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HP Slate
First Courier, now HP's Slate as well?

Is everyone just giving in to Apple now? Yesterday, we reported that Microsoft is abandoning its internal Courier dual-screen tablet concept. The Courier was to use dual 7" screens and rely on both pen and touch input.

Now HP is killing off its Windows 7-based Slate before it even hits the market according to TechCrunch. If you recall, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a big deal about HP's Slate at this year's CES in Las Vegas. Ballmer actually brought a prototype device out on stage with him during his keynote address to the tech community.

TechCrunch's sources reveal that HP is simply unimpressed with Windows 7 as a platform for a touch-based tablet device. HP is also said to be nixing the idea of using Intel's Atom processors for any future Slate devices due to demanding power requirements.

The latter point is quite poignant as it is one of the negatives that HP pointed out in company slides comparing the Slate to Apple's successful iPad. Apple's iPad is good for 10 to 12 hours of real world use thanks to its lightweight iPhone OS and power sipping A4 processor. HP, on the other hand, lists the Slate's battery life at 5+ hours when running on a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor (Z530). The relatively poor battery life of the Slate comes despite the fact that it packs a 30 Wh battery while the iPad features only a 25 Wh battery.

With Windows 7 and Intel now apparently out of the picture, that leaves Android/webOS and ARM processors for future Slate devices. HP said on Wednesday that it would be "doubling down on webOS" and that it would "scale it across multiple connected devices".

Considering that many have been somewhat unimpressed with Palm's recent hardware -- namely the Pre and Pixi -- but adore webOS, it would be quite interesting to see what HP can do with a tablet based on its newly acquired operating system and speedy ARM hardware.

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makes sense
By MadMan007 on 4/30/2010 4:43:00 AM , Rating: 5
In light of the Palm acquisition this makes sense if it's true. Why use an outside processor and OS which are merely ok when you might be able to do something great with inhouse stuff?

I don't really like the trend of closed CE devices encroashing upon real computer territory but oh well :/

RE: makes sense
By Dribble on 4/30/2010 5:23:33 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, they are gonna produce a palm os powered device, it's probably a major reason for the purchase of palm.

RE: makes sense
By Targon on 4/30/2010 8:29:38 AM , Rating: 2
The idea of using WebOS makes sense, but I doubt that HP would lock themselves into ONLY using ARM. It is possible that WebOS could be made to run on an x86 processor based machine, which would avoid them being locked in.

A big thing here is that the UI is what tends to make or break a portable device. Since WebOS has a good look and feel to it, HP likes the idea of putting it on tablets.

RE: makes sense
By 3minence on 4/30/2010 9:24:32 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think Atom is equal to ARM right now, but with another die shrink or two it will be. Of course, HP can go ahead and start the process of porting it to x86 now.

Using Win7 on a (relatively) small touch device is not a good idea. Win 7 is just not friendly to small screen touch devices. How long have tablet PC's running Windows been around and still failed to get much market share? Apple used it's head by using it's iPhone OS rather than OS X, MS confirmed it by using it's Zune OS on it's new phones.

I like WebOS. Hopefully HP will take the ball and run it for a touchdown. Competition is good.

RE: makes sense
By mcnabney on 4/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: makes sense
By omnicronx on 4/30/2010 11:07:28 AM , Rating: 4
Atom is superior to ARM in every way except power efficiency.
By the same account the iCore 7 is superior to the Atom in every possible way imaginable except for power consuption..

Does not really matter how much better it is if its power consumption is not suited for mobile/portable devices.

I'm not sure if the x86 will ever beat out other architectures which were built with efficiency and low power consumption in mind.

RE: makes sense
By MadMan007 on 4/30/2010 1:11:01 PM , Rating: 3
For UI the underlying OS matters but what *really* matters is applications. People generally don't 'use their OS' they use their OS to use applications. As long as the OS provides the capabilities needed for slicked-up touch applications Win 7 is ok and you can use any non-touchcentric program too if you like. So the problem is getting that slicked-up touch application base going.

RE: makes sense
By djc208 on 4/30/2010 1:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
True but I don't think you need a huge app store to have a chance either. A good web browser (with Flash support), e-mail/messaging clients, and media players is probably 90% of what these devices will be used for, just like on the phones.

Additional apps richen the experience, but wouldn't kill a WebOS tablet as long as the primary uses (web/media/email/im) work well, and from all I've read they do on WebOS.

RE: makes sense
By mckinney on 4/30/2010 10:28:50 AM , Rating: 5
Unfortunately, it looks like the Ipad was a game changer for HP and MS. The problem is that the Ipad is the extension of a well established platform (apps, music, UI) that neither MS or HP have at the moment. MS has the advantage to build on WP7 or Zune, but one isn't shipping and the other isn't that big of a seller. MS always relied on Windows for product familiarity when moving into new markets, but it appears that Apple has taken that play from the MS gameplan.
With the exception of the Xbox, MS has trouble utilizing the leverage of Windows in markets other than the PC.

RE: makes sense
By robinthakur on 4/30/2010 10:49:35 AM , Rating: 2
True, and the xBox runs a customised OS which bears no resemblance to Windows. I think that the noble goal of having a product line (Windows) which looks and feels similar on all devices from desktops to laptops to tablets netbooks, phones and media players is now not where its at. Even Windows 7 is clearly not designed or optimised properly for touch displays on portable devices in the same way that the iPhone OS or the WEBOS is.

I think Google stand the biggest chance of competing with the iPad, but Apple have the first to market advantage once again and alot depends on the hardware and how polished it is.

This cancellation is a bit of a slap in the face for MS as yes clearly HP is looking to leverage Web OS in a revised Slate-like device which isn't viewed as a poor-mans' iPad.

RE: makes sense
By omnicronx on 4/30/2010 11:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, it looks like the Ipad was a game changer for HP and MS.
Exactly, and of course the Palm acquisition could very well could have been the final blow. They just gained control of a very suitable tablet OS in WebOS, why not make something of it?

RE: makes sense
By gralex on 4/30/2010 11:20:33 AM , Rating: 2
Either that, or they realized Tabs are a fad and are in no hurry to start pouring in resources...

RE: makes sense
By AssBall on 4/30/2010 11:49:24 AM , Rating: 2

If I could make a profit selling feces to retards, though, I'd jump right on that wagon.

RE: makes sense
By JediJeb on 4/30/2010 5:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I was thinking. Maybe the market is limited to Apple Fans and HP figured that out.

For me I have no use for an iPhone, iPad or really any smart phone. I don't use an iPod or any other MP3 player because I rarely listen to music. What would the iPad or other Tablet device do for me that I can't do at my computer at home. I surely won't be using one while I am driving, and if I am out fishing or mowing the lawn I wouldn't be able to use one, I honestly can't think of any way it would be useful to me.

RE: makes sense
By Pirks on 4/30/2010 10:56:14 AM , Rating: 2
I don't really like the trend of closed CE devices encroashing upon real computer territory
reader1 where are thou?

RE: makes sense
By omnicronx on 4/30/2010 11:01:14 AM , Rating: 5
He can't get a wireless signal on his iPad =/

RE: makes sense
By AssBall on 4/30/2010 11:53:28 AM , Rating: 4
Maybe he went over the "limit" and apple decided to brick them all.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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