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HP Killing the Slate? TechCrunch Thinks So



Here we go again.

This time it is TechCrunch reporting that HP is killing off the infamous HP Slate. This report from former Tablet maker wanna-be Michael Arrington himself says it comes from “a source that has been briefed on the matter.” So there’s no confirmation like today’s earlier news on the canceling of the Microsoft Courier.

The reasons being bandied about should come as no surprise. The Windows 7 OS is just too burdensome. Smells like somebody is looking at that new acquisition and WebOS to me.

If this turns out to be confirmed then it’s quite a day in the Slate killing biz.



  1. Jonathan

    04/29/2010 at 9:03 pm

    Wow, Tablet 2.0 is just going to pass MS by like they never were in the market.

  2. HG

    04/29/2010 at 9:28 pm

    If they do kill the HP Slate, I think it’s more killing the Win 7 OS and putting the Palm WebOS.

  3. Oliver

    04/29/2010 at 9:52 pm

    MS really should be worried at this time.

  4. Scott

    04/29/2010 at 10:46 pm

    Sounds like “everyone” (Fujitsu, MS, HP) is thinking that a slate isn’t for real work, only for play and, therefor does not need a full OS or full power processor.

    Discouraging in the extreme as I was hoping someone would come up with an 12″ i5 slate…sigh.

  5. acerbic

    04/29/2010 at 11:40 pm

    That would be a truly moronic move. A compact, lightweight, fully functional slate computer with a capacitive touchscreen and a digitizer for an affordable price would actually be magical and revolutionary. Cripple it with webOS instead and it would be just another me-too crablet.

    • Mike

      04/30/2010 at 2:34 am

      @acerbic Couldn’t agree more. If HP replaces Windows 7 with webOS I will lose all interest in the HP Slate. I already have a Palm Pre, I don’t want a giant Palm Pre.

      This move would be such a slap in the face to Microsoft too. Steve Balmer singled this device out on stage at CES. I can’t believe they could kill the Slate after all the work they put into the TouchSmart UI and all the marketing they’ve been doing for it since CES. No way, it’s not gonna happen. I would be crushed.

  6. Charles

    04/29/2010 at 11:45 pm

    Given how well the TC1100 is running Win7, and how similar the proccessing power of a pentium M is to an Atom Z53O, it seems like HP is yet againt missing the chance to turn a lot of people on to the general usefulness of tablet + Windows + 0neNote,

    I was looking forward to this form factor finally getting out to people other than early adopters/true believers, if only so that somebody would make something worthy of replacing the TC1100. While the proposed slate was only looking to be a peer, I was hoping some Slate sales would spawn some interest in producing a beefier model. Maybe one with, say, a newer Atom proc, a 1024×768 screen, a swappable battery, and compatible with the TC1x00 docking station.

    Oh well, maybe we should all send Mark Hurd an email, not that that helped with the TC1100.

    Here’s the URL in case you want to:

  7. Zeuxidamas

    04/30/2010 at 2:42 am

    I’m going to take the other viewpoint. I think that this is a good move and the right move for HP. And I concur that HP is likely killing this slate in order to replace it with a model running webOS. This only makes sense to me; capitalize on the 1.2 bil. you just spent to acquire Palm. Rather than taking the risk that UMPCs that have been re-badged as “tablets” are going to take off with the mass public. Believe me, I am all for UMPCs and slate-style TabletPCs, but I never had hopes that “tablets” running Windows 7 Home Premium were going to take off. The simple need to boot and lack of “instant on” capability were going to make it hard for them to compete out of the gate.

    I say a lot of this having recently given up on a hope of ever being able to be reasonably productive on any tablet that runs Windows 7 that does not have an active digitizer. I’ve decided that a 12″ TabletPC with an active digitizer is as good as I am going to get, and I should be happy with that platform for doing my serious work. This new market of 10″ and below devices, the successful ones anyway, will run lighter OS’ and have capacitive screens or resistive w/o active digitizers.

    That is not to say I would not personally welcome a WinCE-based device, even one geared more towards productivity than media consumption. I think HP has made the right move not because I did not want the slate, but because the market was not going to accept the HP slate into the same use-space that the mass market wanted it, which, good or bad, is the one that the iPad currently occupies. Even for me, despite the fact that I have owned three UMPCs, from now on if I plan on getting serious work done with it, it needs to have an active digitizer. Does not seem like we will see such a device in a 10″ or less form-factor without it costing a gazillion dollars. I still entertain the thought of a UNMPC with a passive screen, but I consider it something that I will not do serious work on; mostly a web-surfing and doodling pad, and doodling not so much since it will not reject my palm.

