HP Pro Slate 8 Review: Nifty Duet Pen, Premium Pricing

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Performance Summary & Conclusion

We expected a bit more from HP's tablet given its $469 price tag. You can find other tablets that are faster for less, or one that's bigger and more powerful for around the same price. That said, HP's tablet will let you game a bit without throwing up the white flag. It's clearly not targeted as a gaming tablet, but that's pretty obvious from its enterprise-focused features and its accessory pen. As a general purpose tablet, it does decently; you won't feel stuck or slowed-down using the device, but you also won't get the most performance for your dollar. You will, however, be able to use a nifty pen with an excellent display and top notch build quality, which might be all that you're really looking for anyway, in this class of device.

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In general, HP's Pro Slate 8 sits in a tough space. It's a little expensive to be a stand-alone tablet without its accessory pen, but it's not really built to use the Duet Pen as well as it could. You're going to have to carry around the pen separately from the tablet, which makes it that much easier to lose and/or break. You have to charge it for it to work—not a big deal, given that it can go about a week or so of normal use. However, it's a pain in the backside if you happen to forget (or if your charge runs out) and you want to use the pen with your tablet.

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We appreciate that HP doesn't stuff its tablet with much bloatware, and we think its display is very good, its wireless capabilities are strong, and its audio output is great, so long as you're holding the tablet in landscape mode. Given how much the tablet costs, however, 32 gigabytes of storage seems a bit thin. The tablet's cameras are decent too, but, as with most tablets, you're going to be able to shoot better images (with flash) using many of today's top smartphones.

Unfortunately, it all comes back to the price for the Pro Slate 8. HP's Duet Pen offers some useful functionality, but the integration pushes the price of a decent tablet too high it seems to us. We'd rather have a more affordable and/or faster tablet and a third-party pen accessory. It just feels, in its current setup and at its current price point, that the HP Pro Slate 8 misses the mark.  

     
  • microSD expansion slot
  • Quad-core processor
  • Decent battery life
  • Duet Pen can be fun and useful
  • Relatively expensive 
  • Lack-luster overall performance
  • Duet Pen has to be charged to use; no way to store it with (or attached to) tablet

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