HP Slate Specs, Compared to iPad

Engadget got a hold of an HP presentation that compares the forthcoming HP Slate to the iPad. We saw a nice video demo of the HP Slate earlier today, but this is the first time we’ve seen such detailed specs. The HP Slate has some very compelling features, but I’m not sure if it’ll be enough for Apple fans to trade in their iPads. The big news is that there will be pen/digitizer support.

It’s still unknown what kind of digitizer HP is utilizing, much less how it’ll perform, but this has me pretty excited. I doubt the inking experience will be anything close to what we’re used to seeing in professional tablets, but at least HP’s throwing us a bone here.

The HP Slate will be priced at $549 and $599. The device will run on a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, Intel UMA graphics and Windows 7 Home Premium. Based on those specs, you can can expect performance similar to the average netbook. A custom HP touch-optimized interface will make it easier to use the multi-touch device.

The HP Slate will have a 30whr 2-cell battery that will last for up to five hours. This is half of the battery life you can expect out of an iPad. Much to my surprise, the iPad’s battery is lasting for an incredibly long time.

When I was considering buying an iPad, I couldn’t figure out when and where I’d use the thing. Now that I own one, I’m still trying to figure that out. But with the HP Slate, the answer to that question is much clearer. I see the HP Slate as replacing the netbook for me.

If you take a close look at the presentation slide, you’ll see that HP’s highlighted the advantages of the HP Slate in green and the threats to the HP Slate in red. In my opinion there are three threats not on the slide that HP should really pay attention to:

1) iPad applications: HP’s clearly addressing many of the concerns people have in terms of hardware specs, but where’s the software specifically built for the device?

2) The iEcosystem: There are countless vendors pushing accessories and peripherals that can be used with the iPad. Every ad for a car charger, case or stylus is an ad for the iPad. Who’s going to generate buzz for this thing besides HP? I hope they have some strong partnership announcements lined up.

3) Ease of Use: The iPad is about as simple as it gets. Hand it to a kid or a grandma and they just get it. Will the HP Slate offer a streamlined experience beyond the touch UI? Or will it be a typical Windows experience wrapped in a nice cover? People need to be able to pick up the HP Slate and do something cool/fun within a minute or less when they see it for the first time.

33 Comments

  1. Sumocat

    04/05/2010 at 5:48 pm

    Well, alright HP. Looks like I may have my next Tablet PC picked out, but let’s be serious, that is a Tablet PC, complete with all the drawbacks that come with it. It’s got a faster processor but it’s bogged down by Windows 7 and the added Touchsmart UI overhead, nor is it an always-on device. That’s fine for me, but I’m hardly the average consumer.

    Reply

    • GottaRunSomething

      04/05/2010 at 6:27 pm

      Bogged down by Windows 7? Would you have preferred they used XP? Or a smartphone OS? Or just a web browser?

      I think Windows 7 is, by far, the most user-friendly OS available to HP at this time.

      Reply

      • Sumocat

        04/05/2010 at 6:40 pm

        You are correct, which is unfortunate for HP.

        Reply

    • GoodThings2Life

      04/05/2010 at 8:07 pm

      You’re right… you’re not the average consumer, so you’ll have the option of installing nearly whatever you want to run on it.

      I admit that the 1GB limitation is the big limit I see, BUT, Windows 7 runs pretty well even on 1GB, and I’ll bet on a 2GB option… in some form.

      Reply

  2. tk

    04/05/2010 at 5:49 pm

    Pen/digitizer support? If we’re talking active digitizer here, this makes it a much more serious tool than the ipad for content creation. With Onenote and the real Photoshop on board, this could be promising.

    Reply

  3. Brett Gilbertson

    04/05/2010 at 6:14 pm

    Great news, was reall hoping for someone to take ink seriously for consumers!

    Reply

  4. The pen is your friend!

    04/05/2010 at 6:18 pm

    Happy dance!!!

    As long as “pen/digitizer support” doesn’t mean “use a sausage,” this is great news! nTrig doesn’t seem to be doing much tablet business these days, so I’m optimistic about this being a Wacom Penabled device. I don’t recall seeing a stylus bay in any of the images/videos released so far – perhaps this was a recent addition to the design (or maybe they’ll pull an OQO and make us carry the stylus in our pockets).

    The SDXC support is also nice (or will be once the price of cards comes down) – might keep me from voiding the warranty on Day 1 by cracking open the case to upgrade the 64GB SSD.