    Again, I was all for the slate, but I did not think that most of our non-nerd air-breathing brethren were going to accept it with sufficient market gain to warrant the cost to HP of deploying it for sale.
    – Vr/Zeuxidamas..>>

    • osiris

      04/30/2010 at 6:35 am

      Exactly, well said. If you want to be productive as much as you do, these devices just arent it.

      You cannot get a descent device with full OS and active digitser at the mass consumer price point. You cannot do it and thats excluding what I think is the bigger factor for mass consumers and thats the battery life. Cannot do it with an essentially desktop OS.

      I think the ipad or a WinCE based device of kind has the potential to be productive in ways but obviously if you are serious about work theres better tools for the job.

      • acerbic

        04/30/2010 at 12:25 pm

        Rubbish. Looky here:

        That with a smaller screen and digitizer and a simpler slate shell = cheaper than $826.49 = at least consumer price point, maybe even mass consumer.

        If they kill it when they are that close, based on the “advice” of a howling horde of iFad fanbois, it will be a real tragicomedy.

        BTW, I think Steve Jobs has been sent from Beta Reticuli to transform the inhabitants of this planet into passive mindless mush in preparation for the invasion.

        • Zeuxidamas

          04/30/2010 at 3:58 pm

          Not sure who the “rubbish” was directed at, but I’ll indicate my disagreement regardless.

          This is a 12″ screen. I am thinking that getting an active digitizer on a screen-size smaller, for a 7″ or 10″ device, would increase the cost. I am guessing that is the reason it has not been done to date; because it could not be offered at a price point that would allow sufficient sales.

          I personally do not feel Windows 7 runs all that great on the current crop of Atom processors. Not when you have to run Win7 Home Premium at least in order to get all of the Tablet and inking functionality. Putting Win7 Starter on a slate would just seem idiotic to me. In order to shrink a tm2 and have it run well, you’d need to have specs inside it closer to my HP2730p in order for it to run a version of Windows 7 that maximized working in a tablet/digital inking environment. More cost. I simply do not see such a device being offered at the $499 price point. While it would do more and arguably be more capable than an iPad, most of the consumer market is not interested in that increased capability for a cost that pushes them closer to the $1000 mark. If they were, there would be a lot more people owning TabletPCs.

          I think the key thing here is people are not looking for the TabletPC experience in these “Tablets”. They are looking for the mobile OS experience on a larger display. I would love it if they would make TabletPCs pushed down into the 7″ and 10″ form factors, with active digitizers, Win7 Home Premium and starting at $499. I just don’t see it happening.

          I myself have opted to simply pay for my higher-end TabletPC that is guaranteed to do everything I want, and then look for a less capable device at a significantly cheaper price point to fill my “instant-on larger than my smartphone” use-space. The attempt to strike a device that is in the middle of TabletPC and MID (60% of the functionality of a TabletPC running on the guts of a netbook) would seem to only result in a device that I would reach for less than my HP2730p when I really needed to do inking, and that I would question why I would spend more money on than a device that did what I really needed it to do for less money.

          Seems like a lot of us want devices more akin to a Motion LE1700/J3400 or a TabletKiosk Sahara in even smaller form factors with nearly all of their functionality for around $500 – $700. Take a look at the TabletKiosk NetSlate, which seems to run very close to what a lot of people here are wanting, and the thing is a preposterous $1395…starting…and it does not have an active digitizer. This type of pricing and behavior on the market for Windows Tablets (which are actually TabletPCs or UMPCs) is why I have given up hope. They are simply not going to make a device (yet; likely not this calendar year) that meets the productivity of a full-TabletPC for a cost down in the $500 to $700 range. If they are going to try and make a device that does less than that, that meets the functional needs of the masses, they can’t do it built on Win7 and an Atom processor. And while Win7 boots a lot faster than Vista, I have 5 PCs running Win7. While they may boot in 30 seconds (if you do not count the time it takes me to log in or swipe my finger, which I do), it is a good chunk longer than that before I can readily move around the screen, open whatever apps I want to, start surfing the web, etc. It is longer than 30 seconds before the device achieves full operability without delayed response to mouse-clicks and scrolling. And that is with me having msconfig.exe set to only auto-start the minimum apps and processes.

          These are just my opinions, and I hope this does not come off as heated, because I am not. Just offering my opinions for the dialogue. Thanks.
          – Zeuxidamas

          • acerbic

            04/30/2010 at 4:36 pm

            It was directed at “osiris” but I’ll gladly disagree with you too: since Wacom’s cheapest stand alone digitizers are considerably smaller than 9 inches, I don’t see how the decrease in size from 12 to 9 would increase the cost.

