replacement tablet devices will boom.

“IT departments are very excited about detachables because it enables them to consolidate device and application management,” Chalk said during a product briefing. “For example, instead of having to manage and maintain apps on a tablet and a notebook, they just have to deal with those apps on a single device.”

For the end user, he said, the laptop-notebook hybrid is an opportunity to quickly switch from one form factor to another without having to lug around two devices.

Chalk said the device is ideal for knowledge workers or those who work with a lot of data and content and need notebook functionality but “20 per cent to 30 per cent of the time find they want to switch to a tablet.”

For example, a user in a store showroom who could be typing away on the device can easily detach the tablet from the keyboard and walk over to a client to show some product shots or capture a digital signature on the touchscreen.

HP (Nasdaq: HPX) says the X2 612 will ship with Windows 8.1, but that Windows 7 is available for those who prefer the older operating system.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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