HP’s highly rumored tablet, the Slate 500, has at last been announced, and its guns are pointed directly at the enterprise and business market.
Originally advertised (or thought to be) a consumer device, HP has priced the Slate 500 in such a way that they’ve put the consumer market on hold, at least for now. At $799, the Windows 7 powered tablet is simply priced high when comparing it to Samsung’s Galaxy tab or the iPad, but enterprise users are used to paying $1999 for a Core2 Duo Fujitsu slate. HP figures that for this category, $799 is reasonable, and arguably cheap.
The question is, does Slate 500 match up to its market and its price? Aesthetically, it’s a durable tablet (especially in comparison to iPad) with a rubberized back and metal edges that surround a 1024 x 600 resolution capacitive screen. The hardware is by all means targeting the average business user, which includes an N-Trig (Active Digitizer) stylus–perfect for writing in WordPad. Other hardware specs include a USB port, headphone jacks, keyboard button, VGA front-facing camera, 3 MP rear camera, and an incredibly convenient Alt + Ctrl + Delete key.
The Slate 500 packs some internal goodies as well. It’s powered by a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB SSD. Surprisingly, it can shoot a stunning 1080p video. It’s uncertain why a business user would need to shoot 1080p quality videos, but it’s a welcome addition to the device nonetheless.
Software is, of course, the dealbreaker (or dealmaker). HP has loaded the Slate 500 with the tablet version of Windows 7 Professional OS, with no extra coating or software layer. If you are an enthusiastic Windows user and content with the timeless interface that comes with Windows 7, this OS will feel extremely familiar. Both business and consumers will find that its excellent Exchange and Office support are the perfect features for a Microsoft-based tablet.
In conclusion, both heavy-business users and consumers shouldn’t have any major problems enjoying the Slate 500, other than its controversial price tag. If you prefer the Windows 7 OS model to the competition (iOS, Android, BlackBerry tab OS), you may have to dish out an extra $200-300. Thanks to HP, we now have the privilege of having a choice.
Interested in the newest tablet releases? Check out Dell Announces Android Tablet and RIM Flashes its Potential with the PlayBook Tablet