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HP Pro Slate 12: a giant Android tablet with a neat trick

HP's latest slates can digitise your handwritten notes

Whilst Apple continues to keep the world waiting for the widely touted iPad Pro, HP has beaten it to the punch with a massive Android tablet pitched at professionals. The HP Pro Slate 12 – and its smaller 8in brother – both support a new stylus technology that allows users to write notes on paper and have them converted to digital text/images on the tablet. 

This is thanks to the HP Duet Pen, which can be used as a stylus or a regular pen. The tablets contain four ultrasonic microphones that detect high-pitched noises emitted by the Duet Pen, allowing it to convert written notes and diagrams into digital images. The ability to instantly convert written notes – without having to the rely on the special paper stock required by other digital pen products – could be hugely appealing to students and professionals alike. 

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Not so appealing is the resolution of HP’s monster tablet, which is just 1,600 x 1,200 – well below the ultra-high resolutions we’ve come to expect from premium tablets. And at $569 (£375 on a straight dollar-to-pound conversion, UK pricing is yet to be announced), this is certainly in premium territory. The smaller HP Pro Slate 8 does go toe-to-toe with the iPad Air, however, with a a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution. That’s over 60% more pixels than the Slate 12, despite being a much smaller screen (7.9in vs 12.3in). The Slate 8 is also cheaper at $449 (£295).    

Both tablets are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors and 2GB of RAM, which is reasonably standard fare. The pair also use the latest Gorilla Glass 4 to protect the screen from scratches and knocks, and the Slate 12 comes with an optional folio case that you can see in the picture above, allowing you to keep screen and paper side-by-side.

Both tablets are available immediately in the US, although we’re yet to get word on UK pricing and availability. 

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