Looking for an alternative to the iPad that looks enough like Apple’s tablet to fool your friends into thinking you have one — until they see you start tapping on a start menu or playing Flash video? Then it looks like the upcoming HP slate might be the way to go.

HP has released a promotional video that markets the slate pretty much exactly the same was as Apple is marketing the iPad — except the HP slate will play web video from sites like Hulu, as you can see in the promotional video.

To drive home the point a bit more, the folks at Adobe have put out a five and a half minute video showing the tablet running Flash and Adobe AIR, which opens the tablet up to a whole world of applications that aren’t available on the iPad of iPhone.

You can find both videos after the break.

Of course, none of this should be surprising, because the HP slate has an x86 processor and runs Windows 7 — which means it can run pretty much any Windows application. It features the touchscreen features of Windows 7 including a rather awkward looking on-screen keyboard and multitouch gesture support for zooming, rotating, and performing other actions.

We still haven’t seen final pricing on the HP slate, but something tells me it ain’t going to come cheap. And with an x86 processor and a desktop operating system, I’m guessing we’ll be lucky if the HP slate gets half the battery life of the iPad. But hey, it supports Flash.

via Engadget

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24 replies on “The HP slate: Imagine an iPad that plays Flash, runs Windows 7”

  1. I think many people are attributing the tablet/slate innovation to Apple but there have been many iterations over the last decade. I had a Viewsonic wireless touch monitor years ago and loved it – it acted just like a slate PC.

    Ultimately, you want the portability of these primarily so you can sit on your couch and surf, answer email, etc. And for those saying the Window’s OS is going to ruin this because it’s not designed to be used without a keyboard, just remember that all you need is a shell app to run within Window’s that is geared toward touch-screen use. That’s all Apple’s interface is (a very nice, simplistic one at that). And if you can also put the slate in a cradle and use a keyboard and mouse it offers the functionality of a desktop also. I think HP has a big winner here if the price is competive. I would rather spend a hundred more on a slate than an iPad. The iPad doesn’t seem to offer much over my iPod to make it compelling at all.

  2. I like how the Adobe logo is shown with the HP logo — provides a nice jab at Apple. I can’t see a tablet using Windows 7, hey even Microsoft is using Windows CE 6. bookmarked

  3. Perhaps Microsoft should realize that Windows isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ for computers. There are other operating systems that seem to fit the tablet needs better.

    I think this tablet will sell well if the price is low enough. Low price is one of the reasons netbooks are doing well; IMO. Why have a stand alone tablet when one pays less for a netbook that one can swivel the screen into a tablet pc? IMO.

  4. my question is, what’s the UI going to be like for windows 7? if it’s anything like using a windows 7 touchscreen tablet, ya can fugeddaboutit

    1. Tablet smablet. For me an ideal device is not a large Ipod or a keyboardless W7 device. Its a netbook tablet. Thin, light, powertful enough to do the stuff I need (all computer, ebook reading web surfing with and without flash). Use the keyboard when I want to do more than brief typing but fold it out of the way and use the touchscreen when I need that. Long battery life and it won’t snap in half in my bag. JUST HOW MANY DEVICES do they think we need to pay them for.

      PDA, Laptop, Desktop, Netbook, Tablet give it a rest!!! What next ??
      Apart from PDA’s the tablet netbook of 11″ meets all the above standard holiday and office needs.
      P.S. My PDA is now a 4.3″ screened 1ghz screaming F1 of a PDA. I think the lines have blurred sufficiently.

    2. Umm, yeah. Unless HP is spending MILLIONS of dollars in software development to make Windows 7 more touch friendly…

      While it’s brining Andorid devices to market…

      Keeping in mind it’s a hardware not software company…

  5. With the right price I think this device will make it. I still have to see the real thing before making my judgement. I’m tired of using the mouse. It beginning to take toll on my fingers. The mouse has to go for good.

    1. I’d love to see a new interface paradigm replace keyboard/mouse. I’d love to see touch and voice (for example) supplant, or at least compliment it. I think that slate tablets have a better chance of bringing that about than any other computing devices, simply because they force it. But, I don’t think personally that Windows 7 is there yet with the support for either feature. The real kicker for me is that because this brings over a 20+ year legacy of applications with it, there isn’t going to actually BE a lot of software for it which IS optimized for the touch interface… Most of the software will still be written for the desktop keyboard mouse paradigm, because that’s where the majority of users are, which actually works AGAINST a device like this. At the end of the day putting a Desktop OS on a touch device actually ends up handicapping it more than you think, simply because there’s very little incentive to create new applications that work with the device instead of against it. I mean after all, would you rather spend the time writing a new touch application for Windows where people MIGHT use the functionality, or for the iPhone or Andriod where they DEFINITELY WILL? What’s the better use of your time as a developer? Ultimately, that’s what’s going to kill devices like these, users will WISH they had an App store to purchase from… That and the cost.

