HP Slate 21

HP’s ENORMO-SLAB: The Slate 21 MONSTER tablet

The 21-inch, 1080p Android tablet that thinks it’s an all-in-one desktop PC

High performance access to file storage

Telly vision

A more useful side effect of this set-up is that you can use the touchscreen with the blunt end of a wooden spoon should you be scrolling through a recipe while cooking with hands covered in flour.

HP Slate 21

Some of the ports are hidden round the back, all-in-one style

The only small visual criticism I can make of the display is that is rather reflective, something you notice if using it in a brightly lit room. The optical tracking system necessitates a gap of around 5mm between the screen and the plastic bezel, and this feels a bit odd when you make an edge-inward swipe, a gesture Android increasingly depends upon.

Below the screen sit a pair of DTS+ enhanced speakers which produce an impressive sound with plenty of volume and depth. Make no mistake, the combination of a fine screen and a good pair of speakers make the Slate 21 a very useful media centre whether you are accessing local media or streaming content from the likes of Netflix or BBC iPlayer.

HP has fitted the Slate 21 with its own media centre app for playing music and video, and viewing picture files. It’s a decent app and, perhaps more importantly, one of the few extras that HP has added to Android 4.2.2, here presented in largely stock form.

HP Slate 21

Other ports are on the left - and set in very glossy plastic

Yes, the Slate 21 also comes with a couple of third-party apps, including Evernote and Kingsoft Office, but these can easily be removed as you would any other downloaded app. If you want to access your Windows desktop, the Splashtop 2 app is also pre-loaded and there’s a handy 25GB of free Box storage for purchasers.

Above the screen sits a webcam capable of recording video at 720p, and a microphone for Skyping, Google Hangout-ing or however else you get your video call jollies. There is simple camera app if you are into making video selfies.

Thanks to a quad-core 1.66GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 chipset with 1GB of RAM, the Slate 21 is a powerful machine. It returned an AnTuTu benchmark score of well over 30,000. That number does flatter to device just a little though because while the user interface runs with an acceptable level of fluidity - think Nexus 7 2012 rather than the new super-slick 2013 version - there is the occasional hesitation while it rebuilds desktop widgets when transferring back to the home screen.

HP Slate 21 AnTuTu results

AnTuTu benchmark results

Thanks to those USB ports you can easily connect the Slate 21 to mice, keyboards and hard drives, and so press the Slate 21 for the jobs normally reserved for a Windows PC. I wrote this review on the Slate 21 using OfficeSuite Pro and the Microsoft trackball and Logitech keyboard usually connected to my laptop. They worked just fine.

Matters become a little less straightforward when it comes to printing. HP’s Printer Control app only seems to work with HP wireless printers, certainly it was no help when I tried to connect my Canon MP250 via USB, so I resorted to Google’s Cloud Print service.

Just about now someone is going to say something about Android lacking tablet optimised apps. Big deal. The majority of apps I tried on the Slate 21 looked the same, and worked just as well, as they do on the likes of the Xperia Z Tablet or the Nexus 10.

HP Slate 21 home screen

The 21-inch, 1080p screen gives plenty of room for desktop icons and widgets

I say "majority" because the Flickr app shows up in the Play Store as unsuitable as did a few banking apps and, oddly, Google’s Keep app - though you can access Keep through the Drive app. The Android keyboard looks a trifle odd when pasted across a large screen, but SwiftKey offers all the options if you want either a smaller or split keyboard.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story


Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.