HP partners are expecting big things from the HP ElitePad, with the tablet device set to hit the UK channel this week.
The vendor is leaping back into the tablet space little more than a year after ceasing production of the ill-fated TouchPad. The 10.1-inch ElitePad 900 runs a full version of Windows 8 Pro and is pitched as an enterprise device. It was reportedly launched into the UK channel on Thursday and will be generally available to resellers this week.
Howard Hall, managing director of Gold partner DTP Group, reported that his firm has been fielding enquiries from customers for weeks. He claimed the accessories - which include keyboard, HDMI and other connectivity ports, SD card reader, docking station, tablet pen and a ruggedised case - are the "groundbreaking thing" for the device.
He added that the maintenance options - which include an on-site warranty package - would also help fuel B2B sales.
"It is a proper corporate device and they have clearly thought really hard about that marketplace," he said. "It is almost like they have created a new segment that sits in between laptop and tablet. I have been talking about it for months. Now I've got one in my hand, it really seems to be a well-configured product that has been well thought out for the marketplace."
Martin Hellawell, chairman of Gold partner Softcat, is another to expect healthy sales, although he cautioned that, as with any new launch, it may take a while to gain traction with customers.
"It seems like it's going to be a winner. I have had a look at one and I was really impressed," he said.
Kieran O'Connor, sales director at Gold partner Total Computer Networks, claimed that there is a big opportunity for a Windows tablet to succeed in the commercial market.
"All of our enterprise customers are looking at tablets; a lot of technical guys have them but do not always like them because they may not integrate [with their existing estate]," he said. "A lot of them are looking at Windows tablets, [which allow them] to run policies on them that they couldn't do on an iPad so easily."
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