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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

HP Slate Details Leaked

An internal HP memo which compares the upcoming Slate to Apple’s iPad has been leaked, and it shows not just the specifications of the Hewlett Packard tablet, but also the price. The comparison table even highlights “advantages” and “threats” in green and red.

The Slate will come in two sizes: a 32-GB model for $550 and a $600, 64-GB version. This compares favorably to the iPad, which costs $600 for 32 GB. On the “advantages” side, the HP lists an SD card reader, a USB port, HDMI-out, a VGA webcam, a 3-megapixel camera and a “conventional” SIM-card tray (the iPad uses the new micro-SIM).

Inexplicably, the 1.6-GHz Atom Z530 is also counted as an “advantage,” presumably due to the familiarity of the name rather than its actual performance. The Slate will also contain 1 GB RAM, weigh the same 1.5 pounds as the iPad and sport a widescreen 1024 x 600 display. This is, despite the name and capacitive touchscreen, a netbook with the keyboard removed.

So, what are the “threats” listed by HP? The iPad’s 10-hour battery life (the Slate claims just five, and will surely be shorter), 802.11n Wi-Fi (the Slate has just g), the bigger screen and the entry-level price of just $550. And that’s it. If there is any proof that HP doesn’t get the whole tablet PC shtick, it is this focus on hardware. The whole point of the iPad is its software, the fact that it is conceived to work as a touch device. HP’s Slate may well be a nice piece of hardware, and it certainly has all the marketing checkboxes filled, but it runs Windows 7. And last time we looked, even a skinned version of Windows 7 is not designed for touch. Nice try, though, HP. Better luck next time.

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