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MWC 2014: HP beefs up its business tablets with ElitePad 1000 G2 and ProPad600

HP is in Barcelona for MWC this week, where it announced two new tablets, the ElitePad 1000 G2 and the ProPad 600, which are made to bring mobile computing to businesses large and small.

In addition to the two new tablets, HP also unveiled a new point-of-sale solution that integrates HP's ElitePad tablets into retail environments. All three products will be available within the next three months.

The HP ElitePad 1000 G2 updates the current ElitePad 1000 with a better display, broader connectivity options, and an Atom Bay Trail processor while still retaining the same look and feel of the previous model. By keeping the outer dimensions unchanged, the new ElitePad 1000 G2 offers full compatibility with the existing accessories, such as HP's line of "Jackets," sleeve covers that bolster the ElitePad with expanded capabilities, such as additional ports, security features like SmartCard readers or fingerprint scanning, or a laptop-like keyboard. These accessory sleeves allow businesses to tailor the features and capabilities of each system to their specific needs while still being easy to maintain and integrate into existing IT structures.

The new ElitePad 1000 G2 offers the same compatibility and expandable feature set, but now includes a brighter display with higher resolution (1,920 x 1,200). In addition to Wi-Fi and wired LAN connectivity, the newest ElitePads will also feature 4G LTE connectivity, thanks to a Qualcomm Gobi mobile broadband chip (compatible with all major carriers). And last, but not least, the switch to a new fourth-generation, quad-core Atom processor offers 64-bit processing for better performance, broader software compatibility, and it will run the full 64-bit versions of Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro. The HP ElitePad 1000 G2 will be available this March, starting at $739 (around £433) for the tablet alone.

Coming in April, HP has another business-class tablet, the ProPad 600, but while it's built with business users in mind, it's also made to be a bit more budget-friendly. Unlike the ElitePad 1000, the new ProPad 600 has fewer accessories for expanded functionality, but makes up for the fact by including the same Atom Bay Trail processors, Windows 8.1 support, and built-in features like a microSD card slot, micro USB port, and micro HDMI output. The 10.1-inch display offers 1,920 x 1,200 resolution and 10-finger capacitive touch, and is protected with edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass. Pricing information is not yet available, but the HP ProPad 600 will be available starting in April.

Last, but not least, HP has also announced the HP TX1 POS Solution, which uses the ElitePad 1000 as part of a full point-of-sale system. The TX1 POS Solution includes a retail-ready jacket and stand for the ElitePad 1000, which then allows simple connections to receipt printers, cash boxes, barcode scanners, and credit-card readers. The docking stand offers a sturdy base for using the touch interface, but also features height and tilt adjustment, and a plethora of ports: four Serial ports, six USB ports, HDMI, VGA, and Ethernet.

Pricing details aren't yet available, but will vary by configuration. HP estimates that the HP TX1 POS Solution will be available this May.

Also at MWC, HP unveiled a new convertible laptop, the Pavilion x360. It also pushed the boundaries with a 7in voice-enabled Android device with the 7 VoiceTab, as well as the HP Slate 6.

For all the releases, updates, and some beautiful photos of the latest gadgets, check out our live coverage of all the action from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.