Nope, you're not dreaming, but feel free to pinch yourself, rub your eyes or take a cold shower! You've read right -- the HP Slate is finally official, and after all the teasing, back and forth, and (very recent) leaks, the Atom-powered, Windows 7 Slate will finally see the light of day -- though in a different way than originally intended. While the first videos released by HP may have made it seem like it would be for consumers, HP's tactfully changed its tune (don't forget it's got Palm / WebOS tablets on the way) and is now aiming the Slate at the enterprise and business market. Still, it will be available on HP's site for $799 to anyone who wishes to purchase one.

So, what does $800 of your hard earned cash buy you? Well, in addition to the dock and case, which are included in the box, the tablet packs pretty much everything we'd heard over the last year -- it's powered by a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor, 2GB of RAM, 64GB SSD and packs Broadcom's Crystal HD accelerator for handling 1080p video. (The included dock has an HDMI-out port if you want to hook it up to the big screen.) Obviously, the 8.9-inch capacitive touch Slate runs Windows 7 Professional, but it's got a Wacom N-Trig active digitizer for taking notes, which certainly sets it apart from the other Win 7 tablets we've seen over the last couple of weeks. Oh, and don't forget its front facing VGA cam and 3 megapixel camera on its back. We got a chance to finally grope the tablet earlier this week, so hit the break for our early impressions and a short video.
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HP Slate hands-on

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HP Slate press shots


As you may expect, the Slate's metal edges and rubberized back give it a fairly durable feel, and its 8.9-inch display makes the 1.5-pound device easier to manage than some of those 10-inch tablets we've seen of late. Surrounding the metal edges is a USB port, headphone jacks, keyboard button and that always useful Alt + Ctrl + Delete key. Interestingly the right side is also home to a slide-out Windows license -- HP tells us it had be included, but they didn't want to muck up the nice contoured back. We only got to spend a short time with the tablet, but the 1024 x600-resolution capacitive screen provided a decently responsive experience within Windows, and the N-Trig stylus, which there oddly isn't a slot for on the tablet itself, was great for doodling in Paint and writing in WordPad. While the active digitizer does add a bit to the overall price, we think it's worth it especially for text input as the soft keyboard can be a bit cramped on the smaller screen. We couldn't get a real feel for the performance, but it's using a weaker Atom Z Series processor so we're not expecting blazing speeds and feeds here. HP isn't preloading the tablet with any sort of software layer since, you know, it is for the business folk! We're hoping to get a review unit soon, but until then check out the video and short press release below.



Show full PR text
HP Statement

The new HP Slate 500 Tablet PC is designed specifically for business, enterprise and vertical customers looking for the mobility of a tablet, the familiarity of Microsoft Windows 7 and the ability to run custom or corporate applications.

With a starting weight of only 1.5 lb (0.68 kg), the HP Slate 500 Tablet PC sets a new standard for mobile productivity with a an ultra-thin, sleek form-factor that enables businesses such as retail, healthcare, insurance, education and hospitality to be more intuitive and work efficiently while on the go. The ability to easily incorporate custom business applications differentiates this product and ultimately enhances the user experience and saves time for HP's business and enterprise customers.

The 8.9-inch capacitive multi-touch display of the HP Slate 500 Tablet PC allows users to navigate on the screen with the touch of a finger or with the HP Slate Digital Pen and Evernote® software to handwrite e-mail messages and take notes easily.

The integrated VGA webcam on the front of the HP Slate 500 Tablet PC enables video conferencing, while the 3MP camera on the back can be used for still-image and video capture. With Wi-Fi CERTIFIEDTM WLAN, users can send and receive e-mails or access the internet at work, at home, and favorite hotspots.

The HP Slate 500 Tablet PC will be available first in the U.S. and then evaluated for further market expansion.

Pricing for the HP Slate 500 Tablet PC is $799, and includes the HP Slate Digital Pen, HP Slate Dock, and HP Slate Portfolio.

To learn more about the HP Slate 500 Tablet PC and ways it will enable mobile professionals to increase efficiency, please visit: www.hp.com/go/slate/

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HP Slate 500 finally (finally!) official, rings up at $799