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HP's convertible Elite X2 and latest tablets are built for tough work

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HP is refreshing a slew of its high end mobile devices with upgrades that make them even more compelling for businesses -- and that's good news for consumers, as well. We got our first look at the new Android-powered Pro Slate 8 and Pro Slate 12 tablets today, along with the revamped Elite X2 convertible. Naturally, they're all a step up from HP's current lineup when it comes to hardware, but this year the company also focused on a few small tweaks to differentiate them from other devices aimed just at consumers. That could make them enticing options for anyone looking for a tablet that's a bit tougher than your average Android slate.

Gallery: HP Elite X2 hands-on | 7 Photos

The Elite X2, in particular, shows HP is thinking a bit more carefully about design. It's the company's most refined Windows 8 convertible yet, packing in Intel's new Core M chip, an 11.6-inch screen, and a keyboard base that angles the display just right for touchscreen use without tipping over. HP's positioning the X2 as a complete desktop replacement -- you can even wirelessly dock it with other devices on your desk using WiGig dock. The company claims it's also "tested with military specs" when it comes to durability. The X2 will be available later this month starting at $899.

HP's Pro Slate 8 and Pro Slate 12 tablets aren't as exciting on the surface, but they offer a decent speed bump from last year with Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-series chips. HP points out it's also one of the first devices to use Gorilla Glass 4, but that's a distinction that won't matter much buy the end of the year, when plenty more gadgets will sport those screens. They also include the new HP Duet Pen, a stylus that relies on ultrasonics for determining its position on the screen. You can also use it together with the company's Paper Folio product to digitize handwritten notes on paper. The Pro Slate 8 and Pro Slate 12 are available now for $449 and $569, respectively.

Gallery: HP Slate Pro 8 and Slate Pro 12 hands-on | 11 Photos

And if you're looking for a Windows 8 tablet (surely someone is, right?), there's also the new "HP Pro," an 8-inch slate powered by a modern Intel Atom chip. That might not make it much of a powerhouse, but since it runs Windows 8 Pro, it can actually serve as a full PC once you add in a few accessories. The HP Pro is available now for $299.

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