Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
HP Pro Tablet 610 G1 Windows tablet
The good thing about this tablet is that it has a 1920x1200 screen and 4GB of RAM
- 1920x1200 screen
- 4GB RAM
- Dual-band Wi-Fi
- Drive capacity
- Short power cord and long charge time
- Lacks accessories
This tablet is made for small business users who want a Windows 8.1-based tablet with plenty of RAM. It's ordinary apart from that. If all you want is a tablet, then go for it, because that's all you'll get with this product.
Price$ 749.00 (AUD)
HP's Pro Tablet 610 G1 (J0F38PA) is a 10.1in slate that's geared towards small business users who need a highly mobile tablet device that can run regular Windows software. HP's goal with this tablet was to bring 64-bit capability to the market at an affordable price. Affordable is a relative term, though, and the asking price of $749 might not be enticing enough considering an Intel Core i3-based Surface Pro 3 can be bought for just over a couple of hundred dollars more, with better features and performance.
Plenty of RAM for its class
An Intel Atom Z3795 System on Chip (SoC) powers the HP Pro Tablet 610, and this is a chip that serves a couple of purposes: it gives the tablet an ability to run for a relatively long time while on battery, and also an ability to be quite thin, light, and, therefore, easy to handle.
Since it runs the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1, it can make use of 4GB of RAM, which is 2GB more than most typical Atom-based Windows tablets, and this means (among other things) that it should be able to handle multiple open applications without much sluggishness when switching between them.
Storage is handled by a 64GB solid state drive (which provides 57GB of formatted capacity in Windows), but you don't get as much space as you might think. By default, HP includes a recovery partition that takes up 11GB, and the system portion of the drive is 46GB. With the Windows folder taking up 17GB of that drive, and with barely anything installed on our behalf, the drive was left with 18GB of free space.
Keep this in mind when installing applications, and also when recording media to the tablet via its inward and outward facing cameras. In CrystalDiskMark, the solid state drive recorded a read rate of 105.8 megabytes per second (MBps), and a write rate of of 35.34MBps, which are rates that are bang-on for the class this tablet sits in.
A better-than-Full-HD screen
The screen has a higher resolution than what is normal these days, with the 1920x1200-pixel screen offering a bit more on the vertical (when used in landscape) than than a more typical Full HD display. On a 10.1in display, though, the text and icons at this resolution can be quite small, and also hard to tap on if you aren't thin-fingered.
To counter any usability problems from the icons being too small, HP ships the tablet with the text and icons set to 'Larger' in the Windows Display Properties by default. This makes it easier to hit them. The downside is that the scaling can make some system windows and dialogue boxes look muddy.
We didn't experience any issues with the touch recognition of the screen (which also has a digitiser, but a pen is not supplied), though the processor can struggle to process inputs when there is a lot going on in the background, such as an open Web page with Flash or other heavy elements that need processing.
The Windows 8.1 interface will cause some frustration at times, especially if you browse the Web on the Desktop using Firefox. For example, you'll have to manually bring up the on-screen keyboard whenever you want type anything into the URL bar or into any text field.
Build quality and other features
Physically, the tablet weighs 647g and feels quite solid. It has a texture on the back that provides good grip, making it easy to hold, and this is further aided by the space that surrounds the screen, which provides a large area for you to rest your thumbs.
It's a glossy screen (finished by Gorilla Glass) that can get smudged and reflect some light depending on the angle you hold it, but the brightness is high enough to counter most of these annoyances. It's an IPS (in-plane switching) based screen so its angles are wide enough to provide comfortable viewing in any orientation.
Around the edges, you get mostly smooth lines that are interrupted only by a headset port on the left, a power button at the top, and volume buttons on the right. The bottom is where the action is, and by action we mean micro action. There is a micro-USB port that can be used to transfer files off an On-The-Go-style USB stick; a micro-HDMI port for connecting to an external screen; a concealed microSD card slot for adding some more internal storage.
The power port is also located at the bottom, and it's fed by a by a power adapter that has an all-too-short cord (about 1m). Unless you have a power outlet located within arm's reach on your desk, it's difficult to use the tablet while it's connected to the external charger. This is an issue since it can take over four hours to fully charge the tablet's 2-cell, 31 Watt-hour battery.
In our rundown tests for these sorts of tablets, in which we maximise screen brightness, enable Wi-Fi, and loop a Full HD, MP4 video, the HP lasted 7hr 12min. It's a good result compared to Lenovo's ThinkPad 10, which got 6hr 56min, but is well short of the mark set by the HP ElitePad 1000 G2, which lasted 10 hours. Both of those tablets have the same CPU as the Tablet 2 Pro, the Lenovo had 2GB of RAM rather than 4GB.
What's the verdict?
There's not much else to this tablet. It's largely ordinary in its form, in the way so many products aimed at business users are. There are only a couple of highlights, such as the 1920x1200-pixel screen and 4GB of RAM (with 64-bit Windows). You also get dual-band, 802.11n Wi-Fi (a Broadcom chip with 2x2 antennas), Bluetooth 4.0, and it has a Trusted Platform Module 2.0. The dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are at least a little bit exciting to us.
This tablet doesn't sit in an ecosystem rich with accessories like the ElitePad tablet does, which means you'll have to resort to third-party accessories if you want to make it a more well-rounded product. For the most part, it's purely a model to consider if you only need a Windows-based slate to hold in your hands, and not something than can be easily docked and used on a desk.
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