Customer Review

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best option for the price, January 6, 2014
This review is from: HP Omni O10-5600US 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Graphite) (Personal Computers)
There aren't too many reviews of this tablet yet so I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. I currently own a 1st gen Nexus 7 (Android OS) which I like and still use daily. I actually purchased the 2013 version but returned it due to a color gradient on the LCD which bothered me (I tried 2 and both had the issue). I do notice a little of the same on the Omni but it is nowhere near as apparent. It was easier to justify the purchase of this tablet because it's quite a bit different from the N7. I get more screen real-estate and I'm able to utilize Win 8 when I need it. The device was not available here so like others I purchased it at OM when it was on sale. I didn't get the $25 Microsoft store credit as some did even though it was purchased during the promotional window. I do not know why but perhaps they ran out.

For the money I think this is the Win 8 tablet to have. I think the Surface is too heavy and if I need that much processing power then I'll get it from my desktop or work laptop. The Omni 10 is still usable as a tablet without without being too bulky or heavy. I didn't want to see pixels and with the screen resolution and the 10.1" size I'm more than happy in that regard; but less so with Windows' 8 font scaling abilities. It's nice to be able to surf full web pages, which the device does extremely smoothly in Internet Explorer. Firefox is next best, albeit it's pretty far behind, with Chrome running really poorly for some reason. I assume this has something to do with optimizations for the processor but I do not know for sure. Other Windows apps I've tried run just fine. In fact, I'm able to play System Shock 2 on it without any issues. I'm also satisfied with screen brightness but not so much with how it attracts fingerprints. It's probably to worse screen I've seen in that regard HOWEVER you don't see the smudges when you're using the device (and the backlight is on). So this review doesn't run on I'll summarize my opinions below:

Screen: Very satisfied with resolution and brightness but not so much with the fingerprints. I'm still somewhat bothered by the slight yellowing of the screen when not looking at it straight on but now wonder if it's a gorilla glass thing...

On board storage memory: I would have gone for the 64GB it if was available. You have the option to add a microSD card but read and write performance is really poor relative to the internal storage. Internal storage read/write is about 175/58 MB/s while my class 10 Sandisk card clocks in at 23/11 (on my desktop the same cards runs at 45/14). I do not know if performance is so poor due to hardware or drivers but if it worked faster it would have gone a long way to alleviating the low on-board storage memory (~15GB usable). It IS still usable however, and most desktop apps can be installed there.

Memory: With only 2GB AND shared with the graphics card, I would have expected this thing to fall flat on its face but even running extended desktop on and external 1920x1200 screen it chugs along at about 80-90% memory utilization with a number of programs open. CPU utilization was around 25% at the time. I'm surprised but it works and I can't really complain (even though I want to and would have preferred 4GB and a 64 bit version of Win 8).

Expandability: It would have been nice if USB3 (even if it had to be at reduced "non-spec" output power) was enabled instead of the just USB2. The port does work with everything I've plugged into it so far (you'll need to buy a USB OTG cable, to convert it to a full size port, which are really inexpensive). MicroSD card is nice but it's very slow and I would have preferred a full size SD card option instead. There's no docking port which is a disappointment as I would have liked to see some full size ports, card reader, HDMI connection, fast charge, etc, that a dock could have provided. This thing would be more that adequate of a PC for the majority of people out there.

Charging: As others have mentioned the charge chord is really short and the plug is circular with 12V output at 1.5A. This means that you won't be able to use a battery "power pack" to recharge the unit if an AC source is not available. Also, the proximity of the ports causes interference if you try to use an angled microUSB plug (like many OTG cables have) and have the unit plugged in at the same time so buy an OTG cable with a straight plug.

20140202 Update: The electrical connection of the charge cord has been giving me problems. When I insert it into the device I always need to make sure that it's making contact (via the onscreen icon). I've had a few instances when I've plugged the tablet in and it didn't charge at all because it didn't have a good connection. I do not like having to fiddle with these things and here's another good reason why HP should have stuck with a standard micro-USB charge plug.

MicroHDMI: Tried it; worked fine

Build quality: Seems really good so far. I'm pleasantly surprised as some HP devices I've owned have fallen short in that regard.

Wireless display: Unfortunately I don't have a compatible receiver so I could not test.

Speaker: Good separation but no better than average overall. I wasn't expecting much on this front and since you can connect headphones/speaker via headphone jack or bluetooth it's not an issue for me.

Cameras: Work fine for Skype but overall they are no better than average. The main camera performs very poorly at low light so don't expect to be using this for photos or videos unless you're in a bright environment. CORRECTION: There is a pretty cool photosphere mode in the camera app but the inaccurate eCompass causes it to behave erratically on occasion.

eCompass: All over the place (does not work well) and I could not find a way to calibrate it. Android figure 8 method had no effect. Looks like no augmented reality night sky viewings with this device unless the compass can be re-calibrated somehow.

