NEW YORK – Seeing a gap in the mobile devices market, Hewlett-Packard Co. is releasing new commercial devices it claims are designed from the ground-up to meet the needs of business users.
At a press conference in New York City in January, HP launched eight new tablets and convertibles, as well as new services and solutions designed around four key vertical segment all designed specifically for commercial users.
According to Ron Coughlin, senior vice-president and general manager, personal systems with HP, mobility is changing the way we work but the working word hasn’t kept up. While mobility is having the same game-changing impact as the Internet, Coughlin points to an Accenture study that says only 46 per cent of business know what they’re doing with mobility.
And then there’s the growing influence of millennials in the workplace.
“Millennials started with smart devices,” said Coughlin. “Their expectations are higher and their willingness to sacrifice is lower. They’re changing expectations in the workplace, and the days when we were tethered to the office are over.”
The problem, said Coughlin, is that most often consumer-designed products are being brought into the enterprise and IT departments are being asked to “force fit” these devices, often lacking robust security and manageability tools, into their environments. While vendors, including HP, have developed mobile device management solutions to help address this, Coughlin said there’s also a need for devices designed for business from the start.
“HP knows business; we don’t need to force fit,” said Coughlin. “Devices, security services – you need all three for commercial-class mobility solutions.”
A modular approach is being taken by HP including secure, purpose-built devices, support for multiple operating systems including Windows and Android, an working with partners to develop complete mobile solutions around four key verticals: education, field service, healthcare, public safety and retail.
“This will allow companies to grasp all the power of mobility,” said Coughlin.
HP is going beyond bring your own device said Michael Park, vice-president and general manager of business mobility with HP. Workflows are being mobilized.
“Laptops are being replaced with new form factors like detachables,” said Park. “It’s convenient for IT because it’s still built on the core x86 platform, so IT doesn’t need to reprovision apps. It’s the same as managing PCs, so it’s a convenient way to provide mobility options.”
One way HP kept commercial use cases in mind with the new products was by designing its new Elite x2 tablet to fit in the tray table in coach class on an airplane.
“When the seat back comes down on you this thing won’t get crushed like some PCs do,” said Park.
And keeping in mind some business users still prefer pen and paper, HP’s new Duet pen will automatically digitize notes written on paper onto the new HP Slate tablet in real time.
The new HP commercial-class mobile devices include:
- The HP Pro Slate 8 and HP Pro Slate 12, commercial-grade Android tablets with HD displays of 8” and 12” respectively. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series processor and measuring less than 8mm thin, the Slate offers all-day battery life and supports a 4:3 aspect ratio to more easily read business documents. Pricing starts at $449 and $569.
- The HP Duet Pen, which Qualcomm Snapdragon digital pen technology on both a tablet and regular paper, and comes includes with the Pro Slate 8 and Pro Slate 12.
- The HP Elite x2 1011 G1 is a 11.6” 2-in-1 Windows 8 Pro device that transitions easily from laptop to tablet and is available in an Ultrabook configuration. An ecosystem of optional accessories is available, including a WiGig enterprise wireless dock. Pricing starts at $899.
- The HP Pro Tablet 408 G1 is a 9mm thin, Intel Atom-powered business tablet with an 8” display running Windows 8 Pro. Features include micro HDMI, up to 64GB of storage and an 8MP rear camera with flash. Pricing starts at $299.
- The HP ElitePad 1000 G2 Healthcare Tablet has several enhancements for the health care vertical, including an antimicrobial treatment to protect the product, design for easy cleaning to the IP 54 standard, and a 2D bar code reader to validate records. Pricing starts at $1,499.
- The HP ElitePad 1000 G2 Rugged Tablet is IP 65 rated for water and dust and meets the MIL-ST 816 standard, with up to 20 hours of battery life and a 2D bar code scanner. Pricing starts at $1,599.
- The HP Pro Tablet 10 EE (Windows) and the HP Pro Slate 10 EE (Android) meet the IP 52 standard for dust and moisture and are designed for durability in the education market. There’s an on-board garage for the optional stylus and a hard-wired keyboard base option for more convenient and secure 1:1 learning. Pricing starts at $299 and $279.