updated 01:55 pm EDT, Fri April 27, 2012
HP Slate 8 may be much sleeker, net 10h battery
The first production Windows 8 tablet may have been uncovered early in a presentation believed leaked on Friday. Badged as the Slate 8, the third-generation Windows tablet seen by Neowin in preliminary rendered form would be much sleeker than previous generations. The 10-inch tablet would now be much more competitive in design, at 0.36 inches thick and eight to ten hours of battery, while carrying an aluminum design with a chin for the hardware Start button.
Although the choice of processor isn't explicitly mentioned, the use of Windows 8 Professional, along with simply a focus on enterprise customers' software and security, would dictate an Intel or AMD chip. Support would exist for pen input along with the expected multi-touch, and it would have "enterprise level docking" for full-time work as well as an outdoor-friendly screen as an option.
HP has been aiming to return to tablets with Windows 8 and should have its first example out before the end of the year. The render isn't final and could change even if completely accurate, but it lines up both with expectations of an early HP entry and with the naming schemes that came with the Windows Phone 7 launch, where phones like the LG Optimus 7 and Samsung Omnia 7 were named to reflect their OS, not their version history.
The enterprise focus could be a concern for Microsoft as it would show HP once again reluctant to have a Windows tablet oriented to the home. HP's original Slate 500 was held up in January 2010 as Microsoft's preemptive iPad challenger with a home user focus, but the official iPad launch and runaway sales, as well as the opportunity to buy Palm, led HP to relegate the Slate 500 to corporate customers nine months later.