HP Slate 21: A smart performer

Published: Nov 03, 2013, 08:49 IST | Vishal Mathur |

HP Slate 21 is an Android-powered, space-saving touchscreen desktop that's a good looking basic PC - with a twist

While the design and the form factor is pretty much the standard AIO (all-in-one) stuff, there are little elements that make you take notice of the HP Slate 21.

It’s made of plastic throughout, but it doesn’t look or feel cheap as it’s put together well, and that makes all the difference. Its enamel finish adds a bit of shine. The kickstand is rather well built, with the solidity and tautness of the hinge ensuring that the heavy machine remains at exactly the angle you leave it at. The stand allows the screen to tilt back a fair amount.

The 21.5-inch screen has an In-plane switching (IPS) panel, with a Full HD resolution, with multi-touch support complete with gestures. The panel is bright, with good contrast levels that make this machine excellent for watching movies. Text readability is brilliant, with crisp written word on the screen, be it a document or a web browser. The Full HD resolution on a 21.5-inch screen size means there is a lot of space for you to work with. The web pages can be resized to fill the width of the display, enhancing readability. Touchscreen works smoothly, to interact with the product, and all the standard gestures are well-supported. While it may be Android on a touchscreen, using it with a keyboard (and mouse) is made simple by HP — especially the keyboard, which is customised to work with Android, fitted with Home, Back, and other buttons. The travel is good, key size is perfect and the spacing is adequate, but the keyboard is noisy, however.

The Tegra 4 powering this machine is faster than most tablets and smartphones, but not quite in the league of Intel’s Core chipset. From an Android perspective, all the system benchmarks gave out the best scores we have registered. The real world performance is what matters, and the Slate 21 is a delight. Going through day-to-day tasks like browsing the Web, listening to music, reading or watching a movie are a breeze — even games downloaded from Google’s Play Store are handled well.

While we are, no doubt, impressed with the product, don’t look at it as a full-fledged Windows desktop replacement. Android isn’t a comprehensive desktop-OS and is restrictive at times, but it copes well on a larger screen form factor device (like the HP Slate 21), and this product’s looks, build and performance are heartening. The only niggle is its 8GB internal storage, which can be expanded with a USB drive. All things considered, the HP Slate 21 is a great option to consider for a non-Windows, basic, space-saving touchscreen AIO. Buy this if you need an affordable yet innovative machine based on Android.

Processor: NVIDIA Tegra Quad-Core T40S
Ram: 1GB
Graphics: ULP GeForce
Display: 21.0-inch IPS display, (1920 x 1080 pixels) with touchscreen
HDD: 750 GB
Storage: 8GB (expandable)
OS: Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
Connectivity: 1 USB for external drive, 2 USB for keyboard + mouse, micro SD, 3.5mm jack
Price: Rs 29,990

} Slim, cute-looking, all-in-one desktop
} 21-inch touchscreen display
} Runs on Android
} Performs quite well

} Learning curve for Windows users
} Only 8GB built-in storage 

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