It was just this week that rumors started circulating about an upcoming Apple-designed stylus to coincide with their also-rumored 12.9 inch professional iPad known for the time being as the iPad Pro. Sadly, iOS users who are looking for a more portable sketching and work experience will have to wait…however Android users who love to sketch digitally now have two new tablet offerings with the HP Pro Slate 8 and Pro Slate 12.

The new tablet designs are among others that HP announced as they aggressively roll out new hardware designs ranging from additive manufacturing technologies to entirely new user experiences as a part of their Blended Reality ecosystem.

Design-wise, the Pro Slate 12 and Pro Slate 8 have already been compared to HTC’s One M8 handset, only bigger. HP says that both the Pro Slate 8 and Pro Slate 12 are less than 8 mm thin and offer a full day’s battery life under demanding business-day conditions. Both of the Android tablets are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series processor and 2GB of RAM.


Among other features, HP is saying that the Pro Slate 8 is one of the first tablets to use Corning Gorilla Glass 4, which makes it difficult to scratch when thrown in the backpack or briefcase when in a hurry. Other features include 32GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, a micro USB 2.0 port, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a 2MP front-facing camera, a 8MP rear-facing camera and Android 4.4 KitKat pre-installed.


Perhaps what will set the Pro Slate 8 and Pro Slate 12 apart though is that they are the first tablet designs to include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon digital pen technology in their HP Duet Pen dual-stylus…which is all a part of HP’s overarching Blended Reality Ecosystem strategy. The technology works by digitizing analog sketches in real-time directly on the tablet for easy and accessible cloud storage and sharing options for colleagues and clients. The Duet Pen is expected to be included with the purchase of the tablets.


Between the recently announced entry-level Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 portable display, the rumored iPad Pro and stylus, as well as this new addition to HP’s Blended Reality ecosystem, the near-future of mobile digital sketching is looking increasingly more accessible and practical for more users than ever.

While retail availability is unknown at this time, the Pro Slate 12 will start at $569 while the smaller Pro Slate 8 at $449.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.