Slate/PalmPad (HP, Palm)
HP briefly showed off its Slate tablet PC at CES this year, and the company made even bigger eaves when it acquired Palm over the summer. Both moves have put HP in a favorable position when it comes to the tablet marketplace, and the Slate/PalmPad is poised to strike hard and fast…whenever it gets released.
|Operating System||Windows 7 Home Premium w/ HP UI|
|Display Size, Reolution||8.9", 1024x600|
|CPU||1.6 GHz Intel Z530|
|GPU||Intel IGP, Broadcom HD Accelerator|
|Onboard Storage||32 GB, 64 GB (rumored)|
|Camera(s)||VGA front, 3 MP back|
|Ports/Expansion||USB, SDHC, SIM (optional WWAN)|
|Connectivity||WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G (optional)|
The HP/Palm offering is the dark horse in this group simply because of a lack of details. HP has yet to make anything officially official, but we do have some good ideas on where its products are heading. The HP Slate at CES was running Windows 7, which even after the Palm acquisition, isn’t going to change. If anything, HP will simply sell two different tablets: one with Windows 7, and one with the Palm’s webOS 2.0. The HP Slate won’t be the only Windows 7 tablet to come out in 2010-2011, but it is in the best position. HP is the top PC seller in the world right now, and that kind of power and influence will come in handy in the still-growing tablet sector. While HP will likely put up its own sort of application marketplace, Windows 7 already has access to millions of apps, which makes it the strongest competitor to Apple’s App Store.
When it comes to hardware, the HP Slate is still working with older technology. The Slate is supposedly packing an Intel Atom Z530 (1.6 GHz) coupled with integrated Intel graphics. However, rumor has it that a Broadcom HD chip is also inside, so 1080p playback should be a possibility. We are also looking at 1 GB of memory and 32-64 GB of storage, with an SDHC slot for expandability.
One thing that remains to be seen is 3G/4G support. Because the Slate is being produced by a company like HP, 3G is probably going to be optional, a feature that has become popular in many laptops nowadays. WiFi is a guarantee, of course, and optional 3G will also keep costs down, on both hardware and post-sale (no monthly 3G carrier payments) levels.
The HP Slate is somewhat mediocre from a hardware standpoint, but Windows 7 gives it a major leg-up on the competition. Using the most popular current-gen OS in the world will do that to a device, naturally. If you’re already using a Windows machine at home, then the Slate will look attractive simply because its familiar and much of your current software will work on it, or play nice with it over the network.