"We can't comment on rumors or speculation about any unannounced products," said an HP spokesperson, in an e-mail Monday to InformationWeek. Numerous blogs, citing an initial report on the Spanish tech site Clipset.com, said HP's slate will debut in the U.S. in September at a price of about $540. But the company was quick to dismiss the story as speculative.
HP earlier this month did confirm it's readying a Windows 7-powered slate PC that it claims will offer a more complete computing experience than Apple's iPad, but the company has revealed few details.
"With this slate product, you're getting a full Web browsing experience in the palm of your hand," said Phil McKinney, HP's VP and chief technical officer for its Personal Systems Group, in a recent blog post. "No watered down Internet, no sacrifices," wrote McKinney.
Unlike the iPad, McKinney said HP's yet-to-be-named tablet PC will support Adobe's Flash multimedia format. "A big bonus for the slate product is that, being based on Windows 7, it offers full Adobe support," said McKinney.
To prove his point, McKinney posted a video of the HP tablet in action. Similar to the iPad commercial that debuted during this year's Academy Awards broadcast, the video shows a user navigating his way around the device through a series of simple hand gestures.
It also shows it being used as a video player, an e-reader, and as a navigational tool.
With HP, Asus, Microsoft and others planning tablet systems and software, Apple may not have the field to itself for long after it ships the iPad next month.
Pricing for the Wi-Fi only version of the iPad, which features 802.11 connectivity, starts at $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, and $699 for the 64GB version. It's available April 3rd.
The Wi-Fi + 3G versions of the iPad will ship in late April, according to Apple. The 16GB model is $629, the 32GB model is $729, and the 64GB version is $829.