HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

Summary: HP's new tablet trades webOS for Windows 7, and consumers for businesses/professionals -- meet the Slate 2 Tablet PC.

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HP may not be making any more TouchPads with webOS for consumers, but it certainly isn't willing to be left out of the tablet party.

With a new Slate 2 Tablet PC running the full version Windows 7 due out later this month, HP believes it has the device that businesses and professionals will need to get things done. Is HP onto something or simply delusional that any tablet can challenge the best-selling iPad 2?

The Slate 2 will look familiar to HP fans as its predecessor, the Slate 500, made quite a splash at CES 2010. If you don't remember, well that's because it didn't really take off post-launch, which is why it's perplexing for HP to try again with the Slate 2.

Essentially, the Slate 2 has the guts of a netbook but in the form factor of a tablet, complete with a 8.9-inch capacitive multi-touch screen that also works with a stylus (included) as well as a virtual Swype keyboard. The Slate 2's Intel Atom "Oak Trail" Z670 processor clocks at approximately 1.5 GHz according to NotebookCheck, has a 64GB mSATA drive as well as a SD Card slot for extra storage. Unfortunately, its rear camera is still the same 3-megapixel one as in the Slate 500 but comes with a front-facing one for video conferencing. Most importantly, the Slate 2's battery is now good for 6 hours of use, and its dock provides two USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI connector.

HP has also come up with some business-friendly accessories for the Slate 2:

  • Bluetooth keyboard and stand integrated into a carrying case so you won't have to carry multiple accessories when you hit the road (see video).
  • HP Retail Point of Sale case (pictured below) with integrated slot for swiping credit cards without directing your customer to the cashier line

HP is positioning the Slate 2 as the mobile solution for non-cubicle work environments: as electronic charts for doctors and nurses in hospitals, servers in restaurants to take orders/seat guests and allow them to pay at the tablet, and any other professionals who are tied to the Windows ecosystem who need a full computer in a tablet wherever they work. I've only used Windows 7 by touch controls very briefly on an all-in-one so I know it works, but I do wonder how well the Atom chip on the Slate 2 handles Windows 7 because even Win 7 Starter can be laggy on a netbook.

Considering the Slate 2's rather high price tag of $699.99 -- you can get a pretty powerful i5 laptop at this price these days -- I'm not sure the tablet's combination of (software) power and portability is worth the cost. But your line of work may well require something like this and the relative lack competing tablets for professionals (Sean mentions the Dell Latitude ST as the closest competitor to the Slate 2) could bring HP some business after all. What do you think?

[Source: HP's Blog, HP, NotebookCheck, The Verge; Photo: SlashGear; Video: HP's YouTube Channel]

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Topics: Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Tablets, Windows

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31 comments
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  • Oh no Mister Bill

    Uh-oh. The 800 pound gorilla has entered the room! Apple is doomed! Doomed I say! Even Hardrock Goliathson will buy one of these after realizing that tablets are no longer a fad.
    Robert Hahn
  • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

    The problem I've seen with most battery estimates... is if it says 6 hours of use, that means you'll pull about 3. I've seen iPads run for 8 to 12... Battery life would seem to be a number one priority when it comes to portability.
    doh123
    • iPad battery life

      @doh123
      We've seen iPad last only 3 or 4 hours with our patients. Depends, as with ALL device, the use.
      M.
      AAC Tech
  • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

    I noticed the "Point of Sales" add-on credit card reader. If you were a sales clerk, would you prefer the Apple iPod Touch lightweight "Point of Sales" card reader unit or the HP Slate based model?
    kenosha77a
  • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

    Hmm, all the above three reactions to this news are from Apple fanbois. Very Interesting.... :D
    Ram U
    • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

      @Rama.NET We are trying to prevent anyone from getting too excited about what will be another major flop for HP. We just don't want you to get your feelings hurt.
      His_Shadow
    • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

      @Rama.NET

      What exactly was biased about my point of view expressed in my comment? I said nothing about the HP Slate 2 except for the optional point of sale hardware designed for it.

      If you wish to be a HP Fanbois of HP Slate designs, by all means, give your favorable opinion of this hardware.

