HP debuts $400 Android all-in-one desktop at CES

Hewlett-Packard Co. hit the Consumer Electronics Show floor in Las Vegas today with Google’s Android in a way we’re not used to seeing – on an all-in-one (AiO) desktop computer.

HP says its first commercial Android AiO, the HP Slate 21 ProAiO, is one of the latest additions to its line of touch-based business desktop portfolio. It “offers seamless integration with Android-based phones and tablets with auto-syncing and Google Cloud Services,” HP says in a press release. “It also provides access to efficient manageability tools, security enhancements and apps available through the Google Play store.

Intended for office productivity, the education sector, and in-store kiosks, the HP Slate 21 Pro AiO has a 21.5-inch HD touch screen with a stand that can recline up to a 70 degree angle. Its powered by a Nvidia Tegra 4 quad-core processor running at 1.66 Ghz, 2 GB of DDR3 RAM, and offers 16 GB of flash storage. Ports along the side offer USB 2.0, a headphone/microphone combo, and an SD card reader. Ports on the back offer two more USB 2.0 connections, RJ45 Ethernet, HDMI input, and USB 2.0 upstream.

Running Google’s Android 4.3 and comes with pre-installed software Kingsoft Office Suite, Google Docs, Google Drive, and Citrix XenMobile. Buyers also get 50 GB of free cloud storage with Box.

Google’s Android is of course normally seen on tablets and smartphones. Even Google’s own branded line of cloud-oriented laptops, Chromebooks, run on its Chrome OS, not Android.

While testing the waters on an Android-based desktop for businesses, HP is careful to make clear the device is both flexible and secure. The HDMI input means another PC running Windows or Mac could be connected to the 21.5″ screen to be used as a monitor, and users could toggle back and forth between the Android OS and the connected PC, although why you’d want to do so isn’t really clear.

An option that may be more appealing to some businesses is picking up these low-cost AiO computers as an alternative to thin client computers that run a virtual desktop hosted by a central server. Businesses could deploy Citrix Receiver on the Slate 21 Pro and deliver a virtual Windows 8 desktop to users, who could take advantage of the touch-based interface.

HP also underlines the inclusion of XenMobile, a mobile device management app that allows IT managers to deploy restricted profiles on Android devices and manage apps installed on them, mitigating security risks.

The HP Slate21 Pro AiO is expected to be available in Canada towards the end of April, starting at $429, which includes a keyboard and a mouse.

HP also announced other Windows-based AiO workstations at CES today:

The HP ProOne 400 AiO G1 is a stylish, space-saving Windows®-based AiO business PC that delivers small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) true value, along with essential security and productivity features, including an available touchscreen option.The HP 205 AiO is a Windows-based AiO business PC that is powerful enough to handle everyday workplace computing tasks while offering reliability and affordability.The HP Z1 G2 is the second generation of the world’s first and only AiO workstation with a 27-inch diagonal display, now available with Windows 8 Touch and Intel® Thunderbolt™2(2) capabilities.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jacksonhttp://www.itbusiness.ca
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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