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on February 3, 2016
This is perhaps one of my most disappointing purchases in the last several years. This tablet failed to live up to expectations for several reasons:

1) Poor wifi connectivity: although I have used the device with a number of different access points while owning it, it's clear that the connectivity issues are specific to the device. If the tablet goes to sleep, upon waking, you have to disable and re-enable wifi on the device before it will reconnect. Sometimes this is insufficient. It has got to the point that it's frankly just easier to reboot the darn thing every time you want to use it.

2) Poor customer support from HP: I reached out to HP about the wifi issues with the device and they provided very little help... they helped me to reinstall the driver for the wifi (which I had already done, twice, and told them as much) and otherwise showed no real interest in helping. they seem to have relegated support to owners trying to help each other out on their support site.

3) Computing power too limited: Simply put, the device is underpowered. Yes, it was a cheap device, but it runs applications so slowly that you're going to regret the purchase at the price point. For instance, the mail and calendar application from Microsoft repeatedly crashes during use. If you are looking at a weather map you find that it takes a long time for any weather animations to make progress.

4) Poor battery life: I blame both the tablet itself and Windows for this. The Windows power options are not well configured to encourage battery life on devices with small capacity batteries because it's difficult to set sleep and hibernation states. Unlike other phones and tablets I have owned Windows does not seem to allow for wifi to run properly to keep getting things like email updates when the device is sleeping (without significant battery drain). It's possible that this problem is related to the wifi problems I encounter with this device, but none-the-less, other devices manage battery much better. The number of times at the outset I grabbed the tablet after a few hours to do something only to find that the battery level was critical so the device would not power on was incredible.

I had hoped that the Windows 10 update would help to improve this device, but alas it hasn't helped with most of these issues. Indeed, installing it was an ordeal because of the wifi connectivity problems... ultimately I had to resort to using a USB adapter to plug a USB key into the device after loading windows onto it from another computer.

Overall I am extremely disappointed in this device -- it has caused nothing but frustration for me. On a recent trip I literally said to my wife "I should throw this thing into the hot-tub so I won't feel so guilty about getting rid of it." Save your money and get something else.
9 helpful votes
10 helpful votes
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on February 7, 2015
Very nice tablet, easy to set up, great screen resolution. The T-mobile data was tricky to set up. The SIM card that this comes with was not activated. When I called T-mobile, they told me it was an invalid SIM # and I had to contact HP. Contacted HP who told me that T-mobile knows how to activate the tablet, just tel them it's an invalid IMEI issue. Back to T-mobile: Two different customer reps insisted I had to set up an account for my "phone." I gave up with them. Contacted HP again, HP rep said I did not have to open an account, just get the SIM activated. Back to T-mobile: I finally got a T-mobile rep that understood I had a tablet to activate, was familiar with the free data offer and explained I needed to open a pre-paid account that would be loaded with the free data every month, just tell the pre-paid rep that I was activating for the free data. I get disconnected during the transfer. UGH!!!! Call T-mobile AGAIN, go through phone tree hell for the millionth time, get to the pre-paid rep. I give her the SIM #, then she asks for the IMEI number. She tells me it's not a valid number, so I am not eligible for the free data. IF you get this far, insist on a supervisor who can validate your IMEI # and set up the pre-paid account. I'm assuming you have not murdered anyone by this point, because I sure felt like it! After several hours of Attempting to activate the "free" mobile account, it finally got done. As far as I'm concerned the data package was not free, as I spent about four hours trying to activate it. My morale - contact T-mobile for activation, you want to open a pre-paid account with them, and insist on a supervisor to activate your IMEI # to get the free data. It is a T-mobile activation, don't let them steer you back to HP. Credit Card sized card that says T-mobile has your SIM # on the bottom in a red outlined box. IMEI # is on the outside of the box the Tablet comes in. You need both of these numbers to get this done. Good luck!
9 helpful votes
10 helpful votes
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on January 4, 2015
As other IT professionals, I tried a lot of tablets (Android, iOS, and MSFT Surface RT and Pro) and this is the FIRST device which I can really use, as it supports a critical mass of features that I really need:
- Real Windows OS which can run any app I used for dozens of years and can write custom app myself fast in any lanaguage (my need for this feature eliminates Android, iOS and WinRT for me). It beats my previous tablet Nokia Lumia 2520 which had a lot of good features (including free MSFT Office which is not present on HP Stream), but too restrictive WinRT OS
- Real USB keyboard/mouse support, so I can actually do work everywhere without carrying laptop
- Real mobile Internet connectivity (missing this feature KILLS Surface* Pro devices for me - Why there is no simple, unlocked 4G connectivity there???)
- Meaningful battery life up to 8 hours (my Surface Pro dies in couple of hours - ridiculous and any other laptop I have also barely approaches 5 hours - too short for longer flights)
- Fast enough for most tasks but without heating or short battery life
- Small, thin and light enough to use as reader with one hand and large enough to use as PC (I used to have old Sony mini PCs with XP Mobile - but it was too bulky)
- Extensible via SD card, custom SIM and replaceable battery (I have had a few nice slim devices which I thew away started from Compaq iPAQ ten years ago where battery weaken and the costs of replacement are ridiculous). Easy opening of the back like the phone, to replace SD and battery makes full sense on HP Stream 8.

