HP Steals a March on Apple, Releases a 12″ Tablet With a Paper-Loving Stylus

HP_Duet_Pen.0 With all this talk of styluses on E-ink and speculation that Apple will release a stylus for the iPad Pro, it should probably come as no surprise that HP is joining the I love styluses club.

This gadget maker is launching a slew of new tablets today, including both an 8″ model and a 12″ model which will run Android and come with a stylus which will enable users to write on any surface and have that writing automatically appear on their tablet.

The Pro Slate 12 and the Pro Slate 8 look vaguely like blown-up, tablet-sized versions of HTC’s One M8, only with slightly better specs. The tablets run Kitkat on a Snapdragon 805 CPU with 2GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, Wifi, and a pair of cameras (8MP and 2MP).

The Pro Slate 12 sports a 12.3″ display with a relatively low resolution screen (1600 x 1200), while the Pro Slate 8 has a 7.9″ display with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536.

With the Slate 8 selling for $449 and the Slate 12 for $569, the tablets are priced fairly high for the US market, but HP could be banking on the appeal of the stylus.


HP’s talking up the abilities of its Duet Pen, which is supposed to allow you to write on paper or any other surface and have your scribbles be picked up by the tablet.

According to the press release, it’s based on the tech Qualcomm first showed off at last year’s CES 2014. Qualcomm had come up with a way to use a tablet’s microphones to listen to the stylus and track its movements, and they said they had integrated it into their SnapDragon 805 chip.

It was pretty impressive tech when I saw it last year, but it also included features which HP didn’t mention today. Qualcomm also showed off how the same tech could be used to track the stylus in 3d space as a pointer.

I wonder if that feature didn’t make it through consumer testing, or was simply left disabled, or what?

It’s a shame it wasn’t included, because that could have been a killer with the right software. HP’s new stylus is but one of a bunch of tablet+stylus combos, and there have even been some which can be used remotely.  But I don’t know of any that could be used as a pointer, which I got to see in action last year.

The Verge, HP

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Juli Monroe20 January, 2015

    I’ll be curious to see some reviews of the 8″ model. Yes, it’s expensive for an 8″ tablet, but I love my One M8, and if the tablet has a comparable build quality, I’d be interested.

    By the way, the Verge article says they are running KitKat.

    1. Nate Hoffelder20 January, 2015

      Okay, thanks. I didn’t see that when I read it.

  2. […] it a couple weeks ago, along with a bunch of new tablets and notebooks. I covered the launch of the tablets, and missed the launch of the platform in the […]

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