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HP silent on the Slate, but that silence says a lot



Harry McCracken at Technologizer ran into Phil McKinney, CTO of HP, at The Big Money’s Untethered conference, a meeting about “profitable media in the tablet era.” You’d think that McKinney, one of the speakers at this event about tablets would be eager to speak about HP’s tablets, specifically the Slate, but not so much.

Adapted from Alien Resurrection

Without naming names, McKinney pointed out that existing operating systems installed in new types of devices comes with drawbacks. Of course, Microsoft recognized that issue when they first got into the tablet market, splitting off an edition of Windows XP for Tablet PCs. But rather than continue on that path, they folded the functionality into the premium version of Windows Vista. So I think the drawbacks are less about using existing systems than systems not being tailored or redesigned for new form factors.

At Q&A time, Harry asked about the HP Slate, but Phil declined on the basis that the Palm deal has not been finalized. Harry makes a good point that, after months of hyping their Slate, it seems bizarre for them to go completely silent on the matter. On the other hand, if McKinney’s citing the Palm buyout as the reason he can’t comment, then he’s pretty much confirmed the plan is to run webOS on the Slate. Does that mean there won’t also be a Windows 7 Slate? No, but the development of that project isn’t necessarily connected to webOS, unless they’re purposely tying its fate to whether or not they get webOS.

In the meantime, I would point out that HP already sells a pen + multi-touch tablet that regularly discounts to well under $1,000 starting price. The HP Touchsmart tm2 has been one of our deals of the day a half dozen times, dipping as low as $700, same as the 64GB Wi-Fi only iPad. So let’s not get weepy and worry if “there won’t be some sort of Windows-powered HP tablet someday.” They have one now and have had them for years, including a slate.



  1. acerbic

    06/18/2010 at 12:34 pm

    My first tablet PC was Toshiba Portege 3500. It had a 12″ screen, was 1.3″ thick and weighed 4 lb. I carried it in a case that looked and functioned like a book cover. I couldn’t do that with the Touchsmart tm2 because of the insane battery hump sticking out of it, which is why I haven’t bought one. I haven’t bought an HP 2740p because I resent paying a $1000 premium over similar laptops for a swivel hinge and Wacom.

    Tablet/slate PCs would sell if somebody sold a decent design for a reasonable price. The Touchsmart tm2 proves that it could be done if you just don’t stupify the design.

    • Anonymous

      11/22/2011 at 8:31 am

      I haven’t looked into the details, but I’m starting to like the new fujitsu q550- win7, dual mode, reasonable price. Samsung and Asus have similar for $1K+. If HP entered the game agressively it could help but they bungle as many things as Microsoft so I won’t hold my breath.

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