With the success of the iPad, it’s easy to forget that convertible units with a rotating hinge and physical keyboard were once the form factor of choice for tablet computers. While touchscreen-only devices now dominate the consumer space, convertible tablets continue to find a market, particularly amongst business and government users. It is these markets that HP is targeting with its latest touch-enabled convertible tablet, the EliteBook Revolve, which is due for a March, 2013 release.
Powered by third-generation Intel Core processors and with 4 Gb of RAM, the EliteBook Revolve features a touch-enabled, 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution display that pivots and twists to switch between traditional laptop and tablet form factors. The display is made from scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 2, while the all-magnesium chassis helps keep the unit’s weight down around 3.04 lb (1.37 kg) – that figure is based on the preproduction model, as is the estimated 22.4 mm thickness of the device.
The full-sized physical QWERTY keyboard features a backlight and is spill-resistant, while the screen orientation and brightness will adjust according to the unit’s position. Connectivity features include optional WWAN (LTE in the U.S. and HSPA+ elsewhere), secure NFC, Bluetooth, Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 ports and a DisplayPort.
Onboard storage comes in the form of a 256 GB SSD, with a 720p HD4 camera positioned above the display, a dual-microphone array, DTS Studio Sound and CyberLink’s YouCam software also on board. An optional pen is also available for touchscreen input. The battery should be good for eight to ten hours of use, and 210 hours of standby.
Although it has been optimized for Windows 8, HP will offer the option of preloading the EliteBook Revolve with Windows 7 for those not yet prepared to jump on the Metro train.
The EliteBook Revolve is that latest bid by HP to grab a slice of the growing enterprise tablet market. In October it announced the business-oriented ElitePad 900 boasting a rugged form factor and compatibility with Smart Jacket peripherals. The company has also announced a new Multi-Tablet Charging Module that can store and charge up to 10 tablet PCs with screen sizes under 10.1 inches from a single power outlet.
Like the ElitePad 900, the Multi-Tablet Charging Module will be available in the U.S. in January. It will be priced at US$499. Pricing of the EliteBook Revolve will be announced closer to its March, 2013 release date.