HP Slate 8 Pro boasts highest resolution of any 8-inch tablet
The HP Slate 8 Pro might garner some quick comparisons with other 8-inch tablets, like Apple's iPad Mini -- thanks to its 4:3 aspect ratio -- or Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 -- due to its sleek all-white body -- but the superficial resemblances end there. The HP tablet one-ups its fellow 8-inchers, with its sharp 1,600x1,200-pixel resolution IPS display, Nvidia's speedy Tegra 4 CPU, and a healthy 2GB of RAM.
In comparison to the Galaxy Note 8's average 1,280x800-pixel-resolution screen with 189 ppi (pixels-per-inch) (also the same resolution as Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3) and the iPad Mini's shamefully low 1,024x768-pixel display and 163 ppi, the Slate 8 Pro's 253 ppi blows them out of the water, making its screen the sharpest out of the high-end 8-inch tablet models.
According to HP, the Slate 8 Pro has a high color gamut, promising a wide range of color for a more dynamic multimedia experience. Unfortunately, thanks to its 4:3 aspect ratio, the 8-inch tablet is best used for browsing and reading rather than video watching.
The tablet houses a Micro-HDMI port and microSD card expansion slot, as well as an 8-megapixel rear- and 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and audio enhancement features courtesy of HP's partnership with Beats Audio.
Despite its slightly-bigger-than-7-inch size, the HP Slate 8 Pro manages to fit comfortably in one hand. The smooth texture of its back tactilely felt nice, but I personally prefer the grippy texture seen on HP's Slate 7 HD and Slate 10 tablets. To be sure, the pearly white matte finish does give the device a high-end luxurious feel that is perfectly accented by the Beats Audio-inspired red trimming.
Navigating between apps was smooth, with little lag time and the tablet quickly responded to touch. Text and video on the screen looked sharp, however, letter-boxing on widescreen video was unavoidable thanks to the screen's 4:3 aspect ratio.
The HP Slate 8 Pro is expected to hit stores in November. Pricing information hasn't been announced, so check back with CNET for updates and a full review once the tablet becomes available.