That said, I think couple of more features (maybe in advanced version) HP Stream 8 would make a really perfect mobile device:
- second micro USB port (frequent switching keyboard and charger is not handy)
- ability to take graphic notes with Wacom digitizer pen (this feature I like on Surface Pro, but again lack of SIM card and mediocre battery life makes it unusable for me)
6 helpful votes
7 helpful votes
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on December 26, 2014
I got this for Christmas and was a little Leary. My wife paid 139.00 from Amazon on sale. So it was very cheap.

It runs a full version of windows.
You are an administrator on your tablet unlike crApple iOS and Google Android tablets. So you have the right to do what you want.
It comes with 200 meg of t-mobile data for free a month for the life of the product. Not much but it is enough to get by in a pinch. You don't have to sign up for any other plan although you can. You pay that much just to get a cell modem on your crApple iPads.
The screen is bright and clear and the responsiveness is very good.
I have not timed the battery life but I played with it all day and had 25% left when I went to bed. It appears to be as good as they claim with use which is unusual for any tablet.
I found the desktop is actually easy to use with your fingers. The keyboard can be brought up or removed at any time. There are a number of choices from standard to a split keyboard for thumb typing.
It has 32gb of storage which 23.5 is available to you. You can add a micro SD card for which I added a 64gb card. It should take anythign in the SDXC range although the 128gb are still pricey.
The system seems very fast. I am sure you could kill it with a high end game but for general use it is good.
You get 1 year of office 360 for free.

The downside is windows 8. It still seems to be lagging on the application front. You can install any of your desktop apps so that is truly a plus.

I love my android tablet (I just wish they would give you the ability to use root as it is really needed by some applications). With Google crippling the SD card with version 4.4 it has lost its appeal. My Ipad I could do without and frankly I am amazed at how ilemmings keep crApple in business. iOS has not changed since version 1. You still have no active content. Windows is definitely a good second choice and a good first choice if you need the same applications as your desktop. It just needs a better app store although I have not had alot of time to see what is out there.

I would recommend this tablet to my friends.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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on December 26, 2014
This is a windows PC in tablet form. I have an Ipad 3 and it does all that I have asked of it. But it can't download and use my business software. To be a mobile office I could use a laptop and have in the past, but to have all your info in a tablet is perfect.

For all those reviews with battery issues - This is a PC, thus, if you do not close your programs they will continue to run in the background. Not sleep but actually run. I have had this for only a day but I have been working with windows 8 and have learned the basics. So close your programs when done by sliding your finger from the top to the bottom of the screen while the program is open. It will then be closed.

To see if you have open programs - swipe you finger from the left side of the screen in an inch and back. You will then see a list of open and running programs. tab the one you want to open and remember to close them when done.

Sleep mode - does not stop your programs from running. It basically just turns off your screen and makes you sign back in. Think your desktop PC. So when you are done working or playing remember to close your programs, sign out, then turn off.

Apps - If you are an app person and love that convenience, then this is not the tablet for you. Apps are limited and the ones they do have do not work like the iOS or android ones. But the internet is the same as your PC and everything there works like your PC. Unlike my ipad where some sites just don't act right.

