When its specs were leaked to the world a couple of weeks ago, HP's answer to the iPad—the Slate tablet—looked like it was bringing some game to the competition, featuring things like a built-in camera and an integrated Webcam, USB port, and Flash support, all of which Apple's tablet lacks. But the first hands-on writeup of the Slate being tested "in the wild" probably isn't going to cause Steve Jobs and company to lose a lot of sleep.
A Mexico City-based Website called Conecti.ca managed to score some time with the Slate (a "translated" version—i.e., a Google Translate version—of its findings is here), and when its one-word summation of the experience is "meh," that's not the best sign. The testers' biggest issue was that as a result of it running Windows 7 (with only an Intel Atom processor and 1GB of RAM) the Slate was slow to load ("long and annoying"), which is especially notable given the iPad's nearly instant boot up.
While the site did appreciate the Slate's expansion options and a screen that it found even brighter than the iPad's, it concludes that the HP tablet is more of a competitor for netbooks than for the iPad. That's not exactly a kiss-of-death verdict, but if the Slate is being held back performance-wise by sticking with Windows, that leaves even more of an opening for an Android-powered tablet being the best hope for those holding out for a non-Apple tablet solution.