HP Unveils Slate 500 Tablet


Yet another tech giant has entered the fray with a tablet PC in an effort to take a bite out of Apple’s market share.

Meet the HP Slate 500, a Windows 7-based tablet with a 8.9-inch, 1024×600 resolution screen, a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor, a Crystal HD accelerator for HD video playback, two gigabytes of RAM, and a 64GB SSD.

A touchscreen allows users to use their fingers to browse documents, spreadsheets and applications. Check e-mail, browse the Web, and read and edit documents, presentations and spreadsheets. A USB port and two cameras – a 3-megapixel one on the back and a VGA webcam -- allow users to take still shots and Web conference with colleagues, respectively. And the HP Slate Digital Pen and Evernote software help users handwrite e-mail messages and take notes easily.

Promising total portability, the HP Slate 500 can be easily connected to accessories like a keyboard, mouse and printer. The device also has WiFi but lacks 3G connectivity.

Priced at $799, the HP Slate 500 is more expensive than the iPad. That said, HP doesn’t appear to have its eye on the average consumer anyway. Rather, as the company’s website states, the device is intended for “professionals who don’t usually work at a traditional desk, yet need to stay productive in a secure, familiar Windows environment.”

Given its business-friendly specifications, the HP Slate 500’s closest rival may turn out to be RIM’s PlayBook, not Apple’s consumer-centric iPad. Unveiled last month, the PlayBook boasts a seven-inch touchscreen, dual high-definition cameras for video capture and video conferencing, measures less than half an inch thick, weighs less than a pound for ultra-portability and has WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities. 

The PlayBook can also be paired with the BlackBerry using a secure Bluetooth connection, enabling business professionals to use the larger tablet display to view any of the e-mail, BBM, calendar, tasks, documents and other content that resides on (or is accessible through) their smartphone.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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