Aiming to do something different with its Windows 8 business tablet, HP today announced the ElitePad 900, a slate that features a slew of accessory “jackets” to transform its functionality.

On its own, the ElitePad 900 looks like your typical thin tablet: It features a 10.1-inch screen, weighs 1.5 pounds, and measures just 9.2 millimeters thick. But the aforementioned jackets make it truly unique. The Productivity jacket adds a keyboard and more ports, the Expansion jacket adds USB HDMI and other ports (along with an optional additional battery), and the Rugged case makes it “military-grade” reliable.

It may sound like HP is just trying incredibly hard to make this tablet matter after failing to make a splash with Windows tablets time and time again. But after seeing the tablet in action, I have a feeling that HP is on to something. Tablets have been a hard sell for many businesses, but with the full Windows ecosystem behind it and the ability to turn into a laptop or desktop replacement, the ElitePad has the potential to be the future of computing for enterprise.

The ElitePad 900 is also a reminder of what innovations Windows 8 can bring to tablets. Just like HP’s hybrid tablet/laptop, the Spectre XT, the real driving force behind the ElitePad is Windows 8’s ability to jump between tablet and traditional computing functionality with ease. With Windows 8, tablets are finally beginning to look like full-fledged computers rather than just trendy content consuming devices.

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