Could this be HP's Windows 8 business slate?

Could this be HP's Windows 8 business slate?

Summary: Business users: How does a 10.1-inch slate running Windows 8 Pro with eight to ten hours of battery life sound to you?


If this is a real image of a real mock-up of a real HP Windows 8 tablet, business users might see an impressively thin, multi-touch device with between eight to ten hours of battery life before the year is out.

(click on the slide to enlarge)

Yes, there are lots of ifs attached to the image of the "HP Slate 8," which first appeared on earlier this week. After a bit of investigation, I am inclined to believe this is a real mock-up and is part of HP's line up of business desktops and laptops it will be touting this year. (I asked HP for comment on the slide and still have yet to hear back. and was told by a spokesperson "we don’t comment on rumors or speculation.")

It's no secret that HP is working on an Intel-based Windows 8 tablet. CEO Meg Whitman said as much earlier this year, noting that the device would be out before the end of 2012.

But this latest slide includes a few more details as to what to expect with this tablet, that is the apparent successor to the HP Slate 2 Windows business slate introduced in late 2011.

First off, it will be running Windows 8 Professional, one of the handful of newly announced Windows 8 SKUs detailed by Microsoft recently. That means it will include the Desktop, allowing it to run existing Windows apps. It also will include encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. The HP Slate 8 will be 10.1 inches, 9.2mm thin and weigh .68 kg (1.5 pounds), according to the slide.

The battery life claims on the slide -- between 8 and 10 hours -- are in line with what Intel has promised will be available on Windows 8 tablets running the Clover Trail Atom processor later this year.

Other listed features include "enterprise-level docking" and both multi-touch and stylus support. There are no hints on pricing.

What do you think? If this slide is real, is HP moving in the right direction with at least one of its Windows 8 offerings?

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


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • HP's Windows 8 business slate

    Mary Jo,

    Sounds good to me, but would rather have a 14-inch or larger version. I'm a clumsy typist.

    • just use docking station with full KB

      14-inch is much to big for a tablet. The 11 1/2 inch Samsung pushes it.
    • Screen size

      I like my 12" Tablet PC screen size the best. 10" is too small.
  • Now that's what I'm talking about

    Makes me very happy that I didn't "upgrade" from my iPad 2 to the iPad 3 (or whatever Apple is calling these things today).

    Nice job HP and MS.
    • Some specs to compare this concept to "whatever Apple is marketing" now

      This proposed HP Slate is slightly thinner (9.2 to 9.4 mm) and slightly heavier (1.5 to 1.44 lbs) than the new iPad.

      If .. and this is a big if .. Win 8 is as responsive in running mainstream Windows apps on this new Intel atom processor as iOS apps perform on the new iPad than consumers will have a viable and desirable alternative to Apple's iPad ecosystem.

      It is a safe bet to speculate that this slate will NOT have a retina capable display (otherwise the product slide would have touted that feature) but for Microsoft Office apps a retina display is not necessary. (Although reading sharp text on my new iPad is still an everyday joy.)

      This should be a good product.
      • HP Slate - retina or not

        I've been a regular and avid iPad (1st gen) user since the day it first was on the market. Though I was eagerly awaiting the release of the retina display model, now that I've seen a few, I'm just not that impressed. A more useful display improvement for the HP Slate (and I hope future iPads) would be to go to a matte (non-glossy) screen.
      • How many millions of iPad 1 and 2 did Apple sell?

        Clearly the lack of a retina display (keeping in mind that the phrase "retina display" is a meaningless phrase that Apple made up) is not a barrier to people having a 98% satisfaction rate with a product.
      • MS has already said: no legacy apps on ATOM processors

        So don't expect Office on this "alleged" slate. In fact, don't expect it to perform well with even the bare-OS running with nothing enabled.
      • I believe in the sense that

        first there was "the iPad". Next it was "the iPad2". Now it's "The iPad3, but really we are not calling it that, we are calling this one the iPad".
        Tim Cook
      • wackoe: check with your puppet master first

        I know that you blindly follow the orders that have been handed down to you from your puppet masters at Apple but you should have thought about this one just a little more carefully.

        [i]MS has already said: no legacy apps on ATOM processors[/i]

        MS said no legacy apps on ARM processors. ATOM processors run Windows in all its legacy glory.
      • Good point about the retina display...

        But, from what I have read about the retina display it not all cakes and ale. Everyone likes a crisper flashy display, but as I hear it, in the case of a tablet it comes with costs. Taking advantage of that super high res retina display can take up a lot of extra storage for software and data that puts it to use.

        The highly limited storage on these things makes me cringe more than just a little bit when I think of much of it getting gobbled up by the increased data volume needed to take advantage of it.

        In the end, a retina display is a nice thing Im sure, but its also a luxury I would rather pass on if it comes with hidden costs attached. At least hidden until you start getting some use out of all those pixals and you find your paying for it in unexpected ways.
      • 64-bit?

        Will an ATOM processor run a full 64-bit Windows implementation? Will it run it well?
      • @wackoae

        You say:
        "In fact, don't expect it to perform well with even the bare-OS running with nothing enabled."

