updated 08:55 am EST, Tue January 26, 2010
HP tablet to be a basic touch computer
HP today teased its slate prototype in a video (viewable below) with a handful of information. Company CTO Phil McKinney explained that the company had wanted to produce this device for years but that it was waiting until the OS and parts weren't "outrageously expensive;" while not ready to provide a price, he noted that it could have cost $1,500 if released earlier. The new price is "affordable."
The design is designed as a "rich media" consumption system that provides a more advanced format for e-books and videos than either a dedicated reader or media player but in a much more comfortable design than a netbook.
He also clarified the software philosophy hinted at during the Microsoft CES keynote and showed the slate running a stock version of Windows 7 using apps such as the New York Times' news reader. The company doesn't necessarily have to use a customized OS as Microsoft's platform already has multi-touch support, although no explanation is given as to typing. Microsoft already has an on-screen keyboard, though it may not necessarily be suited to the tablet design.
A launch is still only pegged for sometime in 2010.
The design contrasts sharply against that which most expect at Apple's special event tomorrow. While Apple is likely to have a similar screen size and focus on similar imaging content, most expect it to run a variant of the iPhone OS and center more on specific tasks rather than serve just as a touch-only general computer. It would also run an ARM processor under this scenario where the HP slate will have to run an Intel Atom or another larger, more power-hungry x86 processor.