By Rieva Lesonsky

So many people think traveling for business is glamorous—except those who actually travel for business. Unless you can afford to fly first class (not in the budgets of most small business owners) you’re likely squeezed into a small seat, praying the person in front of us doesn’t recline their seat.

I travel enough that I’m a lifetime platinum flyer on American Airlines, which usually means I can fly in coach extra-room seats. Despite that, my laptop is rendered useless if the person in front of me reclines the seat even slightly. And of course they always do.

So I generally keep my laptop in my bag and break out my iPad for flying. Which is fine—if all I want to do is check email and Twitter. Personally I find using an iPad for business purposes to be fairly frustrating.

So I was very excited to try out the ElitePad 1000 from HP (which I was sent to review). HP says The ElitePad is a business tablet—and they’re not kidding.

First, the specs. The ElitePad runs on Microsoft’s Windows 8.1, 64-bit version. Its screen is 10.1 inches, and the tablet is pencil thin—literally, bringing the device in at a very portable 1.5 pounds. There are two cameras, one front- and one rear-facing (8 mega-pixels with built-in flash).

The ElitePad’s back is clad in aluminum, giving it a sleek, modern look. The high-resolution, HD screen is bright, crisp and easy to read (even outdoors) and is protected by Corning Gorilla glass 3. The device has two microphones making Skype calls (or video conferencing) a snap.

Speaking of “snap”, the ElitePad is responsive and snappy. Web pages—and apps—load quickly. There’s no drag on performance here.

HP also sent me the docking station to test. The tablet easily connects to (and charges) the device, transforming it (I paired it with a Bluetooth keyboard I had) into a quasi-desktop when I use it in my office or at home.

But the ElitePad really shines because it’s tailored for business use. I can easily use Word, which being a writer is key to my productivity and success.

You can add more storage to the ElitePad, allowing you to craft the device to your specific needs. HP offers a slew of extras (which I didn’t get to test) that add protection and value. If you want to equip your staff with ElitePads, be sure to check out the Security Jacket, which includes smart card and fingerprint readers to help prevent unauthorized access to your data.

The ElitePad starts at $739 on the HP site. Sounds a bit pricey, but with all it can do for you—it’s worth it.

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+   and and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

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