HP to Offer Under-$400 Android-only Laptop
It looks like major computer makers are finally warming up to operating systems other than Microsoft Windows, and they are also experimenting with open source operating systems. Not onlly is Dell out with new tablet hybrid devices that run Ubuntu, but Hewlett-Packard has announced a new Android-only laptop. The 14-inch, Tegra-driven Android system is called the HP SlateBook 14, and will be available on August 6 for $399.
HP actually mistakenly showed this system online before. As GigaOM notes:
"Back in April, a notebook-style computer running Google Android software was spotted on the HP site. Although the post was quickly taken down, this weekend HP officially announced the SlateBook, a 14-inch Android laptop with a 1920 x 1080 screen. Its specs aren’t that different from a lot of Chromebooks: 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of storage, and a Tegra 4 mobile processor. The SlateBook is covered in useful ports, including USB 3.0 and HDMI out options."
What is interesting, though, is that HP has enough confidence in Android and its ecosystem of apps to offer computers that run the platform without also running another operating system. Android actually has fairly robust printer support, and Chromebooks have proven that users can get a lot of work done from browser-based applications, so this may not be a bad bet from HP.
As we've covered before, users have been able to run Android apps on a desktop computer or laptop. BlueStacks App Player has been available for some time for Windows users who want to run Android apps on PCs. And, it has also arrived in a version for Mac users. However, BlueStacks simply does emulation. HP is offering systems that run Android natively.
HP already chose Android over Chrome for its Slate 21 Pro all-in-one device, and it appears that the company wants to experiment with Android as a popular platform for devices other than phones.
Android continues to win market share despite being a very young mobile operating system, and as that happens, the number of impressive applications for it is rising too. Deliver enough apps, and it looks like the big hardware providers will come.