Keyboard - the on screen keyboard is a little wacky. It will hide data input areas, To get past this - close the keyboard, identify the data to be added, then bring back the keyboard by sliding your finger from the right to see the setting and press the keyboard icon. Or just buy a wireless keyboard. Remember you may not always have your keyboard available.

Well enjoy your tablet, I plan too. You may think that I should put this at a 3 or 4 star because of the limitations I listed. But since I paid $150 for a tablet PC, I give it back 5 stars.

Oh, and feel free to install you regular programs like itunes, chrome, adobe, office, etc.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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on December 17, 2014
This is for the 8" tablet with 4G. I've just had it for a few days, but so far I think it really does what it's supposed to do. Hardware wise, the specs are obviously low end but it has what it needs.

First: the build is solid and unassuming. A bit heavier than the sexier and more expensive tablets, but the plastic build feels solid, durable, and grippy enough which (combined with the price) means I have no problem using this without a case. With a more expensive tablet I would feel obligated to use a case, so the weight advantage would be negated.

The screen is bright, has excellent viewing angles, and vibrant colors. It suffers from pronounced backlight bleed around the edges, however. This is most noticeable with a black screen, but even with a white screen you will notice it. This is the main reason I knocked off one star. I still think the screen is pretty good for the price, however. If you have used more high end tablets with high resolution screens, you will notice the lack of pixels on this screen particularly with text (using it as an e-reader for example). But it's really a fairly fine distinction, for all intents and purposes the screen is very nice and plenty sharp, perfect for web browsing and video watching. You will probably want to pick up a capacitive stylus because using Windows desktop mode on an 8" screen can be a bit finicky using fingers. But the touch accuracy and sensitivity is as good as you can expect, all told I was pleasantly surprised.

The T-Mobile 4G is a real draw for this tablet. Keep in mind, T-Mobile basically gives away the free 200mb per month to anybody who buys a $10 SIM card. So it's not exactly an exclusive offer. But they do throw in the SIM card with this device, and it's hard to find reasonably priced tablets that have any cellular capability at all, so this is a rare beast. Having the SIM card slot also means you can buy prepaid data SIM's (which I do frequently when I travel internationally) and have internet everywhere you go. A nice feature.

This does have a built in GPS, a rarity among Windows tablets. Keep in mind there are precious few proper turn by turn navigation apps for Windows, the included "Bing Maps" gives directions but not turn by turn navigation.

It does not have any way to export video to a separate monitor or TV, unless you buy a Miracast dongle (I don't have one and don't care, I can export video from my Android phone via MHL if I need that feature on the road).

It does not have a USB port. You can use a microUSB "OTG" adapter instead, but you cannot charge the device and use the USB at the same time. Again, for me, don't really care.

It has a front and rear camera. They work, but are low end. Chances are the camera in your phone is 10 times better.

Performance wise, I place modest demands on the tablet, and it seems to handle everything smoothly. I was worried the 1GB ram would be a problem, but so long as I keep a reasonable limit on the number of tabs and programs I have open it seems OK. This is not the device for video editing or other demanding tasks.

I have a 128GB microSD card in it, no problem there. It plays movies smoothly, and having real Windows 8 means there is no problem with weird formats or codecs. I got about 6.5 hours on the battery watching movies at 50% brightness, which isn't setting any records but you should ask yourself how many hours in a day you want to spend staring at an 8" screen anyway.

A lot has been said about Windows 8 vs. Android vs. iPad. I will try not to rehash the arguments, but simply say if you have an occasional use for legacy Windows programs (which I do) then this is a godsend. Combined with a bluetooth keyboard, It really allows me to ditch the laptop. It's not as good of a "tablet ecosystem" as iPad or Android nor is it as good of a computer as a proper laptop but it does work for all the tablet functions and all the laptop functions I need for a fraction of the cost, weight, and volume. This is coming from someone who spends half his life on the road travelling, but who's work is not particularly computer intensive (Although some proprietary and ancient scheduling software I occasionally need is Windows only). Mostly I just need to email, check facebook, watch movies, read books. Basic tablet stuff. This fits the bill, and thus far it delivers on what it promises.

