HP is working on a slate PC with an 8.9 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display and a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor. We’ve known that much for ages. What we haven’t really known is how the Windows 7 tablet will stack up against the competition, because all we’ve seen to date is the information HP wants us to see. But the folks at Conecti.ca got their hands on a real, pre-production model and the verdict is… that it’s alright, but nothing too special.

I have to say, I’m disappointed but not surprised. I’ve spent some time with a number of convertible tablets with Intel Atom processors and various versions of Windows, and they tend to suffer from a couple of problems. The operating system just isn’t that easy to navigate using touch-only controls — even with Windows 7 Home Premium’s advanced multitouch gesture support. And they tend to feel sluggish when performing some tasks, such as auto-rotating the display. I suspect this is at least partially due to the low power processor.

HP tries to deal with at least the software problem by bundling the HP Slate with a custom touch-friendly user interface that you can use to launch programs and perform other tasks without looking at the default Windows 7 user interface. The tablet also has a Broadcom Crystal HD video accelerator to help with high definition video playback. But Conecti.ca reports that the 1GB of RAM isn’t upgradeable,  which means there’ s no easy way to boost performance.

Unlike the Apple iPad, the HP Slate can run pretty much anything you can run on Window 7 — including Adobe Flash. But as Conecti.ca points out, that also means it takes a minute or so to boot the operating system (although you can probably deal with that by putting the computer to sleep instead of shutting it down when you’re not using it).

Still, if you’re looking for an alternative to the iPad that has expansion ports, a built in camera, HD video playback and an HDMI output, the HP Slate is sitll likely to be your best bet.

There’s still no word on the release date, but HP is expected to charge $549 for a 32GB model and $599 for a 64GB model.

via Engadget

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17 replies on “HP Slate tested, judged”

  1. Those “looking for an alternative to the iPad that has expansion ports, a built in camera, HD video playback and an HDMI output, …” should better look for an Android/ARM-Tablet.

    That’s the comparable platform to an iPad – in terms of hardware and software. Not a Windows/Intel-Tablet-PC like the HP Slate, that’s just a PC without a keyboard.
    Android on ARM (e.g. Tegra 2), now that’s something really built for touch and mobile use.

  2. The problem is that the blogger is young and inexperienced. The text is closer to an long comment in someone else’s blog rather than a proper, informative, insightful post. Indeed, he missed the opportunity of analyze de Slate badly.

    The author is also too much impressed by the iPad and is short of experience with different devices. The conclusion is plain ridiculous: Slate is going to compete with netbooks and not with the iPad. ¿Qué? What?

    I don’t know who in HP decided that this young man deserved “the honour of being the first who posted about the real thing”. Maybe is a creative strategy for Spanish Speakers, young blood talking in youngish.

    Yeah, right. What a missed oportunity, anyway.

    AND, por el amor de Dios, hombre, it is said “ad-nauseam”, no “ad-nauseam”. Ad-Nauseam no es que “haya muchos”, sino que una situación se repite demasiado. No vomitas por ver muchos puertos USB. Post said that Slate has “expansion ports ad-nauseum”, which I guess is totally nonsense. What he tries to say is that the device has a lot of expansion port and, trying to produce a sound hyperbole, confuses even Spanish-speakers readers and, of course, Google translator too. You are not going to puke at the sight of a lot of expansion ports.

  3. brad, what is the weight and dimension? You never seem to mention the both though both are the most important element in portability.

    1. According to the leaked specs doc, 9.21″ x 5.70″ x 0.57″ and 1.49 lbs. It’s smaller than the iPad in every dimension except thickenss.

  4. Wow, so rarely do things match exactly what it was I was predicting, as this product seems to. No real compelling use model. The feature set is uncompelling, and the price isn’t all that competitive. It can’t even do pen computing very well due to the capacitive touch screen… Oh well. Hopefully the me too iPad tablets will get weeded out by market forces, and products that combine software and hardware rather than just shoehorning the old onto the old, just to bring a product to market.

    I look forward to the Android tablet invasion, and hope they can break open the market niche Apple has apparently created with the iPad and do some serious damage to the way people think of computers.

  5. Not a great article. They basically said “it’s a netbook without the keyboard half”. Duh. Anyone looking at the specs sheet would have known that. They didn’t go into the HP software at all, just one screenshot. They even mention that it “presumably” had a Broadcom Chrystal HD in it. They didn’t bother to check out Device Manager? No mention of any pen or inking ability? They had the device in-hand and didn’t answer any of the obvious burning questions about the device itself that a quick hands-on would answer.

    I’m glad to see shots of the dock and the back of the device. Let me qualify that: I am glad to know what the back of the device looks like, not that the device looks like that…

  6. The article doesn’t mention stylus input- the feature that can make a computer operating system work well without a keyboard.
    To me, that’s the HP’s ‘killer’ feature- as long as it actually works right, i.e. with at least one side button.
    It will be interesting to see this unfold.

      1. Wrong. The HP Touchsmart TM2T Tablet Notebook has a capacitive screen AND digitizer.

          1. @ Brad-
            Thats a shame.
            Any idea what HP means by “Pen/ Digitizer Support” on their leaked spec sheet?

      2. It has a capacitive screen plus a digitizer for pen input. The HP TM2 already on the market has both as well. It works great. You do not need to have one or the other it’s just more expensive to include both. Apple could easily include a digitizer but Jobs decided that pens are disgusting, just like he decided long ago that no mouse should ever have more than one button. He’s crazy.

      3. Brad, capacitive screen still works with stylus. I own an convertible tablet (model Tm2t), and it has a capacitive touch screen and recognizes handwriting with a stylus. You can read more into this before making the comments.

        1. That’s because your model also has an active digitizer. Most cheap tablets
          with capacitive touchscreens don’t. And they don’t accept stylus input.

          That’s true for he Lenovo ideapad s10-3t, the asus eee PC t91, and the HP
          mini 5102 with a touchscreen display that I recently tested — not to
          mention the iPhone and most google android smartphones.

          1. according the leaked specs a digitizer is also present. if this is true the slate is an an ipad killer for me at least.

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