Last week word leaked out that HP may have halted development of the HP Slate, the company’s upcoming Windows 7 tablet with a touchscreen interface and support for Adobe Flash — something that’s notably missing on the Apple iPad. The rumor came hot on the heels of HP’s announcement that it was acquiring Palm, which led to the rather obvious conclusion that HP could be changing tactics and focusing on a tablet running Palm’s WebOS mobile operating system instead of Windows 7.

But there’s no reason to think that HP couldn’t bring two different tablets to market, one running WebOS and another with Windows. This week the Mercury News reported that while HP could in fact be developing a WebOS tablet, it probably won’t be ready to hit the streets until later this year or possibly next year. In the meantime, there’s a good chance HP could bring the Windows 7 tablet to market, since it’s already pretty far along in development.

Sascha Pallenberg from Netbook says his source at HP received an internal memo saying that development on the Windows tablet has stopped — for now. But rather than suggesting that the project was dead, the memo gist was that the company wanted to focus on improving the “user experience” before continuing.

Until someone from HP comes out and makes an official announcement, we won’t really know what’s going on. But it sounds like it might be a bit early to proclaim the Windows 7 version of the HP slate as dead.

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16 replies on “Reports of the HP Windows 7 Slate’s death may have been exaggerated”

  1. Huh, everyone reading this, does understand that this is the speculation of one person who is not employed by HP, and given is comments about Palm and WebOS, is based almost purely on his own personal bias, and is utterly devoid of any sort of ‘leak’ from inside HP right?

    And for everyone who is excited by the THOUGHT of this product, go to Best Buy and play with an actual touch device with Windows 7, then walk down the aisle and see if that experience is really comparable to the iPad… I’m not saying you need to buy one, but just play with one for a little bit. Now tell me with a straight face that Windows 7’s touch interface is great with something like Outlook.

    So I would contend that, Love or hate Apple, the reason HP didn’t release this product is that it just doesn’t make sense, isn’t compelling, and isn’t likely to make money. I would also contend that the opinions of one ‘industry analyst’ don’t amount to much, and his comments could easily be equated to those of a forum troll…

    And here I am wasting my time responding…

    1. I was ready to dismiss this one as nothing more than speculation too…
      until Sascha told me about the latest from his source — who apparently does
      work at HP. So I decided to bundle both comments into the same post.

      1. Ah, I admit that I obviously didn’t read the bottom part, I was skimming. I’d already read an Engadget post, then yours, and decided to comment on yours.. Because well, I can, and I like your site… mea culpa.

        Hmm, well that’s interesting then. It still seems like a lot of effort and engineering money to throw at a problem that an app store solves almost by itself by enlisting self interested parties to release on your platform… And for that you could use WebOS as well as anything.

        As always, I guess time will tell.

  2. well … in the meantime billy the gates was busy too to announce that microsoft is NOT out of the tablet / slate business ….

  3. My bet is that they are waiting to install the new Intel Moorestown chip, faster processor with lower/frugal power consumption. That should easily bring it up to 10-12 hours of battery life. Now if only thye would include a Pixel Qi screen…then it would blow away the iPad and the upcoming Notion Ink Adam. The waiting is torture!

    1. You are absolutely correct. I think Adobe, Microsoft and HP have been waiting for the new Z6xx processors to roll out. A great stride in battery life (together with Windows 7!!!) will make any competitors tablet look like a toy. It even plays 1080p video natively!

      1. You’re assuming that the Menlow chips are more powerful than Cortex A9’s which has not been proven one way or another yet. You’ll be comparing a long chain in order (menlow) dual issue chip, to a short chain, out-of-order dual issue chip in the Cortex A9, so clock is NOT going to tell you much of anything at all.

        In every day demo’s with a Cortex A9 side by side with a N270 (I last saw a video demo-ing exactly this on, the A9 doesn’t look significantly slower when executing tasks in Linux, and I’d be willing to bed that the N270 is quite a bit faster than the Menlow processors. They are certainly faster than the Z5xx processors, which draw more power.