UPDATE: Some folks have complained about odd background noise using headphones. I can confirm that there is some electrical interference noise. It's not very loud, and not very noticeable when something is playing, but it is there. Might be a deal-breaker for some.

Also, some folks have noticed that the "autohide" taskbar in desktop mode doesn't unhide using touch. I can confirm this as well. The solution is simply not to use auto-hide, or there may be some other workarounds. Some google research reveals that this is a common problem with Windows 8.1 on other tablets as well. Hopefully this will be fixed by a future update since it appears to be a simple software issue.

I found a free software "Mapfactor Navigator Free" which uses the free, worldwide openstreetmap project maps and provides free, offline, turn by turn navigation. A bit clunky, but it works with the internal GPS, which is nice.
14 helpful votes
15 helpful votes
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on December 6, 2014
This was a terrific deal. For less than $200 you get a great 8" screen, loads of storage (32GB with about 25GB available out of the box), free 4G connectivity, Microsoft Office for this device and your home PC, and a nicely designed package to boot. We have an iPad and a Kindle Reader and this is definitely chewing into time share on those devices. For me, the real killer is the free connectivity and the free Office... wow, we can finally have our kids stop bugging us for our phone when we are on the road and they can connect directly for their games and some quick video streams (though not too many because you only get 200MB each month free). The Office subscription is also great - its a year free so eventually we will have to choose to either pay to renew or go back to our old version of Office 2007 but its so nice to have a new modern UI and features like the animations in powerpoint... and not just on this device but our home PC as well.

Cons? The battery life is decent but not mind-blowing (a solid 7 hours for us). The device isn't as thin as our iPad or has nearly as many accessories (but it's also $150 cheaper...) and I wish there were more apps in the app store (there are a lot but a lot of the games my son likes that he can get on iOS aren't yet on Windows).

But for the price, the pros well out way the debits. This is a great tablet - well done HP!
7 helpful votes
8 helpful votes
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on December 27, 2014
I had reservations about buying a Windows 8 enabled tablet after having I Pads for the last few years. Well I should have bought an HP Stream 8 sooner, it's a very capable, fast, bright screened tablet. The quad core processor is fast, pages open quickly and everything plays so far without any lag or choppiness. Having the extra storage by adding a micro SD card makes the tablet so much better, no worrying about downloading and installing programs now even though it came with 32 GB of storage which isn't bad for what they are asking for the tablet.
Also a full version of Office 365 for one year at no extra cost is nice as is the FREE 4G LTE by T-Mobile for the life of the unit. Not a lot of free data but it is free and will get you by in a pinch if no Wi-Fi is available. I tell you it's nice to run a full version of Windows on a tablet and not use just apps for everything, much more useful a tablet than an I Pad in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I love my I Pad also but I think for the money, I love the HP Stream 8 more. A 5 star recommendation in my opinion.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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on February 18, 2015
Update 8/17/2015: I updated the tablet to Windows 10 and it works fine enough. The tablet does slow down from time to time, making it impossible to use and therefore forcing you to restart the device. I don't know if it's the specs in the tablet that can't really handle 10 as seamlessly as 8.1 or if it's just 10. I have run into a few Windows 10 anomaly's within the software so I'm hoping it's the latter that's having issues. Nevertheless, I recommend upgrading to 10 and also keep in mind that SP1 is going to be released late September. The Windows 10 upgrade is free to download so long as you download within a year, it's fully functioning and it's completely free with no threat of charges later.

Update 6/14/2015: 4 months later- The screen flickering issue is attributed to Internet Explorer only. When I launch the browser not too long after I start using it the screen starts flickering and I have to force the device to turn off. If I use Firefox and Chrome I have no such issues so I just don't use Internet Explorer. Overall this is a solid device and I honestly like it. I can't believe it was so cheap, it's worth the price for sure. This device is a solid 4.8/5. A larger screen and a better keyboard would make this a solid 5/5.

Update 3/6/2015: I was having issues with the screen flickering and I was going to try for a replacement but as it turned out the screen flickering was not due to the hardware, it was a software issue. I ran an application that removed the drivers that was not installed properly. I figured this out when I got the blue screen of death last night. This device is performing properly now.