      I'll read it and not pass judgement on it. You have my word.
      kenosha77a
  • Great Google Moogly

    It has a stylus. DOA.
    His_Shadow
    • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

      @His_Shadow
      Not sure if you're aware, but a user doesn't need to use a stylus on a slate device. And to those that need them, it's there. They work great for signing documents and the handwriting recognition software is fantastic... I could come up with more usage cases if you'd like.
      stevesu*
    • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

      @His_Shadow <br><br>Umm, some of us still know how to write...
      tonymcs@...
  • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

    As one who has a Slate 500, I'm tempted to upgrade, primarily for the updated n-Trig hardware. The Slate 500 has an early version of the hardware which does not ink as well as the newer version (used in the Q550). Also, the integrated GMA 600 (versus separate GMA 500) might be nice, although it looks like it still doesn't support DirectX 10. As far as the battery life, the Slate 500 comes close to its claimed 5 hours with moderate use so I wouldn't dismiss the 6 hours out of hand, although if it can manage that with the BT keyboard, I'd be surprised.
    HildyJhnsn
    • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

      @HildyJhnsn

      The GPU in the original model is completely useless and renders the experience laughable.
      If the GMA 600 doesn't increase the GPU power significantly, just forget it.
      TheCyberKnight
    • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

      @HildyJhnsn Your post was more informative than the article. Thanks!

      This is obviously a work device. The lack of Dx10 support kills any chance of gaming on it. As a result, I don't see it tapping iPad market share, but it could be useful for the corporate world.
      BillDem
    • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

      @HildyJhnsn
      Why not just use W7's OSK?
      Works for me.
      AAC Tech
  • I'm sorry, this is not the tablet you're looking for.

    At this current time, with this current hardware, I hardly see a great reason for me to switch from my Xoom to this device. The screen is smaller, for one thing. Another is that I'm waiting for Windows on an ARM.

    This might sell some, but I don't see it being all that great when compared to a more slimmed down OS.

    This might sell thousands to big business people, the ones who want a tablet that can run office, but not for me. Now, if it was a bit less and housed the unreleased beta of Windows 8?

    I'd totally want that.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • Ferrari pick-up truck

      Who are these people that want "a tablet with Office"? Are they still going to want it if you stuff it in their hands and ask for their debit card once they realize that -- oh yeah -- tablets don't have keyboards?

      What is Office without a keyboard? Ideally you even want a desk with an ergonomic chair. Office just isn't a "tablet" kind of thing.

      Oh, it's something that Microsoft will promote to the skies, because they know most people won't think ahead to what it would really be like to to use Word or Excel with an on-screen keyboard. That turns a "productivity app" into a reason to attend Anger Management class.

      I don't suppose we'll stop hearing about "Office on tablets" until it's actually available under Windows 8. Only then, when people have it in their hands and can see what a dumb idea it is, will the noise go away.
      Robert Hahn
      • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

        @Robert Hahn
        Here's some usage cases for you:
        Doctor uses device to monitor patient...then heads back to his office to do a write up, etc., connects his kb either via dock or BT and uses office to check mail, do the write up, etc.

        Teacher walks around classroom, connecting the slate to a SMART board, teaching students, etc. Then while students are perforning work quietly, she walks back to her desk, connects her kb via BT or dock and checks mail, sends out notices to parents using Office.

        Field worker uses rugged device to monitor a racecar during a race, notices a deficency and pulls up the schematics to find a solution...using Office...

        My wife sits on the couch and looks through facebook, web and email... Then we have to bust out a document for the non-profit we work for, so she connects her BT kb.

        I could go on... These are all things that happen today...with current slate devices.
        stevesu*
      • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

        @Robert Hahn

        lol. perfect set up for me, an insurance adjuster. I can walk around a car writing a damage appraisal using the slate, then when I get back to the office or hotel room, write up a report using Word and the keyboard, and then upload it to the insurance company.

        My kid can sit on the couch researching for homework while watching Jersey Shores, and once she's gathered what she needs, attach the keyboard and do her homework.

        Lots of different scenarios I can think of for using a slate and having a keyboard when you need it. I really doubt that anyone buying a tablet, regardless of who makes it, that is planning on using it for work would not take into consideration using a keyboard to go with it. If you're buying a tablet for work purposes, then a Windows tablet is a no brainer. If you're looking for something to play angry birds on, then an ipad or android would be a better choice.
        kvsmith59
  • RE: HP Slate 2 is a Win 7 tablet for road warriors, $699 (video)

    http://50.gd/1i
    zgwertge
  • Need a more powerful cpu

    I will stick with convertible (with su9600, 4g memory, 500g disk).
    ZenithY