HP Elite Slice is an SFF (Small Form Factor) desktop computer for business purposes with a unique design. It can be expanded with stackable and customizable modules including conference audio bar, optical unit, mobile phone charger, conference voice control panel and VESA support. The basic model costs $699 without modules, while the HP Slice for Meeting Rooms (tested) costs $949. This gives you a lot of flexibility in configuration, whether it’s a regular line worker desktop, a primary user, or a shared conference room computer.
- Charming, compact body.
- Modular accessories.
- Solid sound from Audio Module.
- Great connectivity options, including USB-C.
- Few modules were available at launch.
- Uses hard drive instead of SSD storage.
- Only 4GB of RAM.
Design and Features
The design is the highlight of the HP Elite Slice and begins with a dark gray exterior with copper cladding. The appearance is similar to that of the Apple Mac Mini pioneer but is a bit rounder. The Elite Slice measures 1.4 to 6.5 x 6.5 inches (HWD), making it slightly smaller in all directions than the Asus VivoMini VC65-G042Z, another highly regarded SFF desktop, although additional modules increase the height ( below) Copper, which cools the processor, appears through the ventilation opening around the entire housing and ensures visual dynamics.
The connectivity option of the base unit is extensive. The headphone jack and the USB-C port are on the left. On the back, there is a DisplayPort connection, an Ethernet connection, an HDMI connection, a power supply connection, two USB 3.0 connections, and a USB-C connection, on the DisplayPort functions with a single cable (power, audio, and video) can be connected to compatible screens. Wireless connectivity is provided via 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.1.
Take a look at the bottom of the HP Elite Slice and see the connector that explains its appeal. It is an electric (and functional) USB-C, but you can stack modules below the access point for your convenience. The Elite Slice Meeting Room has an HP Audio Module attached (also available separately for $ 109). It is designed for web conferences and has a dual microphone. Therefore, you can replace the PBX-based conference system in a small to medium-sized meeting room (with space for two to 12 people). This segment also includes a pre-installed collaborative cover, a top cover that embeds an illuminated start/end conference and volume controls. An IT technician can remove the cover, but cannot buy it separately.
The sound module provides excellent sound quality. It has its own DSP, which prevents the CPU from causing stress during online conferences, and Bang & Olufsen speakers. The sound quality is optimized for voice conferences and during the presentation, I could easily communicate with the remote conference room. However, it is also suitable for playing music and videos in poor bass. Cover Collaboration conference controllers respond quickly to touch to perform actions such as silencing the audio module’s microphones and starting or ending a Skype for Business conference.
Other modules add an optical drive ($99) and a VESA disk ($39) to connect the Elite Slice (and all modules) to the back of the screen or to the desktop. The main advantage of the modules is that they are linked together. A cable lock or VESA bracket can secure everything. Since the modular connection is based on USB-C, it can be used for storage, network communication and possibly also for external graphic modules.
Our $949 Elite for Meeting Room test unit has an Intel Core i5-6500T, 4 GB of RAM (expandable to 32 GB in total; a SO-DIMM slot is free) and a 500 GB hard drive that staff IT can replace with another SATA, hard drive or SSD, and a three-year warranty that includes on-site service. In addition to the conference room version, there are four predefined versions on the desktop, starting with the basic version with the Core i3-6100T processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive ($ 699), along with the Core i7 range -6700T, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD ($ 999); Everything comes without audio module and collaboration protection and works with Windows 10 Pro. There is also one that is fully customizable.
By default, Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms starts with Intel Unite. This is a copy of Windows 10, a collaborative environment in which you can share resources such as camcorders, projectors, and displays in conference rooms. Elite Slice is connected and controls every monitor and camera. The only thing about Unite is that the Elite Slice host computer wirelessly communicates with its employees’ laptops. You don’t need to spend 10-15 minutes at the beginning of the meeting to figure out which HDMI cable to connect. Each meeting participant (local or remote) downloads the Unite client application. When the process is complete, Elite Slice displays the code on a shared screen, allowing participants to give presentations, interact with Skype for Business calls, and even share screens on multiple laptops at the same time. Although the participants are on a wireless network (local or VPN), they can even access the meeting over different time zones. The big advantage is that, in contrast to the wall-mounted Microsoft Surface Hub, you can transfer the Elite Slice conference room to any office with a webcam in just a few minutes.
Our test device comes with an unlocked Unite version that allows you to access the Windows 10 user interface to take advantage of our reference tests and guidelines. The meeting room Elite Slice can be locked to start in conference mode from the Unite interface and can be used as a shared resource. Because Unite is designed to work with Windows 10, iOS, and macOS, it may be easier to sell to conservative IT managers than cloud-based conferencing solutions like Dell Chromebox for Meetings.
As defined here, the Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms scored 2,796 points in our traditional PCMark 8 Work test, which is good, but compared to competitors such as the Asus VivoMini VC65-G042Z (2,914), the Dell Optiplex 3040 Small Form Factor, behind $ 489.00 from Dell (3 $ 087) and the Polywell B150L2-i7 ($ 3,511), which has the highest score.
Elite Slice also delivered stable multimedia results for HandBrake (1 minute, 35 seconds), CineBench (446 points) and Photoshop (4:31), but slower than the Optiplex 3040 and Polywell B150L2 in all three tests. Polywell has also captured the field with its 3D results, but none of these computers should be considered for their skill level. Suffice it to say that everyone gets along with less demanding business graphics.
HP Elite Slice works well as a standalone desktop or shared conference resource. It’s nice to have this flexibility, even if buyers and IT managers have to commit to a new component ecosystem and (presumably) service contracts.
Although the introduced system is configured for use in conferences, it has little RAM. It is better to replace the hard drive with a faster SSD. However, I like the idea that you can use it for conferences in the morning and reuse it as a desktop in a few minutes. The Polywell B150L2-i7 is still the first choice for medium workstation publishers due to its larger memory, faster SSD, Core i7 performance and a lower price ($799). However, if your company needs to change the functions of your computer at any time, Elite Slice is a good concept with potential for the future.