One more caveat, but doesn't detract from the tablet: If you are not going to be using Internet Explorer and intend on downloading Firefox or some other browser please keep in mind that there is no spell check on any other Bowser outside of I.E. Now, for me I have somewhat big fingers and for whatever reason I can't seem to type right on the keyboards and with the lack of spell check there will be a lot of errors to go back and fix, making typing annoying. Without a keyboard it's a pain. My blog website doesn't function properly on Internet Explorer so I have to use Firefox but I have a keyboard. It's worth the investment. My review is back to a 5/5!

Update 2/24/2015: Flickering screen. It didn't happen at all yesterday so I figured it did, indeed, need to be turned off over night. Last night I turned it off, charged it up and turned it back on this morning. Worked fine all day until now. The screen started flickering again. I restarted it, worked fine for 30 minutes and started flickering again. Restarted again and it seems to work for now. Outside of this irritating issue it's a really solid, very useful device. If the screen isn't stable it doesn't do the device a whole world of good. Rating dropped down to 4/5. I am going to contact Amazon about this and see about a replacement.

Update 2/21/2015: I have had this tablet for a week and it's still a solid device for me. The only con I now see occurred yesterday. I was using my tablet when the screen began to flicker. It went dark and then started shifting between light and dark repeatedly. I figured it was just an anomaly so I put it to sleep and woke it up, still same issue. I finally restarted and the screen came on solid and has been ever since. This alarmed me a bit, I just hope this isn't going to happen again. If it happens again I will report back and change my rating to reflect the issues. I don't turn it off at night, just plug in to the charger and put it to sleep so perhaps it just needed to be restarted...

Before I decided on this tablet I researched for about two months along with the Stream 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 in 8 inches. What made me choose this over the Stream 7 is the extra inch of screen. I chose this over the Tab 4 mainly because I have had Android in the past (tablets and phones) and besides the HTC Sensation I was not impressed and sometimes downright irritated over how the devices performed. I always hesitate on Android when it comes to any kind of device. I have owned iOS in the past (iPad mini and iPad 4G) and liked the interface but Apple was a bit more costly than needed to be spent at this time.

What Am I Using My Tablet For?

Blogging - I was spending countless hours in front of my work computer updating my blog. My office chair is not that comfy and I felt like I was stuck at work as opposed to posting at leisure.

Email - Due to my working from home I am always getting multiple emails a day and with no tablet that meant that either the email had to come through my phone which kills the battery or through my computer which means that when I'm off the clock I am still stuck to my computer.

Music - I have the XBOX Music Pass because my cell (Nokia 521 Windows 8.1) streams and downloads the music. This was one of my selling points, I didn't want to have to use another music database had I chosen another type tablet since I was already subscribed to the pass.

Social Media - I also use Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn. While I can use Facebook on my phone, Google Plus and LinkedIn was a bit more irritating on the cell (Google Plus being the worse).

Productivity - I don't create a lot of documents but I do from time to time and wanted a device that is able to perform certain duties i.e PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets when I need it to.

Entertainment - I watch Netflix, Amazon Prime shows and YouTube a lot. As it stood before I acquired this tablet I had to sit at my computer at times when I just wanted to lounge and relax.

Features

Full Windows 8.1, no RT - The difference between full and RT is that with RT you have a more scaled down version of Windows. You have applications that are compatible but there is a large limit on what you can use the tablet for. I would say it's more in the lines of iOS with the lock down of what you can do. This is fine if you aren't using it for much but I wanted a full experience for the possibilities it created. Full basically means you can do just about everything on it that you could do on your Windows PC. For example, I tested downloading iTunes and was successful in installation, launching and using. This would not have been available to do on RT.

Free year of Office 365 Personal - This would otherwise be $69 to purchase so that's very nice to include.

Free T-Mobile Data - This tablet comes with free data of up to 200mb a month. 200mb is not much but if you're like me and don't really head out much then that's a lot for you. If you require more data there are other prepaid plans you can get or if you have service already this can be added to your cell phone data plan. Only for T-Mobile though; it could work on other carriers but you would have to contact them to find out. Difficulty level in connecting was a 4/5. My SIM card was already in the tablet when it came so in case you see the plastic with the card punched out chances are it's in the tablet.

