HP Pro Slate 12 review

Has HP crafted the ideal tablet for notes and illustration?

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

The HP Pro Slate 12 is ideal for a niche user, but you're probably better off purchasing a sharper, punchier tablet, like the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

For

  • Gorgeous design
  • Battery life
  • Perfectly digitizes ink-to-paper markings

Against

  • Low-res screen
  • Weak processing power
  • Awful note-taking app

If you're in the market for a large format, professional tablet that looks great, performs well and won't break the bank, the HP Pro Slate 12 ($529, £349, or AUS$646) is a solid option.

Competing against other business tablets, like the Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 ($700, £437, AU$800) and the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 ($699, £436, AU$800), the Pro Slate 12 offers better battery life and excellent note-taking capabilities.

Although it offers less stellar specs and performance than the Dell and Samsung alternatives, the Pro Slate 12 is a superb, but flawed device that illustrators, administrative assistants and anyone who takes handwritten notes will enjoy.

Design

HP Pro Slate 12

You'll love looking at this 12.3-inch device: the Pro Slate 12 is built on a gorgeous silver and black bezel with speakers that line the top and bottom edges of the slate. This impressively large tablet only weighs 1.87 pounds (840g) and is only 0.31 inches thick (7.8mm).

By comparison, the Venue 11 weighs a much more manageable 1.6 pounds (720g), but it's noticeably thicker at 0.42 inches (10.7mm). Similarly, the Note Pro weighs only 1.65 pounds (750g), but it is as slim as the Pro Slate at only 0.31 inches thick (7.8mm). So, if portability is your main concern, and you definitely want a large tablet, the Samsung device provides you with the best of what HP and Dell's devices offer.

Unfortunately, the screen features only a 1,600 x 1,200 resolution Corning Gorilla Glass display. The overall design is pretty slick, but I hate how much real estate surrounds the screen. Not only do you have about a half-inch of speaker at the top and bottom of the tablet, but there is about three-quarters of an inch of border surrounding all four sides of the active display.

HP Pro Slate 12

The screen is prone to severe glare, so don't expect to watch Netflix with the sun at your back. When the room is dark, the images are spectacular, but if there is any light in the background, your image will be affected.

This screen pales in comparison to the Note Pro, which packs a delightful 2,560 x 1,600 pixel display onto the same size frame. The Venue 11, which is an 11-inch device, comes with a 1,920 x 1,080 display. So, the Pro Slate isn't exactly ideal for anyone who requires image precision, like designers or photographers.

Speaking of shutterbugs, the Pro Slate 12 features an 8 megapixel (MP) front-facing camera and a 2MP rear camera. However, I doubt you'll want to take many photos on this mammoth device. You're better off using your phone for quick snaps.