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It will take more than superiority on paper to beat the iPad

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that with the iPad selling so well over its opening weekend that we will have loads of competing tablet computers coming to market very soon. One of the tablet machines that we heard about back at CES in January was the HP Slate.

The first glimpse we caught of the Slate is when Microsoft's Steve Ballmer showed the device off during his CES keynote speech. Some are already calling the Slate an iPad killer and whether or not that turns out to be true remains to be seen. 
InformationWeek reports that some of the key features that users are bemoaning the lack of on the iPad are front and center on the Slate. Things like support for Flash, a camera, SD card slot, and USB connectivity are all featured on the Slate.

InformationWeek also reports that HP released a video of the Slate in action this week that was a scant 30 seconds, but offered enough details to stoke some geek lust in many. The video of the device emphasizes the Windows 7 operating system, which makes the HP Slate much more extendable and open than the iPad. HP is still mum on when we might expect the Slate to hit the market, though it is widely expected to land this fall.

Engadget has a slick chart that shows the difference between the key features of the HP tablet and the iPad. On paper at least it appears that the Slate has the muscle to defeat the iPad. The HP Slate will reportedly cost $549, run a 1.63 GHz Atom Z530 processor, and have five hours of battery life. That is about half the run time that the iPad promises. The Slate also has a smaller 8.9-inch screen compared to the iPad's 9.7-inch screen and a 1024 x 768 screen resolution. 

The base iPad 16GB model is also about $50 cheaper than the entry-level HP Slate. The main ingredient that the HP Slate lacks is the might of the Apple marketing machine and the hoards of fanatically loyal users that Apple boasts.

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RE: The ipad...
By xsilver on 4/6/2010 10:54:00 AM , Rating: 2
This HP thing looks way thicker than the ipad and even with the z530 cpu is killed in battery life.

The key in this sector I believe as usual will be price - If they can get it down to cheap netbook pricing, then many people would be interested because a good proportion of people using netbooks only use them for general surfing/viewing which is perfect for a no keyboard device.

RE: The ipad...
By Drag0nFire on 4/6/2010 11:19:44 AM , Rating: 2
Also key in this sector is the "instant on" capability. More powerful machines running Win7 are bound to fail in this area, a great strength for the iPad. This is one of those silly features that looks silly on paper (why can't you wait 10 seconds for Windows to come out of suspend?) but actually matters a ton to consumers.

RE: The ipad...
By Spivonious on 4/6/2010 11:23:55 AM , Rating: 2
Win7 comes out of sleep in <5 seconds ready to go on my desktop. With solid-state storage I imagine this would be even faster.

With that said, HP better be working on extending the battery life. I have heard lots of people saying that the 10 hour battery life is a major reason they're considering the iPad over a similarly priced netbook or laptop.

RE: The ipad...
By reader1 on 4/6/10, Rating: -1
RE: The ipad...
By weskurtz0081 on 4/6/2010 12:34:33 PM , Rating: 2
It's also cool that you can charge your iPad from a PC's USB port..... oh wait, you can't, you can only do that off of an Apple product! No App for that!

RE: The ipad...
By gralex on 4/6/2010 1:56:08 PM , Rating: 3
But if I DO buy the custom-iPad-dongle-thingy, will I be able to connect my Apple to my peach?

RE: The ipad...
By Anoxanmore on 4/6/2010 4:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
Only while wearing a black turtle-neck sweater with too short jeans ; - )

RE: The ipad...
By 2bdetermine on 4/6/2010 12:55:48 PM , Rating: 3
Where had you been all this time?
Living in a cave!
Ever heard of surface computing?

Do a search Microsoft Courier for a demo.

RE: The ipad...
By clovell on 4/6/2010 1:45:19 PM , Rating: 4
HP has assets and product line diversity that Apple couldn't hold a candle to. If it comes to an all-out price war, HP can eat them for breakfast.

Think, dammit.

RE: The ipad...
By DFranch on 4/6/2010 6:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
I've never heard somebody brag that a company made a substantial profit from their purchase. Silly me, I'm always trying to get a good deal on things. I never considered the advantages to me of Apple making a 50% - 100% profit on purchases I make. I think I'll go out any buy an Mac, iPhone and an iPad. Thank you for showing me that it is better if Steve Jobs has all of my money.

RE: The ipad...
By nbachman on 4/6/2010 11:23:44 AM , Rating: 2
According to the spec sheet from engadget the Slate is .07 inches thicker than the iPad.

RE: The ipad...
By nbachman on 4/6/10, Rating: 0
RE: The ipad...
By MadMan007 on 4/6/2010 11:33:08 AM , Rating: 5
Wait, what?
this device will measure 9.2" x 5.7" x 0.6"
If this is 0.7" thicker that means the iPad is -.1" thick? :o I guess that IS magical!!

RE: The ipad...
By nbachman on 4/6/2010 11:37:16 AM , Rating: 2
My first post was correct, 0.07 inches thicker. The author rounded up to 0.6, its 0.57 inches thick compared to the iPads 0.5.

RE: The ipad...
By MadMan007 on 4/6/2010 12:49:59 PM , Rating: 2
lol. np, it was obviously a mistake to say it's 0.7" thicker and it gave me a chance to make the 'magical' joke :D

RE: The ipad...
By troysavary on 4/6/2010 8:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
The Slate and the iPad are, for all intents and purposes, the same thinkness. The .07 of an inch if negligable. The iPad only looks thinner in pics because it uses the same trick as the Macbook Air, being thinner at the edges than the middle. This, in the iPad, has the unfortunate side effect of giving it a slightly convex back, making it a bit awkward to easily slide under the arm and hold it well, since it is also a little slippery. Worse, though, it means it rocks slightly when laid flat, making it a PITA to ype on when laying on a table. Not sure who they hired for ergonomic design, but I would fire him.

RE: The ipad...
By MadMan007 on 4/6/2010 9:33:36 PM , Rating: 3
They already fired him, if anyone even ever held that position. It's not designed for ergonomic superiority, it's designed to look pretty.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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