Business-focused HP Slate 500 tablet now available

Remember the HP Slate debuted way back in January at CES 2010? Now, it's a reality as the HP Slate 500 running on Windows 7 Professional is now available.

Remember the HP Slate debuted way back in January at CES 2010? Now, it's a reality as the HP Slate 500 running on Windows 7 Professional is now available.

Gallery: First look at HP Slate 500

Although this tablet is intended for a business-minded, professional market, don't confuse this with the WebOS-based Slate that is set to launch in 2011.

The HP Slate has been in a bit of a limbo stage all year. Rumors previously circulated about a summer release, and while it isn't exactly geared to be a holiday present, a boost of extra sales at the end of the year isn't a bad thing.

But now that everything is official, let's get to the confirmed nitty-gritty specs on this 1.5-pound tablet. Powered by an Intel Atom Z540 processor, the Slate 500 connects to the Internet via integrated Wi-Fi or by attaching a 3G dongle to the USB port. Additional connectivity options include the SD card slot, HDMI, and a headphones jack. Inside, you've got 2GB of memory and a 64GB SSD.

That 8.9-inch touch screen display (1,024 x 768 max resolution) does toggle from portrait to landscape mode thanks to the built-in accelerometer. The geometrically-patterned back consists of a rubberized material that gives users a good grip when handling the tablet. On each side of the device, you'll also spot some cameras. The one up front acts as a webcam, while the rear is a 3-megapixel camera.

Given that HP would like entrepreneurs and other professionals using this device, there has been some thought put into security. Email is secured with a VPN and there is the option for encryption.

Available through HP's direct sales force and HP.com, the HP Slate 500 is retailing for $799. The bundle includes a digital pen (yes, you can write on this with a stylus like it were one big Palm Pilot), a docking station and a portfolio case. Note that this is the only configuration available...for now.

For more on the HP Slate 500, be sure to check out my hands-on, first look review.

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