After almost a year of rumors and waiting, HP’s Slate is official. When it comes to tablet PCs, Hewlett Packard means business. This evident by the new HP Slate 500 Tablet PC. As leaked, the HP Slate runs Windows 7 (not webOS). If you’ve been following the rumors then you already know a lot about the Slate 500, but what you might not know is that HP is promoting it as a business product. Yes, the same HP tablet PC that appeared in a series of leaked YouTube videos is now for sale, but HP is quick to point out that this is not a consumer device.
HP sees the tablet market as split up into two segments–one for media consumption and one for use as a PC. The iPad is a media slate, according to HP’s reasoning, while this is a PC slate. What this means is that it runs Windows 7, it has both touch and stylus interfaces, and it can handle the requirements of a business user, like VPN and encryption. Using Windows means that it can run all the software businesses normally run.
On the hardware side the Slate 500 fits closely with what we expect a Windows tablet to be. This is to say that it aimed to out-do the iPad and Android tablets on both features and hardware specs. Ultimately, the Slate 500 is spec’d like a high-end netbook without the keyboard.
It runs an Intel Atom Z540 processor, 2GB RAM, a 64GB SSD for storage, and Intel’s integrated GMA 500 graphics with the Broadcom HD encoder. Connectivity includes b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but there is no 3G option. The exterior has one USB slot, an SD card slot, a headphone jack, and hardware buttons for volume up/down, Ctrl-Alt-Del, Home (a Windows Desktop shortcut), Power, and a button to bring up the soft keyboard. There are also two cameras, a front-mounted one that shoots at VGA and then a 3MP one on the rear. The display is 8.9-inches and it runs at 1024×600. It's LED-backlit and features chemically-strengthened edge-to-edge glass. It's not Gorilla Glass, but it’s the same glass used on the EliteBook 2540p so you know it’s tough. The HP Slate is a rather complete package.
The Slate 500 will include a charging dock that has two USB slots and HDMI out. This will be a useful accessory for using the tablet on the desktop as well as charging it in between carrying sessions. A case is included, as well as a stylus. You'll need the case to carry the stylus because the Slate does not have a spot to insert it.
The Slate 500 is available through HP.com and is selling for $799.