October 22, 2010
HP Shows Off PC-Like Tablet Computer
San Francisco-based Hewlett-Packard (HP) took the wraps off of its entry into the tablet computer market on Friday, unveiling a nearly $800 device that they say will primarily be for business use.
The HP Slate 500, announced back before the launch of Apple's iPad tablet computer, is an 8.9-inch device that weighs 1.5 pounds. It features a touch-screen, operates on Microsoft Windows 7, includes 64 gigabytes of storage and a stylus.
The device is Wi-Fi only and does not support 3G. It is currently available online and will be sold to businesses through HP's direct sales force. It retails for $799.
Some tech experts, including Wired's Charlie Sorrel, were not impressed.
"Is this an iPad competitor? No freakin' way," Sorrel wrote in a Friday article published on CNN.com.
"The Slate is to full-featured tablet PCs as a netbook is to a proper notebook: a scaled back, underpowered portable with a too-small screen, running an OS designed for the desktop, not a touch-operated device," he added. "We're certainly looking forward to seeing some proper rivals to the iPad"¦ [but] the HP Slate, a netbook with the keyboard missing, ain't it."
Sorrel also blasted the "ridiculous" price of the Slate 500, but added, "There is one nice touch: the screen includes a Wacom digitizer so you can use a stylus to take notes on screen. There is nowhere to store the stylus, though, so you'll lose it soon enough."
The Wi-Fi only version of the iPad is available for prices starting at $499, and 3G versions of the Apple tablet computer can be purchased for $629, Madway reports.
Furthermore, Samsung intends to sell its 7-inch Galaxy Tab through Verizon Wireless for $600, and a 5-inch tablet computer manufactured by Dell can be purchased for $550. The Slate 500 also faces competition for its primary audience--business professionals--with the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook computer from Research In Motion (RIM).
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