HP's Slate has been knocking around in the limbo of unlaunched products since January, when it was announced at CES 2010. HP hasn't said much about it since, although it's rumoured to have an 8.9" 1024x600 multitouch screen, an Atom Z530 processor with 1GB RAM, an SGX 535 graphics chip that can manage HD playback, and a 3 megapixel camera. It runs Windows 7 - which, as HP has now bought the WebOS mobile operating system along with Palm, is one reason suggested for its delayed, some say cancelled, appearance.
But a tweet from Apple commentator John Gruber a couple of hours ago points to a YouTube video of what has every appearance of a finished prototype HP Slate, running Windows, playing video and behaving much as expected. As video'd, the Slate has the usual complement of buttons, ports and other features, and there's not much you can do that's novel with that form factor. HP hasn't commented, but as the company rarely gets the full fake iPhone treatment and the device seems exactly as expected -- it passes the sniff test.
Without a price - which won't be low - it's hard to predict how popular this device will be, assuming it's allowed out. Windows 7 is following the normal path of selling well on new computers but not being seen as a must-have upgrade for XP owners otherwise, and it has few advantages in a tablet over other OSs that can also browse the web and play content - and that frequently cost far less.