Windows 8: I knew the app store was bad but I didn't think it was going to be this bad.... thankfully you can use full websites instead of installing apps you would probably normally do on an Android or iOS device which has the added benefit or not using storage space (aside from the cache data). Some desktop apps, like Google Earth, are very difficult to use without a mouse. I find the Win 8 softkeyboard more difficult to use than Swype (which is not available) on my android phone and tablet. In desktop apps, the keyboard needs to be activated manually via the taskbar. Word suggestions appear by the text and not by the keyboard so hand removal from the tablet is required... WHY DID MS DO THAT? I wish there was more customization options or 3rd party keyboards available (of which there are none that worked to my satisfaction).
UPDATE: As W. Dillon pointed out in the comments the spacebar can be swiped and tapped to choose a suggested word.

Issues: Recorded sound (videos/voice recorder) contains some kind of electrical noise. UPDATE: Noise is from the unit's WiFi radio as turning the WiFi off eliminates the issue. It's not very loud but I think it's causing issues with voice recognition because it does not work nearly as good as Google voice recognition on my android devices. I also had a couple of bluescreens but I think that had something to do with an old driver so I'm not going to count it against the tablet. I've also had my bluetooth keyboard and mouse disconnect a couple of times for no apparent reason. Cycling bluetooth power off/on on the tablet resolved it for now.
UPDATE: The Google app catches my comments at least as well as on my Nexus 7; I wish that the MS voice recognition software worked as well. Additionally, the blue screen was a result of a "USB Netserver" program that I installed because it happens every time I run that particular piece of software.

Surprises and delights: Very usable as a laptop replacement with bluetooth keyboard and mouse and an inexpensive stand. Comes with MS Office H&S which is great to use on the tablet in portrait mode and the tablet is so easy to flip on its side that I actually use that "feature". There is a microSD card included with the recovery options should you need to use it. I find this to be a much better alternative to taking up on-device storage space a la hidden partitions.

Summary: I'm torn regarding this tablet because of some of its shortcomings (it's so close to being a perfect 5 stars) but it's just such a nice package and performance has thus far exceeded my expectations. In comparison to the other tablets in this price range I think this one has them all beat even with those shortcomings. I like it!

20140202 Update: Even with all issues I've pointed out in this review I still really like this tablet a lot and I'm glad that I kept it. I'm concerned about its future, however, as there are very few places that stock it and it still does not seem to be getting the support from HP that it deserves.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 18, 2014 2:02:30 PM PST
W. Dillon says:
Nice review. The word suggestions when you're typing can actually be activated by swiping on the spacebar and then tapping the spacebar to select the word. Just try it out and you should be able to figure it out. It'd probably help if Microsoft made some mention of it the first time you start typing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2014 6:35:23 PM PST
Wayno says:
Thanks! I still think it would be better if they moved the suggestions down by the keyboard. Yes, would have been nice if MS mentioned that! I ended up keeping this tablet and I like it a lot, although I still wish it would have had more and/or faster memory. I'm hoping that HP will show it some more love though because support appears to be limited. I still am looking for the right case and keyboard for it without much luck. Reviews of the official HP case suggest that I would not like it at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2014 6:45:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2014 6:46:15 PM PST
W. Dillon says:
It is a pretty nice tablet for sure, but it is bizarre how little press it's gotten. I still can't seem to find any professional reviews of it. We got it for my dad and I hooked it up to his monitor and keyboard/mouse with some adapters (he used to have a huge desktop computer), and it works really well as both a tablet and full-on computer. I'm impressed by how quick it is, though I haven't done any heavy multitasking on it. It would certainly be nice if there were more accessories.

Posted on May 12, 2014 4:18:52 PM PDT
Tony Monsua says:
Just wanted to say your comment on the speed of the microSD saved me from buying another SDXC UHS one, thinking that the current one had something wrong!. I bought a hi-speed microSD to complement the meager internal space but could see the card would not run at its advertised speed, what a shame, otherwise perfect tablet.
The cheesy charger can give problems also because the contact plates on it do not make proper contact with time. Just check them and force them upwards and you should be good to go.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2014 12:30:59 PM PDT
Wayno says:
Glad you found it useful. Regarding the contacts, are you referring to the little male connection on the tablet? I don't really see a way to make any adjustment there or on the charger (female) end. If you wouldn't mind posting a picture or more detail about the process it would be helpful. Thanks and take care.

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 7:05:28 PM PDT
Jackie Kay says:
Can you write a detailed report like this for all products? It is very helpful.
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