It's been leaked many-a-time, but it's finally the day HP makes it official: the long-rumored Slate tablet PC is here, running Windows 7 and geared toward the corporate market.
The Slate 500 is powered by an Intel Atom Z540 processor and comes with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of flash-based storage. The device has Windows 7 Professional Edition on board along with a 8.9-inch multi-touch display. You can also interact with the screen via the HP Slate Digital Pen, which should help with certain business applications (such as requiring e-signatures). You also get a front-facing Webcam, a pair of USB ports, and a rear-facing 3-megapixel camera.
At $799, the Slate is on the pricey side, but you do get a dock and portfolio cover for it as well as the Digital Pen. It will be available on HP's Website, though it's not offered yet, and through HP's sales units, so don't necessarily look for it at your local Best Buy.
Speaking of apps, I asked an HP rep if the Slate would sprout an app store, and the answer was no. The company expect businesses to develop their own custom apps to run on the tablet, and using Windows should make that an easier prospect.
Ironically, while everyone has been wondering if there would be any successful consumer tablet competition for the iPad, a reinvigorated enterprise market for tablets could be shaping up with the Slate and the forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook. Of course, as the first market mover, the iPad is already making inroads with corporations and has a huge group of app developers creating new business software (along with games about angry birds).
With its Win 7 approach, can the Slate stop the iPad momentum in the biz world? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section.