The new mobile devices were the highlights of a launch event held at Studio 450 in New York City. Ron Coughlin, senior vice president and general manager of HP’s Personal Systems Group, opened the event with a poignant statement about the changing landscape of the office.
“The days where we are tethered to the office are over, (and) our need to enable that is profound,” said Coughlin. “If you look in totality, 1.3 billion workers are going to be mobile this year. That’s one-seventh of the living human beings on this planet.”
But despite that key statistic, Coughlin added that there is much to be done about the current state of mobile computing.
“Our paradigm for computing is dated in terms of how we enable that,” he said. “The mobile lifestyle is changing how business gets done. It’s changing what (people) want to do, but IT has been lagging (behind) that change. Workers are moving, and IT and HP will move along with them.”
The eight products showcased at the event are designed to cater to the needs of various mobility-reliant industries. Among them was the HP Elite Pad 1000 G2 Rugged Tablet, which is specifically designed for use by construction workers, EMTs and other employees who primarily engage in field work. It features a full-HD screen, 4 GB of SDRAM and a protective casing that enables the device to withstand a seven-foot drop.
“The Rugged Tablet is designed for out-of-the-office use,” said Michael Park, vice president and general manager of HP Mobility and Software Business Personal Systems.
“When we started design around field service and asset management capabilities, the challenge was not just to create ruggedness, but to think through the use case of how these (devices) will be used in the field,” Park continued. “A big part of usage capability is making sure you actually build productivity into the device itself without having to take it out of the jacket.”
Like the people they employ, company executives are also beginning to embrace mobility, and HP’s Elite x2 1011 G1 is designed with the traveling executive in mind. The Elite x2 is a hybrid of a notebook and tablet, with the transformation facilitated by a detachable keyboard. The device is equipped with an Intel Core M processor, 8 GB of SDRAM and up to 512 GB of internal storage space.
“The x2 was designed as a PC replacement,” said Park. “It was designed as a tablet-first experience with the enterprise capabilities of HP hardware. We (created) it for the person on the go, and it passes all of the tests that a classic notebook we would ship out would pass.”
Also shown was the HP Pro Slate, the first-ever Android-powered tablet on the market. Available in 8- and 12-inch screen formats, the devices run on the Android 4.4 KitKat platform, have up to 32 GB of eMMC internal storage, 2 GB of SDRAM and Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors.
The Pro Slate 8 and 12 are equipped with the HP Duet Pen stylus, which helps to facilitate content creation. Using a series of small microphones located on the tablets and the stylus itself, the Duet Pen transmits ultrasonic pulses that are detected by the tablet. When used on a pad of paper, the pulses from the pen are then replicated on the screen in real time.
“These (tablets) are the first commercial Android products on the market,” explained Park. “They were designed for productivity and creating content, with an eye towards document annotation.”
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