Well, here it is finally, the tablet PC that the world had so eagerly been awaiting from from Hewlett Packard. While it has slipped its earlier deadline by quite a few months, it’s just in time to fire things up during the holidays. But then there is a twist; HP is marketing the device as a business tool though there is no stopping anyone from buying the device for their own personal use and obviously, HP won’t be peeping over your shoulder to find out to what use you are putting the device.
However, the main focus area continues to be the business segment and the Windows software does has its presence in the business scene. Also, employees are often seen carrying their notebooks going around doing their business. They now have a stylish as well as a handy alternative – the Slate 500 that HP believes will not only add to the productivity of the company, but will also open up different scope for many new apps to gain prominence.
Coming to the Slate itself, it’s mighty impressive to say the least and the tablet’s specifications do tell a part of the story. For with 1.86 GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor, 2 GB of RAM along with 64 GB of SSD Flash storage, the Slate 500 was always made for glorious performance. Add to that Broadcom’s Crystal HD accelerator that dismisses 1080p video with elan and what you have is a tablet that can be just as good or maybe even better than many a notebook currently available.
The display area is made up of 8.9 inch of multitouch display having a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels while the OS is as expected – Windows 7 Professional (32bits). For connecting to the Internet, the Slate 500 provides option of WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth while the rest of the port story is made up of USB 2.0, an SD card reader along with a combined audio in/out port. The Slate also includes a cradle that comes bundled with the device which further includes two USB 2.0, an audio in/out as well as an HDMI out.
Build quality though is a tad below the iPad, while the display too could have done with some more refinement. However, this isn’t causing HP sleepless night since as per them, this is not the device to take on iPad. Rather, its their WebOS powered device likely to arrive sometime next year that they wish to engage the iPad with.
Coming back to the Slate, its got a VGA webcam on the front as well as a 3MP camera on the back for stills and video. The Slate also includes several convenient buttons like one that launches the keyboard, a home button to get back to the desktop, and the famous CTRL + ALT + DEL button for easy access to the task manager.
The Slate, with measurements of 5.91 x 9.21 x 0.58 inches is surprisingly easy to maneuver in spite of its 1.5 lb hulk that puts is firmly in notebook territory as far as weight is concerned. The weight is inclusive of the 2-cell, 30WHr battery that HP claims can ensure 5 hours of uninterrupted runtime. A rubberized back sporting the now familiar triangle design also ensures the tablet is easy to hold without slipping off. The Slate is receptive to both finger as well as stylus inputs and includes a Wacom active digitizer that makes it easy for taking notes.
The Slate 500 is currently on sale now in the US for $799.