HP EliteBook 2740p multitouch tablet hands-on

HP have announced the EliteBook 2740p, a 12.1-inch ultrathin convertible tablet which supports multitouch together with pen input.  Inside there are Intel's latest Core i7 and Core i5 processors, along with up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, Intel HD graphics and a choice of up to 320GB HDD or 160GB SSD.  Check out more details and some hands-on first-impressions after the cut.

The 2740p may be targeted at enterprise customers – who'll appreciate its MIL-STD 810G compliant vibration, dust, humidity, altitude and temperature resilience and chemically-strengthened glass display panel – but there's plenty for consumers to like too.

The 1,280 x 800 display is optionally available with Outdoor View (as long as you select multitouch along with the pen-input) while connectivity includes optional EVDO/HSPA (with GPS), a choice of WiFi (b/g or a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1.

There's also gigabit ethernet, a 2-megapixel webcam (next to keyboard-illuminating light), an ExpressCard/34 slot and both a touchpad and trackstick (the latter sitting amidst a spill-resistant keyboard with integrated drainage channels).  Ports include three USB 2.0 (one of which is powered), VGA, audio in/out, FireWire and a modem, and there's a docking port for the optional Expansion Base.  The whole thing measures 1.25 x 11.42 x 8.35 inches and weighs from 3.8lbs with the standard 6-cell 44WHr battery.  That battery is good for up to 5hrs of runtime, HP claim, and there's an expansion pack that boosts total runtime to 11hrs.

As you'd expect, the tablet feels sturdy and the rotating hinge seems reassuringly solid.  While HP likely picked the stainless steel and magnesium enclosure for its ruggedness, it also leaves the EliteBook 2740p looking impressive and with a real premium hand-feel.  Windows 7's multitouch gestures work well, with the touchscreen instantly flicking into pen-input mode when the stylus is nearby.  The 3.8lb weight means you won't mistake the 2740p for an everyday slate, though; however it fits nicely into the crook of an arm for walkabout use.

The HP EliteBook 2740p will go on sale in the US from April 2010, priced from $1,599.  The UltraSlim Expansion Base – which has a DVD burner bay and eSATA connectivity among other ports – should be available at the same time, priced from $299.

HP EliteBook 2740p multitouch tablet hands-on

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