        Sorry, but the bottom line is that EVERYONE except those with their own agendas does expect Windows 8 slates to run great. If they will or not is another issue, but absolutely COUNT ON everyone expecting them to.

        Even Microsoft has to absolutely count on them running well. Its the core reason why Windows 8 is made the way it is. If Windows 8 doesn't run great on tablets it will most positively go down in history as the most colossal blunder in the IT world ever.

        Think about it, think about it real hard. The biggest software company making the most popular OS in the world, redesigns their flagship product, Windows, in a somewhat radically new way specifically for use in the mobile market, particularly on tablets.

        Now lets imagine in imaginary land that Microsoft did this, and they did it in such a way (for some truly bizarre inexplicably confounding reason) that it wouldn't run particularly well on tablets. There really is no reasonable or excusable explanation for why Microsoft would do that. Why try to drive themselves into oblivion?

        I guess you could say, it might be just a mistake, but seriously, under anyones imagination Microsoft put a bit to much work into Windows 8 for Windows 8 to have just come about by mistake. If Windows 8 doesn't run particularly well on multiple kinds of tablets and smartphones the fact couldn't be clearer that MS would have been better off not doing anything at all.

        So ya, WE ARE ALL expecting Windows 8 to work quite well on tablets.
      • @wackoae

        I think you've been misinformed. All intel x86/x64 based processors will have backward compatability with existing Windows apps. You must be thinking about the ARM processors, not Intel's atoms. They are just low-powered processors. Doesn't take much to run Office. Games might not be so hot, but Office will be fine.
      • Apple, more than anyone, unlikely to emply wackoe

        He has rabid foot-in-mouth disease and they would be forever trying to gag him!
      • Though a compelling Windows product is not posible on x86 for slate

        Intel processors are 22nm. The i series of CPUs have mulitple cores and generate tons of heat. The retail desktop variants of the i5 and i7 processors come bundled with heavy duty heat sinks and large fans.
        laptops are fairly large and require fan cooling systems. For x66 to acheive the performance level of ARM which BTW are already going dual core, would be too large and draw too much power for a slate.

        Notice that the HP slate 8 would need to be thicker than most android slates and posibly be handicapped to windows 7 starter performance. Android hads a hard time penitrating into ipad's market because of performance was simply not up to par. For android it was not the hardware of a specific device because motorola has had it's xoom tablets faster than the original ipad. Yet app performance was that of other slower tablets. When an app for android tablet is made. it must run on the lowest speed model availible to ensure a wide availibility over multiple devices. Ipad has only to wory about 3 models. But even then the orignial ipad as the base slate ios platform results in very high performance apps.

        Windows 8 on atom will be experiencing issues much like android did but will be treated more like a touch screen net top minus the keyboard. It's not going work. Ultra books are going to be way more appealing. The thing is that ultra books are the saving grace for windows platform. Next step is develop windows on ARM. It's the only ways to for slate.
  • Not thrilled about Atom but...

    While I REALLY like my Samsung Series 7 Slate with its i5 CPU, four hours of battery is good, but the eight listed for this x86 version. If the hardware has enough oomph that when it's docked it could drive a 22" widescreen monitor, and the dock has options for an additional hard drive and/or optical drive, then yes this device has a real shot at being a very disruptive enterprise device.

    If you can have all the manageability of a device that's a full member of a Windows Domain (versus phones that have access but aren't fully managed) which can replace a desktop when docked and do everything and more than either an iPad or Android tablet when undocked, that's something both Enterprise users and IT departments can both enjoy. (Wait, can you enjoy an enterprise device?)

    IMHO the killer app for Windows 8 Pro/Enterprise slates is OneNote. I have a co-worker that really likes their iPad and is a OneNote fan. When they saw me using OneNote with a pen and converting my scrawl into readable text, they asked me where to find that function. I of course had to explain that my slate was a full PC and the "Ink to Text" function required the full version of OneNote. I could tell that they were already working out how they were going to get a Windows Tablet for themselves.
    • Yes, I have no idea why MSFT hasn't pushed OneNote as a killer app yet

      My daughter did 4 years of Engineering school using OneNote on a Lenovo convertible Tablet PC and *all* of her notes were taken using OneNote - she swears by it.

      Had MSFT pushed OneNote correctly, the Tablet PC form factor might have become popular. A domain-joined, dockable, OneNote-capable PC in an iPad-sh form factor would be amazing.
      • It comes with Windows RT

        OneNote comes with Windows RT, so they could still push it. Kind of sucks that it isn't a Metro app, though.

        (or is 'included,' whatever that means)
    • Couldn't agree more.

      OneNote is an incredibly useful app. The use-anything-anywhere concept is so simple and powerful. I have done entire presentation workups there in a third of the time it takes to do it by manual methods. And with the ability to share workspaces in real time, the collaborative white-boarding possibilities are endless. I even use it on my Windows phone. Coupled with Sharepoint or with Office Live, it provides nearly effortless syncing and connectivity with everything else I compute with.

      I am expecting OneNote to get linked heavily with the reworked Office Live offering for this summer, especially for online meetings and classes (for the education world). If so, it will be a lot more visible to everyone in Windows 8, which I also expect will utilize Office Live heavily to run Office on lower powered processors.