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back to article HP reveals Apple-powered Android 'SlateBook'

HP has created something called a “SlateBook” that uses Apple technology and runs Android. SlateBook is apparently HP talk for a touch-screen-equipped laptop. Just what else is in any way slate-like about the device is not immediately apparent. Apple's contribution is small – the machine offers Beats audio – but the presence of …

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Can it be hacked to install proper Linux without all the Android spyware? If so, it's probably worth the extra $100 over the Chromebook.

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Linux is probably the best option...

@Number6 - good point.

Were you aware that Bodhi Linux does a spin targeted at the existing Chromebooks?

Works well imho.

Lead Bodhi developer jeff discusses his hardware here:

http://jeffhoogland.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/howto-bodhi-linux-on-samsung-arm.html

http://jeffhoogland.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/buying-chromebooks-for-their-hardware.html

We've been big fans of Bodhi since 1.0 - some of our hardware is over ten yours old but it still responds crisply. Yes, it's different, but we like that.

...ymmv!

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Apple powered

HP already had a deal with Beats, so let's not read too much into the Cupertino connection, eh?

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Re: Apple powered

The Reg must be getting desperate for clicks or something, they've really gone off the deep end lately trying to insert Apple into every headline hoping to get people to read with interest and/or outrage.

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Re: Apple powered

Agreed; it sexied up a rather dull news story however.

I distinctly remember looking at a "slate" (sans "book") tablet with added beats a good 12 months ago when I was trying to decide whether to get a nexus 7 or something else.

It was nothing special. I remember being a little disappointed by it.

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Re: Apple powered

That was my first thought as well. They've been selling Beats enabled kit for a few years now - about the only partner that has lasted longer than 1 generation of hardware.

When I read the title, I thought they were using an A7 or something similar from Apple, not that their existing partnership with Beats was being used as a click generator for the story.

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Re: Apple powered

Agreed, I was explaining just yesterday to a friend what the little roundish red-circled "b" near the loudspeaker of her 1.5-yo HP laptop meant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple powered

"Agreed, I was explaining just yesterday to a friend what the little roundish red-circled "b" near the loudspeaker of her 1.5-yo HP laptop meant."

Do people avoid you at parties a lot?

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Re: Apple powered

Parties? What's that again?

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FAIL

Re: Apple powered

Pfft. I wish. The logo takes up the entire lid of my Pavilion DM4... not quite dinner-plate sized.

A rattle can of black paint and it's much better.

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You Do Get Something for Your $100

The good thing about it is that it's not a Chromebook. You can use it without being connected to the Internet. But a Windows laptop would be even more useful.

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Re: You Do Get Something for Your $100

True, but you get all those apps that were designed for a 4" - 5" smartphone screen...

Maybe more developers will start developing for tablet and laptop form factors. It seems to still be the weak spot for Android.

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Re: You Do Get Something for Your $100

You already get that with tablets. The OS does make it pretty easy to target other form factors.

A bigger challenge is the support of the OS for keyboard and mouse. I'd to get a look at one of these machines re. ergonomics and weight.

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Facepalm

Not Quite 'Apple-powered' Yet

It takes slightly more than a few days for a company acquisition to take place. We simply know the intent and agreement. Now we wait for the red tape and bureaucracy cogs to grind…

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I have an HP Envy X2 with 'beats audio' and the sound quality via its speakers is terrible

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Devil

Ha! Busted!

So, it is possible to include a sensible-resolution display in a cheap laptop! So all this 1366x768 rubbish we've been abused by is unnecessary?

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Re: Ha! Busted!

I'd point the finger at Windows' DPI Scaling and ill-informed consumers just as much as the manufacturers.

That said, I have a 13.1" 1600×900 laptop and I find that absolutely spot on, so, like others, I find 15.6" 1366×768 machines pitiful.

Bear in mind, though, that for certain reasons, low res screens are required.

Doing a mass rollout of corporate laptops, those aforementioned horrible 15.6" 1366×768 screens are actually fine, because most people don't like small text, and changing the default DPI can break lots of strange old programmes.

I came across a laptop that was 15.6" 1366×768 where the user had actually increased the text size. Yeah.