        So… Assuming that a Menlow processor will make it’s competitors look like toys, may be a stretch. It’s too early to tell. It’s also too early to tell exactly what parts of the x86 ISA that Menlow supports since I have yet to see any of that information, even after looking over the Intel slides for the release.

        This may be another situation like we had with Pinetrail where people were expecting the Pinetrail Atom’s to be more powerful than the Diamondville ones, and that didn’t pan out. No where have I heard Intel Claim that the new Z6xx processors are faster than the Z5xx processors, and if they were I would have expected that to head the presentations they’ve made so far to date. So you may be in for some disappointment. I know I’m tempering my expectations until there are actual devices out that people can test…

        Additionally from their own battery life tests, it sounds like their integrated graphics core is fairly power hungry, which doesn’t bode well since this chip will be going head to head against the Nvidia Tegra 2, TI’s OMAP SOCs, and whatever wunderkind Marvell dreams up based on Intel’s own engineering from when they sold them their ARM chip license.

        It will be interesting to see how this pans out, but I’d recommend caution. Intel has yet to prove itself in this space at all, and every attempt they’ve made to enter it so far hasn’t been all that great. Their greatest accomplishment so far has been the creation of netbooks, which in some ways could be considered a misstep that has come back to haunt them with reduced margin’s for all mobile processors. Just a thought.

        1. Well, these reports seem to say all that needs to be said about the speed of the z6xx. HP should be shoving these in their Slates right away. I also saw an article on with video of a device running z6xx doing hd video while running video conferencing. Then, they pulled up quake 3 and ran it at stupid fast frame rates.



          1. The original nVidia Tegra played Quake III at 35fps.


            The Tegra 2 plays the full unreal engine today at respectable enough fps for Tom Sweeny to call it roughly equivalent to the Xbox 360…

            That said, the processor does look like it may rock, and should have excellent idle power usage. Whether it’s significantly better than it’s competition, and what it’s power usage looks like when under load… We’ll see in a few months when the products start hitting the shelves and we can do some hands on testing.

        2. i wonder if you don’t just mix up different platforms again and again… menlow and moorestown, plus a little bit of diamondville and pine-trail on top of it and maybe end it up with the statement, that Intels’ attempts to enter this market so far, weren’t so successful. wow!


          1. Yes, I screwed up the names, next time I’ll try to go back and actually reread my longer posts. That said, in general they haven’t been successful in entering either the smartphone or MID categories. Case in point, no phones ran on Menlow, and they had a handfull of MID’s that I’m aware of, but mostly all of the processors in this family have been used for netbooks.

            That said, the more I read about this, the more I like it. It does in fact support the x86 ISA up to SSE3, including the x64 bit instructions, which is a lot more than I initially feared when I saw the list of their supported OS’s.

            That said, there’s an awful lot I like about the Cortex A9 SoC’s I’ve seen, and they look just as powerful, and in several use cases appear to have a lower power draw. It’s hard to verify that statement however since there aren’t any products that use either SoC yet.

            So this might be a compelling processor class. That’s great for Intel. As the company that’s pushing down into this space, that would be a necessary win for them, because right now ARM owns it.

            All that said, none of that will make a Windows 7 slate all that useful in my opinion, unless HP throws a lot of custom programming at the problem… And I don’t see how it makes more sense to do that for Win7 when they now own a very pretty and highly regarded (at least by me, I find my wife’s Pre to be a very nice device to use) mobile OS.

      2. One last point. Adobe hasn’t been waiting for Menlow, they’re releasing support for ARM presently. HP may have been waiting on Menlow, we’ll see, but considering they were using a N270 in the iSlate, that wouldn’t make much sense. And as for MS no where has Intel said that their chip supports Windows, only MeeGo, Android, and Moblin, hence my concerns about what portions of the x86 ISA they’re implementing.

        I have a lot more questions about this chip, than I have information right now, and I’m actively paying attention.

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