HP ElitePad 900 review: A rugged Win 8 tablet for business road warriors

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The HP ElitePad 900 is a tough son of a tablet. Designed for business or outdoor use, it is built to survive being dropped, dinged, dusted, and handled roughly enough to make an iPad cry. HP has tested it to the military MIL-STD810G standard for dust, vibration, temperatures high and low, humidity, altitude, and drop-proofing for heights of up to 30 inches

Graphics performance.

We don’t expect anyone would buy this tablet for gaming, of course, but games are one of the best measures of graphics performance, and the ElitePad is decidedly weak on that score. What’s more, HP’s tablet didn’t have the horsepower to play our HD test video smoothly, either. It did manage to play HD YouTube videos, but the sound that emerged from its speakers was thin and tinny. The 1280-by-800-pixel display, on the other hand, delivered good color and brightness: With the backlight casino online cranked up, I measured it at 351 cd/m2 (candelas per square meter; I used a Spyder 4 Elite monitor calibration tool)

I/O port options

HP also offers a neat keyboard case (the company refers to this $249 product as a “productivity jacket,” which might help you justify its expense to the accountants). It fits around the tablet, clamshell style, and while it adds some bulk (it’s nearly an inch thick and weighs almost a pound), it also provides a number of features, such as a good keyboard, with decent-size keys and acceptable travel; two USB ports; and an SDHC card reader. The case also props the tablet up at your choice of three angles, so it sits like a conventional laptop. A connector on the back of the jacket duplicates the proprietary connector on the base of the tablet, so you can use the same adapters for extra USB ports or digital video outputs. These jackets and adapters are not as rugged as the tablet, so don’t expect them to sail through combat in the same way.

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