Like Dell, HP is hoping that is can compete better with the iPad in a corporate setting, rather than on consumer store shelves. It's just announced an updated version of its Slate business tablet that runs Windows 7 and features a slew of improvements.
Dubbed the Slate 2, it comes with an Intel Atom Z670 processor and promises an improved six hours of battery life. It now includes Swype's finger-swiping software to input text on the 8.9-inch touch screen. (You can also use the optional Slate Digital Pen for stylus input.) The Slate 2 also has a front-facing Webcam, rear-facing 3-megapixel camera, a pair of USB ports, an HDMI output, and an SD memory card slot.
Enterprise-friendly features include an embedded security chip with HP ProtectTools to manage its settings, Computrace Pro support to remotely erase data in case of theft, and optional accessories like the Point of Sale Case, which includes a barcode reader and magnetic stripe reader.
At $699, the Slate 2 is priced lower than Dell's similar $859 Latitude ST, though the Latitude comes with a bigger 10.1-inch screen. Of course, these are both pricier than the cheapest iPad 2 (even a 3G model), but Dell and HP are clearly betting that corporations (and their IT departments) will feel more comfortable using Windows slates than Apple tablets.