After a long, long wait, HP’s tablet has finally been officially unveiled. The device is called the HP Slate 500, and will have an 8.9in screen and weigh 0.68Kg, placing it between the 9.7in iPad and the many 7in tablets about to hit the market. It will cost $799, as much as a higher end iPad.
HP said back in August that a Windows powered Slate would arrive this year, and that a WebOS flavoured one will follow next year. Sure enough, this Slate is a pure Windows 7 machine – without any customised UI. Logically, this machine is aimed directly as the businesses, and by getting it to market first, HP is clearly looking to get its foot under the corporate door well before RIM launches its PlayBook.
Spec wise it will offer a 1,024 x 600 capacitance display (less resolution than the iPad), and is powered by an Atom Z540, with 2GB RAM and a 64GB SSD. It has a VGA camera on the front and a 3-megapixel camera on the rear. There are no claims as to battery life at this point, but we do wonder if this could be a weak point.
We’re not convinced that using Windows 7 on a screen will be that much fun, and the supplied stylus for writing on the screen makes it feel very much like the second coming of Microsoft’s failed tablet PC – only without the keyboard.
There’s no official release date set but it will be coming to the US first. However, our eye is already set on the much more interesting sounding WebOS version slated (yes, pun) for next year.