Home / News / Laptop News / CES 2010: Ballmer Reveals HP Slate Tablet in MS CES Keynote

CES 2010: Ballmer Reveals HP Slate Tablet in MS CES Keynote

Andy Vandervell


CES 2010: Ballmer Reveals HP Slate Tablet in MS CES Keynote

After the success of Windows 7 last year, it was perhaps predictable that Microsoft wouldn't be able to top that in its CES keynote this year. Aside from some slightly amusing technical gremlins at the beginning of the keynote, related to power rather than software I hasten to add, there was very little that was either new or that interesting apart from the HP Slate.

Technical details on the tablet-esque device are near non-existent right now, so we can only go on what Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, showed and what we can glean from the recently released press shots and teaser video (see bottom of page). Unlike a Tablet PC, which has a convertible screen and a proper keyboard, or a UMPC, the HP Slate is an entirely touch-driven device.

This, as you'd rightly expect, is multi-touch enabled and Ballmer busied himself pinching, zooming and generally showing off both the Slate's ability and Windows 7's multi-touch support. It's interesting, however, that the system appeared to be running a pretty vanilla version of Windows without any kind of UI enhancements. While 7 is more finger friendly than previous efforts, it still doesn't lend itself that well to touch navigation – particularly when using a finger.

Only hands-on time will resolve this particular query, so keep an eye out for more info soon.



January 7, 2010, 2:54 pm

now everyone is using slate.......


January 7, 2010, 3:34 pm

I am a firm believer that a device like this DON'T need the power to run Win7.

Bring on ChromeOS!!


January 7, 2010, 6:23 pm


I agree they DON'T "NEED" that power.

However as a student, with a very powerful PC i am only looking at something cheap and portable to do work on. Tablets could be useful in that aspect being smaller and lighter than a traditional laptop.

As for the ChromeOS i have Windows 7 and i am happy with it, i prefer to stick with a single OS. However i wish companies would start giving a choice of OS for each product would be a lot better for consumers as a whole.


January 7, 2010, 6:36 pm


I must agree, the benefit of running one OS (or close versions of it) is sometimes overlooked. I've got an Eee 900 which only really runs smoothly with its own Xandros, but I've tried putting XP and Win7 on it several times for usability. Unfortunately I keep coming back to Xandros for speed, but I have to give up some functionality. It's replacement will run Windows 7 for sure, and in fact I've gone back to Windows Mobile from Android for similar reasons (Office integration, available software).


January 7, 2010, 7:42 pm

Highlight for me so far has been the HP tablet tm2 not this thing - I really don't see an everyday use for this.

Ten Ninety

January 7, 2010, 7:45 pm

Am I the only person who finds the slate format a pointless proposition and a step backward from the UMPC ideal? Probably. But still...

These devices are surely intended for hand-held use away from a desk or table. Yet nobody seems to have cottoned on to the fact that holding a device of this size with one hand whilst prodding the screen with the other is awkward and tiring. You're constantly pushing against the supporting arm when you press the touch screen. OK, the portrait form-factor used by the HP slate does alleviate this slightly, but who wants to browse the web the wrong way round?

I know it's not exactly fashionable to support the much-derided UMPC format but a device held by a hand each side, with thumbs free to operate a 'mouse' controller one side and a button click on the other is a far more usable proposition than any pure 'slate'.

After two years there's still nothing to tempt me away from my Q1 Ultra. Overpriced it may have been, but its mouse controller makes it unbeatable as a slump-on-the-sofa hand held device.

comments powered by Disqus