Battery Life - I have noticed the battery life is draining more than I thought but in all fairness I have been playing with this tablet since I got it. If you are a light to moderate user (check social media, browse the internet and check email) then you should get a day or more out of this tablet. If you're like me and use it for other things like creating documents which requires the screen to be on the entire time then expect the battery to die throughout the day. I have charged this up a couple times and have noticed the battery indicator never reaches 100% charged. It reaches 99% but never that extra percent. Not sure completely why but it doesn't bother me but may bother others. From dead to 99% charged it takes approximately 3-4 hours.

Note: I turned my tablet off and kept it charging all night and when I turned it on this morning it was at 100% charged, indicator green, but didn't stay there but for a couple minutes.

Storage - The storage capacity is 32gb and the amount you can use is 14.7 or something close to that. This decrease in used storage is due to the operating system and pre-installed applications. I did purchase a 32gb micro SD card but I'm wondering if perhaps I need to go ahead and grab the 64gb card instead. The jury is out on that but the SD card by Samsung worked fine and was recognized. To get the SD card to work you just have to do a few file path tweaks to make sure applications, music and files install to the card as well as the C drive.

Device Functionality - Due to the lower specs one would think that the tablet wouldn't perform well, just bare minimum and that's it. That couldn't be more wrong. So far I have been able to use multiple applications at the same time and haven't noticed a decrease in speed or functionality. I think it all comes down to what you are using it for. If you run a lot of powerful applications at once then you may see a dip in overall performance. If you are using Word and listening to music while updating Facebook (like I'm doing right now) them your performance will be fine. Speed also affects hardcore games like World of Warcraft-type heavy graphics. This tablet will not run them and if it does the performance will be abysmal.

Bluetooth - I purchased the Infiland Bluetooth keyboard which came with a case and connected it to the tablet. It took a while to figure out the instructions because what they were telling me to select in the instructions wasn't how it was listed in Windows 8.1. However, I managed to connect it with no extreme issues. Only thing is the Bluetooth installation was a bit slow, took about 5-6 minutes to install. Other than that everything is connected and stable. I also turned the keyboard off and turned it on later and it reconnected without having to set everything back up. Solid experience.

Conclusion

This tablet is meeting my expectations and doing a lot more than what I was looking for. At this price point I wasn't looking all that forward to it because I knew the specs were considered bottom tier when compared to competition in the same price range. I am pleasantly surprised and now can't imagine using any other type tablet. I would highly recommend if your usage is more along the lines of what I use tablets for. If you are a hardcore gamer I would look elsewhere because you will have issues as this isn't a gaming tablet. It's almost a shame to call this a tablet, it's more of a shrunk down computer but when you think of the limitations on graphic heavy games reality comes back that this is a tablet, and a darn good one.

Note: I typed this entire write-up on this tablet and it worked excellent!
6 helpful votes
7 helpful votes
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on June 24, 2015
A Windows tablet is probably not for everyone. The app marketplace for these devices is still limited. But I use Office 365 heavily for both business and personal stuff so it makes sense for me. I have been able to find apps for everything I need except a really good turn by turn GPS app*. You won't find mobile apps for your bank or credit cards, etc but I prefer full site web so this isn't an issue for me. There is a great app for bookmarks and I found it works out better for me than an Android mobile app.

I really like the display of text on this device and working with Office 365 is a breeze. When I do heavy duty work, I hook it up to an HDMI adapter to my TV and use an OTG cable to hook in my wireless mouse and keyboard. I use MS OneDrive and an external hard drive for storage so it replaces my laptop for most things that I do (although I can't imagine doing major photo editing on this). One of my favorite things is the ability to split the screen between apps. This is quite handy and saves me a lot of time when I am working.

A note on the 1 year free Office 365 -- I had an existing subscription and it was only extended 9 months not 1 year. Microsoft claims that it is HP's issue but I find that hard to believe. This is kind of disappointing since the savings on my existing Office subscription was part of the justification for the purchase.

I had an issue with the 1st unit I received. After a couple of days the speakers became raspy and the network adapter kept turning off. I can't say enough good things about HP customer service. There was no hassle receiving a replacement which arrived in about 3 days and all has been well since.

* I have Maps Pro loaded for GPS and I would rate it as adequate. Sygic, if you are listening, please give us an app for Windows tablets!!!!!!!!!
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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