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Re: Ha! Busted!

I agree that it's old programs that are the biggest faults - the problem is that on a PC/laptop OS, there's far more legacy to deal with, as well as a far greater range of APIs that developers can use.

There are Windows 10-11" high-resolution laptops appearing, and the reports suggest that Windows and any half-decent program generally does okay, and this should be even less of an issue at 14".

Another issue I think though is expectations of GPU performance. On a tablet OS, people are impressed when you run Angry Birds or port a 10 year old 3D game. As soon as you have an x86 Windows machine, people are trying to run the latest AAA games on it. So if you don't have a great GPU, there is some argument for having a lower resolution.

The main annoyance of low resolution on laptops is if it limits how much stuff you can fit on. If it gets to the point where users are having to increase the DPI, the extra resolution is mostly pointless anyway - theoretically it's better quality, but not if you don't have the GPU power to drive games, and I wonder how many people are watching Blu-Ray quality movies on their high resolution tablets (given how limited they are in storage space, and even a low quality movie will blow through most people's monthly mobile data allowance).

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Re: Ha! Busted!

Yeah, I always wonder at the GPU performance... A business laptop or tablet with onboard GPU and the reviewers complain that it only get 20fps in Crysis or whatever. Well, duh!

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Re: Ha! Busted!

Yes, 1920x1080 is much better than 1366x768. On a laptop I would still prefer something closer to a 4:3 aspect ratio though -- how about 1920x1440? Better for web browsing, writing documents or code, and the worst that happens when you play a movie is there's an unused band top and/or bottom of the picture. GPU performance could be a real issue though, as I would also like to play some newer games (if only at low-mid graphics quality).

I know that most people seem to prefer the widescreen format, but a significant percentage do not, and I don't understand why screen manufacturers can't make just as much profit off screens aimed at ~25% of the market.

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2 options please

One with Beats, and one without.

The laughable idea that some processing is going to turn a speaker a smidgen larger than a headphone into a boombox !

oh please work on the acoustics in the design of your laptop for decent audio, instead of branding.

*edit, I have a beats HP laptop and it still sounds like shitty laptop speakers.

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Re: 2 options please

This old HP Pavilion zd7000 laptop has a "harman/kardon" badge, and the sound is perfectly adequate for YouTube or a bit of background music. But I wouldn't have thought the built-in speakers would be a selling-point for any laptop.

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Re: 2 options please

<<One with Beats, and one without...>>

I have a 2012 non-beats HP, which also has bad laptop speakers. However,when porting the sound through a sound card to decent speakers, it was poorer than the comparison Acer. Somewhere between CPU and USB output, the signal is being degraded.

But it is fine as a backup PC, which is what I bought it for.

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HP totally have lost plot?

Unless Beats is paying them why would HP have been inserting this "snake oil"? "Beats" audio as a "feature" would put me off a purchase.

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Best speakers I've found on a laptop

Weirdly the best laptop speakers I've heard in 14 years of IT were on the HP Chromebook 11, not a popular choice of machine and the speakers being under the keyboard is a bit odd but the clarity blew me away.

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Now that Apple has bought Beats...

Maybe HP et al will stop incorporating it and perhaps partner with a sound company that's more about sound quality than logo recognition.

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Partner?

There is no need to "partner" with anyone. No Sound or audio company can make stock 2" or 1" x 3" laptop speakers in a skinny cabinet sound better.

Some companies make genuinely good headphones. Some companies make decent loudspeakers, usually at least in an MDF or Chipboard box and more than 4". No-one can do much sensible with speakers in current style constrained laptops, notebooks or tablets.

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Just bundle some circumaural USB Creative or Turtle Beach phones already.

Laptop speakers suck. You don't need to have a fancy soundcard and a preamp to your line out, either. Just put a cheap set of chirpy little things in it and bundle a decent $70 to $120 set of USB or Bluetooth headphones from someone who knows audio. Sennheiser, Polk Audio, JVC, Sony, Creative, Turtle Beach, and others are in these markets. There's no reason to go with cheaply designed up-priced Beats or for bright, brassy sounding Bose.

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