    My only remaining gripes are the non-changeable battery (a la everything Apple), last-gen wireless standards (no 802.11n or WiMax support), and somewhat unimpressive (but netbook-standard) 1024×600 display resolution. But you know what – I’m pretty sure I’ll get over these limitations once I get a chance to use OneNote on a device that’s only 0.57″ thick!

    Reply

  5. Shogmaster

    04/05/2010 at 6:20 pm

    Oooh, 1GB RAM MAX with Windows? That’s a fail right there…

    Reply

    • The pen is your friend!

      04/05/2010 at 6:36 pm

      Ouch – I looked right past that. Still, “non-customer upgradable” can mean a lot of different things. The TC1100 had 2 memory bays – only one of which was officialy customer-accessible (you could replace the other DIMM, but was a hassle to get to). In the Slate’s case, I’m hoping this just means “sealed up in the same compartment as the battery” and not “soldered to the PCB”.

      Reply

    • Sumocat

      04/05/2010 at 6:38 pm

      Hold up, Shog. You and Joe are reading things that aren’t there. It’s stated as non-upgradeable by customer. The only reason to specify that bit is if it is upgradeable by the manufacturer. No guarantee, but I would guess more RAM is an option that bumps the cost beyond their target price range.

      Reply

    • Xavier Lanier

      04/05/2010 at 6:57 pm

      I’m not sure if it’s going to be easy to crack one of these open, but some low-end PCs have been deemed as 1GB max. It’s not a technical limitation, but a limitation placed on the manufacturers by chip and OS providers. I’m not certain it’s the case here, but I did upgrade my Mini 1000 to 2GB that had a 1GB cap.

      Reply

  6. Joe

    04/05/2010 at 6:22 pm

    Only problem I can see there is that the RAM is 1GB non-upgradable. Otherwise, everything else there is just great.

    Reply

  7. BurningOrange

    04/05/2010 at 6:35 pm

    pen digitizer? Wow, pigs must have actually begun to fly… Now we have to find away to double that battery life.

    Reply

  8. Gordon

    04/05/2010 at 6:57 pm

    Still struggling to see how either of these are better than the P1620 I’ve had for two years or the P1630 which can be found on the net at bargain prices. The ipad has instant on and great battery life, but that’s about it.

    Funnily enough though I do still get tempted by the ipad.

    Gordon

    Reply

    • Size matters

      04/05/2010 at 7:22 pm

      THICKNESS:
      P1630 – 1.36″
      HP Slate – 0.57″
      iPad – 0.5″

      Reply

    • BurningOrange

      04/05/2010 at 9:15 pm

      the p1620 only has a resistive digitizer. and for me, a slate is “elegant”, while convertibles are not.

      Reply

  9. GoodThings2Life

    04/05/2010 at 8:02 pm

    So basically… I have two choices… long battery life, limited capability… or short battery life and unlimited, familiar functionality. Gee, let me think…

    HP has a potential winner, and I’m betting that the battery life situation may not end up being as bad as it seems right now… expect an extended option.

    Reply

    • Joe

      04/05/2010 at 8:39 pm

      I love how all of a sudden 5 hours is considered ‘short’ battery life. :D

      Reply

      • Osiris

        04/06/2010 at 2:15 am

        Well its being compared with the ipad and from all accounts that thing is doing some pretty impressive battery life.

        But compared to regular tablets with the reduced screen size and specs I still dont think theres anything much to write home about, especially after we consider the real world battery life. Ill concede I could be wrong but we’ve all been burnt by tablet battery life at one point and it wouldnt surprise me for a second if the 5hrs is under very battery optimised conditions which will likely = <4hrs real world conditions.

        Reply

  10. me

    04/05/2010 at 8:03 pm

    Since it’s running Windows 7 you can stick a thumb drive in that USB slot get extra storage and take advantage of Ready Boost. I did this with a $200 acer netbook and it ran really well.

    Reply

    • GoodThings2Life

      04/05/2010 at 8:08 pm

      Not quite the boost that real RAM would offer, but certainly an option. :)

      Reply

      • Josh

        04/05/2010 at 8:37 pm

        If you accept a thumb drive sticking out of your slate all of them time, then yes, I guess that is an option…

        Reply

        • Joe

          04/05/2010 at 8:43 pm

          Depending on the card and reader, you can also sometimes use SDHC for ReadyBoost. And they do have some tiny USB drives that you would barely notice sticking out of the port.

          However, with SSD storage, in my experience Windows tells you that there’s absolutely no advantage to trying to use ReadyBoost anyway, since the random file reads are so fast anyway.

