A new, business-focused version of HP's Slate 8 Pro tablet could make you more productive. The 8-inch tablet updates the HP Slate 8 Pro, which hit store shelves last fall. The new device features the same high-quality hardware and impressive specs of the previous slate, but with some notable upgrades. In addition to a sharp, high-res display and a fast processor, the HP Slate 8 Pro ships with the latest version of Google's Android operating system, and includes wireless NFC (near-field communication) support. You'll pay a small premium for the business edition of the Slate 8 Pro; at $349, it costs $20 more than the standard version. Here are three reasons it's worth it.
Android 4.4 KitKat
The latest entry in HP's Slate 8 line is the first to ship with Android version 4.4, dubbed "KitKat." The updated operating system introduces a smarter, more accessible version of Google Now, an intelligent personal assistant that can help business users stay on track and never miss a call or meeting. The service works by monitoring your activity within the Google ecosystem and pushing relevant notifications to you as they're detected. In practice, the service can notify you of traffic delays, weather, upcoming appointments and much more. KitKat also includes other business-centric features such as built-in support for Quickoffice, a free Android-based office suite and native wireless-printing support.
Unlike the standard version of the Slate 8 Pro, the Business Edition ships with NFC support. The feature allows you to "beam" content from your tablet to another NFC-enabled device, be it a phone, tablet or computer. For business users, the capability has a variety of applications. Customers who use an electronic payment system such as Google Wallet can pay for your product or service by simply tapping their smartphone to your device. Additionally, NFC provides an easy way to share — or accept — contact information from one mobile device to another, simplifying networking. It also makes it easy to send files, Web page URLS and more to your tablet so you can stay productive when you leave the office.
HP's Slate 8 Pro is a fast tablet with useful, productivity-boosting hardware features. The tablet's speedy Nvidia Tegra 4 processor makes for smooth multitasking and good performance overall, and its 8-inch display is sharp and colorful. Additionally, the tablet features micro-HDMI output, which could come in handy for showing off business presentations. A microSD card slot lets you expand the tablet's 16GB of internal storage.