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HP slate to be "affordable," run stock Windows 7

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Preempt! Preempt!

    HP preempts Apple again!

    Amazing how little details these preempts give. At least there's only 1 more day to wait before HP and all the rest will know precisely what they're trying to rip off.

  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is why they fail

    Instead of a purpose-built OS that suits the hardware and the way people will interact with it, they just keep cramming Windows into everything and expecting people to put up with the inherent compromises of using a desktop OS on something entirely different from a conventional desktop/laptop computer.

    "Develop something new??? But people -know- Windows!" they say.

    Yes, and look at how handsomely that strategy paid off when Windows was shoehorned into mobile phones! Once people got a look at a purpose-built mobile phone OS, they couldn't abandon WM fast enough.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Running Windows 7

    Right of the gate, its a loser.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    strange promo

    the promo photo shows gaping holes in the bottom of the picture frame device that they have there - it just doesn't look right.

    What I'm looking for is a really thin device, or at least the appearance of a thin device - they needed rounded edges with a clean look. Not this flat edge thing.

    Also, I don't know why HP is in love with Windows, I guess its been working for them so far, but they haven't tried competing in the cell phone business, and so now, I guess they'll learn their lesson with this tablet flop.

  1. tortenteufel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's the use of

    affordability if you wouldn't dream of buying one....

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The problem with stock Windows 7 with multi-touch is that it is pretty much the same as what a tablet would be with stock OS X plus the multi-touch support we already have (on the Macbook).

    Firstly, an operating system that is designed for use with a precise pointing device, not direct manipulation with fat fingers - you can see that from the screen-shot above (look at the menu on the left, or imagine trying to hit the middle of the 3 window controls at the top right - one small slip and you close your app). The same would apply on OS X.

    Secondly, a lack of multi-touch support from most existing applications - and if gestures only work with some apps, they cease to be intuitive. And that is probably the 'killer' thing for Apple's tablet, or any Android tablet - all software developed for those devices has been created with the expectation of 'touch' first.

    But I expect there will be hundreds of thousands of people out there who won't understand this before they buy, just as for a lot of people Windows 3 looked similar enough to other GUI systems of the time, even if it didn't behave the same.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So an actual slate product even from H-P

    could have cost around $1500 (x number of years ago) yet there are people that assume they are going to be able to buy 10" slates for $250 or around the price of a netbook. That's a huge price gap.

    H-P says 2010 seems to be the right time for a tablet release, but I know they're waiting to see how the Apple tablet sells before committing. I'll bet companies are going to have a hard time following Apple into that space without having a retail push and available content delivery. I don't think early full-media tablets will be inexpensive and Apple has the clientele willing to pay for higher-priced devices. That's going to be hard for Windows users who've been used to paying $300 for netbooks to divvy up $700+ for a device that might seem to be less useful than a netbook since it lacks a keyboard. I think a Windows tablet might be a hard sell unless it really is a low-cost device.

    I question it's capabilities of using a stock version of Windows 7 and getting good battery life but I may be wrong if Intel has some really low-power processors I'm unaware of.

  1. ADeweyan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's the Interface, Stupid

    And yet again, they miss the point. It's not about the hardware, it's about the whole package -- how things work together and how easy (and intuitive) it is to do what you want to do.

    Get ready for the posts that trumpet the vast range of features of the commoditized HP hardware, missing the point that all of those features are worthless if you've got to point and click through five or six menus and click on tiny links to get the hardware to do what you want it to. Just saying "Oh, Windows 7 has Multi-Touch" isn't enough.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ho hum

    go for it HP. Every time somebody tries to copy Apple and fails miserably, it makes consumers understand all that much more how insanely great Apple's products are.

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Super Lame

    This was a PATHETIC attempt at hinting that "they've been working on this for the past five years" ... yeah right. They just whipped it up in a hurry at the request of Ballmer just so that he could demo SOMETHING at CES. All this stuff that we had prototypes in the UK and beta testing cannot be verified, and is complete bullsh*t. If they were working on it, they would have released it. It's not like they haven't released $1500 or $2000 products before.

    It was really pathetic and full of lies.

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