  8. gator

    04/30/2010 at 3:46 am

    I don’t understand how it could be because of Windows 7. I installed Win 7 on a TC1100 and a Motion LE1600. They both performed much better with that new OS.
    Come on HP – you’re supposed to be one of the top PC makers in the world. Well, it’s not showing. Figure it out.
    Long live the TC1100.

  9. GoodThings2Life

    04/30/2010 at 5:10 am

    I really don’t see why they’d kill it… release it as planned and let those of us that still want a full OS on our tablets decide whether it’s worth it, THEN start working on a version with either WebOS *or* Windows Phone 7 OS *or* Android.

    • gator

      04/30/2010 at 5:39 am

      The problem they face is not enough potential buyers. Corporations will sell just about anything if they know there will be plenty of takers.
      Once it hits the market and gets bad reviews (possibly), it’s all over. HP doesn’t want to risk that.

  10. osiris

    04/30/2010 at 5:35 am

    I think HP is saving the masses from laughing their assess off at what would have been yet another mediocre Windows tablet. Poor performance, crap battery life and a higher price tag than the ipad.

    Ditch the atom, throw in a snapdragon processor, put WP7 on it and right there is where its at. Cheaper, all day battery, nice metro UI. Microsoft has already laid the foundations for productivity with the office suite (they would just need to adapt it for a larger screen).

    A webOS slate? probably still better than the Win7 one but, I have no interest in that.

  11. gator

    04/30/2010 at 5:43 am

    So, it will either be a full blown OS or another iPad. Why can’t anyone build another TC1100? The interest is there. Apple made sure of that.

  12. DNel

    04/30/2010 at 7:54 am

    If HP goes with a version of the iPad, it loses. Why would I want an iPad knock off? So if it’s about sales, HP needs something the iPad doesn’t do. That is an active digitizer. Windows 7 starts almost instant on (my LS800 win-7 starts in about 30 seconds-close enough.)The only downside is battery life for win-7. The upside for a full OS and active digitizer far outweighs the shorter (4-5hr) battery life.

    • Zeuxidamas

      04/30/2010 at 4:08 pm

      My own definition of what I am looking for in a tablet, and what I would argue a chunk of other consumers are looking for causes me to disagree. 4-5 hours with increased functionality is not a good trade-off. If I cannot go into the office for a full work-day and not have to tether the device to an outlet,I may as well spend the money on a full TabletPC. I need this device to last at least a full-day, and not have to spend time coming out of standby when I reach for it. When I wake up in the AM, the first thing I reach for after turning off the alarm is my smartphone. I need my Tablet to be available for the same. While I do plug my phone in at night, I can’t have my first hour at home in the morning with a Tablet, when I would use it in between getting dressed, to count as an hour of battery life that then reduces me to 4 hours available for the day away from home without plugging it in. In my search for a Tablet to buy now, I took a number of days to stop and consider buying a used LS800 to fulfill that space. At the end of the day, due in part to the reasons listed here, I passed. I will admit, this may have been due to the fact that I retain a TabletPC in my kit. Users looking for a TabletPC but not wanting to pay the $1300 and up it typically takes to buy a decent one, might, I guess, look at an older TabletPC slate to fill this space. BUt again, I do not think that the majority of consumers eyeing tablets are looking for a cheaper but less robust TabletPC experience. I think they are looking for a mobile OS experience on a larger screen for a pricepoint in the $500’s.

  13. Charles

    04/30/2010 at 8:24 am

    While I would like the same OS on my laptop as my tablet I don’t think Win7 can make it just yet. It uses up too much CPU and thus kills battery life and MS needs to make it more multitouch aware. . .

    So now we can wait to see what the slate will look like with WebOS :)

    • Ryan Fletcher

      05/01/2010 at 10:03 am

      Another Toy device instead of something productive in a work environment… who needs it? Apple has already built a beautiful device that will not be beat by web OS apple killed palm to begin with OS to OS so why would we choose webos on a bigger version over the ipad.. now that being said.. I am still hoping for the windows7 version of this device.. I still want that portable form factor with some real functions in that price point!! for a student or a potential 1-1 deployment for a educational institution this could not be beat.. would still be able to pull student or staff data from the File Servers.. still run apps needed for the day to day education process,, but would still last the majority of the day… the only thing i will say is the batt lasting 8hrs or more would be a slam dunk in a device like this as long as it ran as well as a netbook, and was reasonably durable!! Come on HP you were about to build the 1st device I would have purchased from you in years!!! I just hope this device with windows 7 being moth Balled is False!!!

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