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HP (Re-)Announces a 14" Android Laptop 121

PC Mag reports that an upcoming laptop from HP (one that was prematurely announced in April, and now official) has decent-to-good specs — under 4 pounds, battery life more than 8 hours, Tegra processor, and a 1928x1080 touch screen — but an unusual operating system, at least for a laptop. The SlateBook 14 will run Android, rather than Windows (or ChromeOS, for that matter), which helps keep it relatively cheap, at $400. According to the article, Android is "a lot cheaper for HP to implement in a laptop; ChromeOS, in contrast, comes with more stringent system requirements that would cost HP a bit more." Ars Technica's mention in April includes a screenshot taken from a video (note: video itself appears to be disabled) which shows the keyboard layout and which reveals some Android-specific changes. Update: 06/01 19:23 GMT by T : Here's an alternative link to the promotional video.
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HP (Re-)Announces a 14" Android Laptop

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  • HP Is Being Cheap (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EmperorArthur ( 1113223 ) on Sunday June 01, 2014 @02:33PM (#47142195)

    ChromeOS, in contrast, comes with more stringent system requirements that would cost HP a bit more.

    In other words, this thing is going to be really slow if you try to use it for serious work. Why? Because HP is cheap and doesn't want to shell out for decent components. That and/or they like their locked down bootloader.

  • by corychristison ( 951993 ) on Sunday June 01, 2014 @02:54PM (#47142295)

    In Nov/2012 I bought an HP 15.6" AMD based laptop (notebook?) with 8GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB HDD, USB3, Win7 Home Premium, and Beats Audio for $399.00 Canadian. This was retail price.

    Upon purchase, I wiped and installed Funtoo Linux, and have since replaced the HDD with an SSD. It does everything I need it to do. I regularly get 4.5 hours battery life of continuous use. Runs a tad warm but I don't use it on my lap so its fine.

    My point is, this is android based notebook is limited as a general purpose machine, and costs more than I paid for mine a year and a half ago.

    I do understand is had a touchscreen, larger battery and built in flash based memory, and that can drive costs uo a bit, but in terms of general usefulness I don't think it will fly.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday June 01, 2014 @03:37PM (#47142537) Journal
    It does not make sense. ChromeOS is shipping with some pretty low spec, not even the 1920x1080 screen, low end processor, without touch screen, mass storage as little as 16 GB. The more recent ones do not even have Ethernet port or VGI output. Just wi-fi and HDMI out that is all. The Slatebook calls for a full HD, 14 inch screen. Possibly multitouch screen because Android spec calls for a touch screen.

    May be the ChromeOS spec is more stringent, but not on the hardware side. May be ChromeOS prevents HP from loading it up with crapware and nagware. Android might allow HP to insinuate itself in the Apps and marketplace more deeply. The HP bean counters would see it as "value" and "potential revenue stream". What the PHBs never realize is, if enough people do not buy that device the revenue stream will be as dry as a wadi in the Sahara.

  • My beef with trying to use Android on a desktop or laptop form factor device is this requirement in the Android Compatibility Definition Document [googleusercontent.com]: "Devices MUST NOT change their reported screen size at any time." This rules out use of any nontrivial window manager, despite that the screen of a laptop or tablet is big enough for 2 to 4 phone apps at once.
  • Re:Tegra? 4 Lbs? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JabberWokky ( 19442 ) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Sunday June 01, 2014 @08:15PM (#47143931) Homepage Journal

    I doubt it is just the patents. Add in the price point and the fact that this is a relatively minor product, so there are no fancy retooled factories and a minimum of custom components are going into this, as opposed to in a flagship product. Plus a dozen other little issues that fall under those or add to them. It's basically using cheap components for a cheap price point. The Air uses the absolute latest and best to get to the minimum weight and size, but at a high price point. Sony did that for years as well, and had a similarly high price point relative to the general market of the time.

    It is quite a bit underwhelming compared to even higher end Android tablets like the $650 Galaxy Note 12, but the killer feature is probably intended to be what will likely be a $300 and change street price with the ease of Android (for those who already have an Android phone). It's comparable to their Pavillion 14" laptop: http://www.amazon.com//dp/B00B... [amazon.com]

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.