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Featured Review: HP Slatebook 14

August 24, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Let’s see, a 14-inch laptop built by HP with Android 4.3 on board. How bad could it be? Actually pretty damn good. Most of us know that Android was made for mobile, and smartphones first. It’s alright on Tablets, but not the best, so what about on a 14-inch laptop? Well there are some differences when using the Slatebook 14, but for the most part it’s pretty good. This is HP’s first Android laptop, although they have made three Chromebooks in the past.

Specs

  • 14-inch 1920×1200 resolution IPS display
  • NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 9 hours of battery life (the exact mAh is not given)
  • Android 4.3

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Hardware

I’ve always been a fan of HP’s hardware, as the last three laptops I’ve owned – before my Macbook Pro – were HP laptops and I’ve had no issues with them. The HP Slatebook 14 is very similar to a lot of their laptops, but a lot thinner and lighter. The Display part is black – the logo is a yellow background, and it looks sick – while the bottom is yellow and keyboard is black. It’s a really sharp looking laptop, if I do say so myself.

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As far as ports go, we’ve got a HDMI port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and 3 USB ports (they appear to be USB 2.0). It is also a touch screen laptop and it’s actually really good. I’ve used a few other touchscreen laptops/Chromebooks and they haven’t been as great, especially when it comes to touch sensitivity. The display here gets plenty bright as well, and still looks great.

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Onto performance. There is a Tegra 4 processor inside which is plenty of powerful, while still providing pretty good battery life. I did some game playing, and used plenty of apps and had no real issues with performance. Although I’ll say that playing a game like Asphalt 8 on the Slatebook 14 is pretty awkward. It can be done, but I wouldn’t suggest it.

Battery Life

HP Claims about 9 hours of battery life, and I can say that yes that is correct. I used it all day Saturday for everything I did for AH that day, and it lasted the entire day. On Standby it can last about 4 days, which isn’t perfect, but still pretty good.

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Software

It’s stock Android, literally. There’s really nothing different from Stock Android to what HP has on here. They’ve added some of their own apps like All-In-One Remote, Box, Connected Drive, HP Connected Music, HP Connected Pictures, HP ePrint, HP File Manager, HP Media Player, Hulu, Kingsoft Office, PowerDirector, Skitch, Splashtop and TegraZone. So we’ve got plenty of bloatware here, but most can be disabled if you want to do so.

The HP Slatebook 14 is optimized pretty well, as everything is pretty snappy, in terms of software. There’s also Beats Audio, but there’s no setting to really configure Beats Audio just yet.

There are plenty of games available for the HP Slatebook 14, although as I said earlier, they aren’t the best to play on a laptop interface. Simply because you’ve got the keyboard there and you still have on screen controls to use. Although if you have a MOGA controller or another Bluetooth controller you can use that. And that’s actually how I played games on the HP Slatebook 14, as it was much easier.

As far as using it for hangouts and such, I actually did our weekly internal meeting here at Android Headlines on the Slatebook 14 and it worked out pretty well. It’s not as good as using Hangouts on a Chromebook or regular laptop, but it worked out well and didn’t overheat, which was great.

Odds & Ends

  • I’m not entirely sure who HP is marketing this one too. It’s a great idea, but I’d rather have a full desktop or at least Chrome OS on my laptop.
  • The HP Slatebook 14 was much better than I thought it’d be.
  • Battery life is better than a lot of other laptops, so much for being Scroogled?
  • Excellent hardware and build quality here.

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TL;DR

The HP Slatebook 14 is pretty good. When it was first announced, we weren’t sure what to expect from it. But now that it’s here in our hands we are pretty impressed. The most interesting thing will be how well it sells.