          And to clarify above, I’m still interested in this. I’ve got 1.5GB of RAM on my tc1100 running Windows 7 and the weak link is not the RAM, it’s the 1GHz Pentium M. And I’ve also got a Dell Mini 9 with 2GB RAM, and the 1.6GHz Atom isn’t the limiting factor there, it’s the GPU.

          The Broadcom Crystal Accelerator should help that quite a bit, but I fully expect the GPU to be the weakest link in this, even with only 1GB of RAM.

          I’d just prefer 2GB to 1GB.

          Reply

  11. Etrigan

    04/05/2010 at 8:49 pm

    I agree, the pen/digitizer support got me ferociously excited. As a long time convertible tablet PC user, I’ve been frustrated by how none of the current tablets seem to recognize the value of pen input.

    I’d already decided to by the HP Slate as a glorified ebook reader. But if it also has an active digitizer pen, then it has just been promoted to netbook replacement.

    However, I disagree with this constant repetition of the Canard that using the Windows UI is some sort of weakness. Grandma already knows how the Windows interface works- we all do.

    Reply

  12. Jonathan

    04/05/2010 at 9:03 pm

    Kinda of wish they’d use a CULV CPU but it’s still looking good, please oh please be an active digitizer.

    Reply

  13. Nameless

    04/05/2010 at 10:32 pm

    I honestly hope they actually do mean a Wacom pen option there…that alone may make the HP Slate worth considering.

    I still want a TC1100-style detachable keyboard, though.

    Another unknown is the screen. 1024×600 is cause for concern when I already find 768 vertical pixels on the TC1100 and E-295C to not be enough. The other question would be viewing angles; lots of old TC1100s did have BOE Hydis screens installed, and it kind of spoiled me. For all I know, that could be a cheap netbook TN screen with horrible vertical viewing angles.

    Reply

    • Size matters

      04/05/2010 at 10:53 pm

      Count me in for a tiny swiveling/folding keyboard w/ trackpoint, too!

      Reply

    • Joe

      04/06/2010 at 12:19 am

      Honestly, if necessary, I’d just break out my old folding Bluetooth keyboard I used to use on smartphones.

      Not quite the same as things on the tc1100, but it’d be a decent compromise for me.

      I’d prefer a higher resolution screen myself, but for half the price of the next closest (new- I’m fully aware that used and refurbished are much, much cheaper) tablet PC with a digitizer, some things have to be compromised.

      Reply

  14. erinata

    04/06/2010 at 1:19 am

    Can I assume that it’s an active digitizer because it also says capcitive touch screen?

    Reply

  15. Osiris

    04/06/2010 at 2:00 am

    I just dont see what there is to be excited about with this device other than the price is probably the cheapest weve seen a contemporary full windows tablets for.

    That aside its still dogged by the biggest problem full OS tablets face and thats the battery life and software. Knowing windows tablets we all know thats going to be 5hrs battery life under battery optimised settings, ie not 5hrs of video watching.

    Ive somewhat fallen out with tablets anyway since my XT and XT2 largely just sit there now, but had I a purpose for them I would take the ipad over this in a heart beat.

    Non-tablet based software and the battery issue is why I believe you will see MS support a WP7 tablet before they inject any new ideas or money into this or any full windows tablet innovation.

    Reply

  16. Jeff Jackson

    04/06/2010 at 8:00 am

    I’m almost certain the “Pen” support is just windows 7. There’s no way there’s a Wacom digitizer on there. That would compete with Cintiq, which is why Tablet PC’s have been so overpriced for so long. Wacom won’t tolerate anything that would driver the price of Cintiq down. Of course, I’m hope I’m wrong, but nothing I’ve seen so far gives any indication of this thing having a stylus. If it does, I’ll probably order one on day 1.

    Reply

    • Syn

      04/06/2010 at 5:00 pm

      The paper says Pen/Digitizer support. What kind of windows digitizer could it be if not Wacom or N-Trig? I thought Capacitive touch screens *had* to use a active digitizer. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

      Reply

  17. everbrave

    04/07/2010 at 2:49 am

    The iPad is only few days young, but many of us begin realise the the tablet “essentials”, e.g. 5hrs abttery isn’t long enough, Windows OS and UI aren’t suitable for touch interface (actually, not even for pen!), thin slate vs. thick convertible, HW (or form-factor) alone doesn’t make a useful tablet, SW and App support is a must, etc.
    I am sure, this awareness will improve the net tablet generation; probably they will, again, follow the ref. design of the iPad and perhaps improving on some aspects. Happy Tablet years to come!

    Reply

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