Print 70 comment(s) - last by Smilin.. on Oct 25 at 5:07 PM

Nurse, I need an HP Slate, STAT!  (Source: HP)

HP Slate 500  (Source: HP)
HP is hoping to capture corporate customers with long awaited device, eschews the mass market

The HP Slate first popped up at Microsoft's CES 2010 keynote when CEO Steve Ballmer showed off the device.  Months went by and the status of the tablet became increasingly unclear.  Hewlett-Packard Co. acquired Palm, Inc. in April leading some to believe that HP would scrap the Windows 7 Slate in favor of a tablet packing Palm's webOS.

But at long last HP has clarified the situation, officially announcing that the Slate project never died and has just launched as the HP Slate 500.

The device retails for $799 (see above link).  The device offers perhaps the closest competitor to the iPad yet, given its largish 8.9-inch screen (the iPad's screen is 9.7-inch in diagonal).

It gets handily beat by the iPad in battery life, only getting approximately 5 hours to the 10 hour lifespan of the device.  And it doesn't come with a built in 3G modem, despite the higher price.  A single USB port is included, which can be used for traditional USB modems, though.

However, in other departments it stacks up favorably against Apple's slab.  It packs a faster processor -- a 1.86 GHz single core Intel Atom Z540 processor (Apple's iPad packs a 1 GHz proprietary design, with a Samsung core).  And it has much more memory -- 2 GB -- versus 256 MB of RAM in the iPad.  It also includes front and rear cameras.  An SD card reader is also included, as is Bluetooth 3.0 (the iPad has no expandable memory and only has Bluetooth 2.1)

In addition to touch input, there's also pen-driven input thanks to "active digitizer" from Wacom.  Another perk is that the device comes with a full copy of Microsoft Windows 7 Professional edition.  The rest of the installed software is thankfully slim -- HP Slate Camera, EVERNOTE, HP Support Assistant, Adobe Reader, Adobe PDF.  Microsoft Office is 
not included.  Of course, with Windows 7, the Slate 500 can handle Flash -- something not possible on the iPad.  

New software can be installed by attaching an external CD/DVD drive to the USB port.  An important reminder, though, is that only 32 bit apps work on the Atom processor.

HD video is provided via a Broadcom Crystal HD chip.  

The iPad and the Slate 500 share virtually the same graphics processor.  The Slate 500 uses the Intel GMA 500 which contains a licensed PowerVR SGX 535 core from Imagination (not Intel) clocked at 200 MHz.  This four pipeline core is also used in Apple's A4 system-on-a-chip (SoC).  The screen resolution on the Slate 500 -- 1024x600 pixels -- is a slightly different aspect ration than the iPad's 1024x768.

The tablet features metal edges and a rubberized back.  

It measures 23.4 cm x 14.5 cm x 1.4 cm, compared to 24.3 cm x 19.0 cm x 1.34 cm.  In other words, they're both about the same thickness, but the iPad has a bigger footprint.

Interestingly HP is marketing the device exclusively to business customers, initially.  This is an interest tactic and perhaps a wise one given that Apple's iPad hasn't really made serious inroads in the business sector.  However, it may be selling the device's commercial appeal short, given that many non-business users might want a Windows 7 tablet as well.

Non-business customers can still head over to HP's business site and order one when the device launches.  The key difference is that the device will not be advertised or widely publicized to the mass market.  

Of course non-business customers might prefer the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab, which has some superior features to the Slate 500 or the iPad.  In other words, customers will soon have three options with the launch of the Slate 500 and a welcome break from Apple's short-lived run of monopolizing the tablet sector.

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RE: I thought they would at least try....
By robinthakur on 10/25/2010 5:43:16 AM , Rating: 2
I thought this until my company (a worldwide bank) decided that everything it designed had to work on the iPad as a baseline (i.e. all web content). This happened in the last month because several of the COO's bought iPads and were dismayed that company content didn't look great on it! This was the same way that iPhones, Macbooks got into IT, namely because IT supports Business needs, and if people in the Business prefer to use iPad's to their company laptops or Macbooks/iPhones in place of their company issued devices, this cannot be ignored. Therefore we now have a load of iPad's en route to IT for testing and integration.

I don't blame Apple for their success in this area, I blame MS and their OEM's like Dell, HP etc for offering precisely nothing that can compete with the iPad as far as the users (this refers to real-world users, not spec-obsessed posters on a tech blog website) are concerned and for not listening or following emerging trends. We have shown influential users Windows Tablet PC's in the past but they simply didn't like their styling, heaviness, or the windows touch interface (complete with pens, which they saw as antiquated), so for now they use iPads until there is a compelling alternative, which the HP device is not. The Blackberry device might be, but why is it only coming to the market now when the iPad has been on sale since April?

RE: I thought they would at least try....
By tcjake on 10/25/2010 11:15:43 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's because the COO's of the world control YOUR budget in the IT department.

Funny thing is, with all of it's flaws my 1200+ physicians prefer iPhone/iPad devices because they are single threaded and fast. This is how the healthcare IT world is, single threaded and fast. Login times on windows PC's that take more than 7 seconds are "slow". Think about your Dr. in the ICU logging to a PC when you just coded?

My Dr's don't have to "boot" the iPad, they turn it on and they see your labs, wave forms, imagery etc...right now. Not after Mcafee, Adobe, "applying user settings" happens.

This is reality, not a freakin game. Physicians need data to save lives, not 90 seconds of delay everytime they log in.

By Smilin on 10/25/2010 5:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
Think about your Dr. in the ICU logging to a PC when you just coded

Ok that argument just plain insults the reader. If I code what is he logging into a PC for? What is he going to surf up to WebMD and figure out what to do? Thank God he has an iPad and not 24 years of education. /eyeroll

If I find my Physician storing my data on an iPad, his mobile phone (of any brand) or other equally insecure platform then I'll find a new physician. BTW what healthcare system do you work for? I'm quite serious and I want to know if it's mine.

Right now my doc does his business on a laptop in each room that connects to a virtualized app. The delay in him accessing his information lasts as long as it takes him to provide credentials.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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