      This device will NOT cost $200 dollars. Look at the devices entering the market in that price range. They all have ARM processors, and essentially FREE OS’s. Right off the top with this device you have to have Windows 7 Premium to get the touch features, which even with a volume license costs $70. That cost has to passed on, on top of the hardware, and the only thing cheaper on this device, that you’re saving on compared to a netbook is a relatively inexpensive keyboard and hinge. I don’t see any way a useful device like this comes to market for LESS than a low end netbook. Based on the price of comparable clam-shell style tablets which actually have touch screens, you’re looking more in the $500-$600 dollar range, and at that price it’s going directly against the iPad, at several hundred dollars more than Android+ARM devices.

      Tell me. Given the market environment, and the overall use of the device when it first comes to market (other than flash player, which Android devices WILL have by the time it hits). How is this tablet going to compete? How is it going to get the market share that will drive support commercial application development for it, and further touch screen Windows penetration into this device space?

      I honestly want to know what people really think. Not just comments from trolls, because I’m writing a thesis on this exact topic.

  6. Its plays flash! Whoot!
    Big deal.
    I have to agree with others here, this device should be gone in a flash –
    No ten month product market life time for this device.
    Anybody want to bet the hPad gets discontinued before the iPad?

      1. ????
        I have never owned an Apple product in my 50+ years of computer related work.
        But if you have been following HP in the NetBook section of the industry,
        you have noticed that there “market life time” runs about 10 months before
        they release a “newer and better”.
        Where in contrast, Apple Computer does not follow that sort of policy.

        1. I swear it’s like there’s this whole, anti-Apple Troll syndicate that badmouths posters seemingly at random.

          I’ve been seeing this all over a number of tech sites. Comments from a-typical people who appear to be doing google searches, making troll comments, that don’t relate to the post or the comment… It kind of reminds me of the red scare, with how far they’ll stretch to call someone an Apple Fan…

          Either there are some bored teenagers out there, or there’s some form of gorilla advertising agency that’s trying to run some form of anti-iPad campaign or something.

          It’s not like you were saying the iPad is GOOD or anything, you just said in effect that this product is WORSE… And for that you’re called a Fan boy?

          I mean come on, the poser didn’t even use the semi-pro teenage troll epitaph: Fan Boi.


          Oh well. Just a thought.

  7. Yeah, the iPad really missed the mark — the lack of flash and SDHC support makes it nothing more than a pretty paperweight. However, the HP Slate looks promising…

    1. Why does the HP Slate look promising when previous UMPC/Origami devices flopped? Did the mere announcement of the iPad lend legitimacy where none previously existed?

      1. It looks interesting if the price is decent — say, around $200 — because it’d be nice to have something smaller and lighter than my netbook to tuck in my bag so I can browse the Web, play Farmville, read ebooks, watch videos and listen to music when I’m at the local Starbucks. In other words, activities that don’t require much typing.

        That said, I am still really happy with my MSI U100, which has a terrific keyboard. It’s my primary computer since I don’t run apps that require a lot of horse power, and I won’t be replacing or supplementing it unless I can find something as portable, but with a higher screen resolution (say, 1366×768), no fan (mine’s quiet but I’d rather have silence) and with significantly better battery life (at least 12 hours, preferably 24). And Pixel Qi would be nice.

        The more I think about it, I think I’ll just wait for my dream netbook; something with those specs will probably be available later this year.

        1. Unfortunately I think that this will either be too heavy (more than 1.5 lbs, which IMHO is the maximum for a tablet) or have dismal battery life. It will probably be very expensive too, more in the $400 or $500 range.

          The iPad clearly sucks, but this sucks more.

      2. Same reason why netbooks are interesting now when nearly the same form factor didn’t work in 2001. Everything needs to cook a little before form factor, features, and price mesh.

        1. What devices in the netbook form factor were available in 2001? The closest thing that I can think of was the Toshiba Libretto, which while not gaining traction with the mainstream did have a very loyal following.

  8. I’m tired of beating a horse to death, but it needs to be said because HP obviously misses the point. There is no reason to remove the keyboard from a computer, then put a operating system designed pretty much specifically for the keyboard mouse input model! There are touch features in Windows 7, big deal. The OS is still not optimized for touch.

    It also has a drive foot print in the 10 GB range depending on how it’s configured, and has isuess with power management that MS won’t even acknowledge.

    When I see devices like this, I agree with the majority of people, and ask why not just get a netbook, it would save time… The only thing it has going for it is app support… Although all of those apps will assume you have a mouse and a keyboard.

    I can see not liking the iPad, but this seems to be the wrong direction. Give Apple this, they didn’t port their desktop OS to the device.

    We’ll see how the market reacts to it, but I have a feeling this is going to be a dead end device technologically. It’s probably going to be expensive, have a horrible UI compared to the competition, and have marginally less performance than a properly managed SOC with dual out of order cores, non-intel graphics acceleration, full video encode/decode support…

    But heck it’s got flash… So I could be wrong.

    1. Well said mlabrow, well said indeed. Why all these techno-blogs completely miss the point? I am also asking everyone of you: you really think a slim fan-less computer can really run so smoothly flash-based apps on top of a desktop OS with all its heavy-weight glory?

      The biggest irony of all: at the end of the ad, HP presents its logo with a multitouch gesture that has become the trademark of the platform it is trying to compete with. Come on HP, show some creativity. At least show some class…

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