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Mystery HP Slate revealer reveals more



The formerly anonymous leaker of the HP Slate revealed more in a new YouTube video. He showed us the pen, the number of fingers it can recognize, and the webcams, front and back.

Our “mystery” man x313xkillax showed off the box, clearly labeled “HP Slate”. The specs match up with what we’ve previously seen, including Intel Atom processor and 64 GB SSD. He points out he has the business model and mentions there’s also a “consumer” model, but he didn’t have any info on that.

The big reveal was the pen and four-finger touch input, which means it’s an N-Trig digitizer. Pen looked a little chunky to me, but since there’s no pen garage (tether only), it makes sense for it to be thicker and tougher. The screen rotation triggered by accelerometer looked smooth, but he only showed it with the bare desktop; the real test is seeing how quickly windows become usable. Some good info confirmed but looks like he’ll be feeding us more bit by bit.

Side note: for a guy who seems anonymous, this x313xkillax sure isn’t camera-shy. Aside from briefly showing up on the front webcam, he showed up in the screen reflection pretty clearly frequently. I don’t know if this guy is supposed to showing off the Slate or what, but it’s a weird situation.

Thanks to Syn for the tip



  1. Syn

    09/24/2010 at 7:57 pm

    Ahhh, so its N-Trig. What do you guys think about that considering all the issues the Dell went through with N-Trig? Has it improved since then?

    I was really hoping for Wacom, but this is the first slate with active digitizer. And even that selling point is hardly ever mentioned.

    Unfortunately, the tech world seems determined to turn us into a nation of watered down App users.

  2. Steve S

    09/24/2010 at 8:25 pm

    Pen looked a little chunky to me

    …Just a guess on my part, but that could be N-trig’s battery-powered pen. The pen might be an accessory; that is, not standard (but perhaps optional) with the consumer model but standard with the business / enterprise model.

    Anyway, glad to see that some of these new tablets are going to have pen capability.

    PS: N-trig has a new generation of hardware now, so it’s likely that N-trig’s original problems won’t be repeated on these new slates…

    • Sumocat

      09/24/2010 at 8:37 pm

      That’s an interesting theory, but why bother going with the battery-powered pen if they intend to have pen support from the beginning? The battery option is designed for when vendors don’t bother with pen support. If true, it’s probably to keep down cost. I’d guess the battery-powered option is cheaper. But if that’s the case, it sets up a bad precedent. Need to keep an eye on this.

    • ChrisRS

      09/25/2010 at 1:24 am

      Quote: “PS: N-trig has a new generation of hardware now, so it’s likely that N-trig’s original problems won’t be repeated on these new slates”

      Even if the new hardware does not repeat the original problems, there MAY be a new generation of problems. THE QUESTIONS IS: WILL N-TRIG REPEAT THEIR TERRIBLE PERFORMANCE IN RESOLVING THOSE ISSUES?

      I do not have a product using N-Trig, but have followed the issue and it still seems to be unresolved. I would love to hear differently, so I could have some confidence in N-Trig and the companies that use their products.

    • ChrisRS

      09/25/2010 at 1:29 am

      Is it possible that using a battery powered pen allows the slate to be more compact?

      Is it possible that the battery powerwd pewn allow the slate to have better battery life?

      The small form factor probably does not accomodate a pen silo. Many of the Tablet PC pens are too small to be comfortable., You have more choices if the pen does nor fit the silo.

  3. Steve S

    09/24/2010 at 9:00 pm

    …why bother going with the battery-powered pen if they intend to have pen support from the beginning?

    …it’s probably to keep down cost

    If memory serves, that’s exactly what N-trig said. The digitizer can (perhaps) be simplified (= cheaper) since it wouldn’t have to produce an excitation pulse for a (battery-less) pen. The pen reputedly operates on a single, easily found, AAA battery.

    • Sumocat

      09/25/2010 at 5:20 am

      Yeah, that’s going to lead vendors to go the cheaper route of heavier, battery-powered pen more often than not. Good for those of us who want pen input, but heavy, chunky pens could repel newbies.

  4. Kenrick

    09/24/2010 at 9:08 pm

    The specs look pretty good – I wonder what the battery life is as bad as was rumored. I bet it will cost really close to $1000 too.

  5. Elmstrom

    09/24/2010 at 11:33 pm

    If it does 4hours with Wifi, then i want it. Price point can be high as long as battery time is decent :).

  6. Byron

    09/24/2010 at 11:41 pm

    Actually he did show the accelerometer with IE running and it was still smooth, would like to see it with video running.

  7. CLC

    09/25/2010 at 5:38 am

    I’m guessing this is the kid of someone working at HP. He looks very very young (and sounds it, too). I wonder how long it will take for his parent to find out what he’s doing.

    • Mickey Segal

      09/25/2010 at 6:31 am

      Not only can you see his face but you can see a barcode on the box. If HP scans that it may reveal the serial number.

    • dstrauss

      09/25/2010 at 6:46 am

      Unless HP has scrapped this design altogether, they can’t begin to get teh publicity this is creating compared to their “manufactured” teasers back last January. In fact, the only issue this disclosure raises is “Where the ____ are they?” as far as shipping is concerned. My fear is that the problem(s) at this point are cost (approaching $1000) and poor battery life (under 4 hours with hard use).

      On the other hand, it could be component constraint (looks like Apple has done its usual “magical” job of locking up panels, SSD, and ram memory). In fact, for all of the blogs that talk about Apple’s “secret sauce” they universally miss Apple’s true success – the “backoffice” running supply and manufacturing, and how they corner the manufacturing component market before others even know the sales market exists.

      • Mickey Segal

        09/25/2010 at 4:14 pm

        I’d buy one for $1000 and wouldn’t be bothered by a 4 hour battery life as long as there was hot-swapping of batteries. I’d be glad to pay even more to get more than 64 GB storage (I’m old enough to have paid hundreds of dollars for an extra 1 MB of RAM in 1987.)

        This could be the son-of-MotionLS800 that we’ve been waiting for. This would even fit into smaller sport jacket pockets than mine.

        • dstrauss

          09/25/2010 at 7:49 pm

          Well, we already know it is a sealed battery, and I remember spending $450 for a 40MB (yes, MB) hard drive for my 386SX desktop. I understand the attraction (I’m there too) but it has to come in at a reasonable cost or it will die a slow death.

        • BurningOrange

          09/25/2010 at 9:24 pm


          i agree with you. this is the one to replace my nice old ls800. i’m getting one as soon as it’s available.

  8. dstrauss

    09/25/2010 at 6:41 am

    This was much more impressive than I imagined. Given that HP is working with an OS that is only partially touch enabled, I felt it was pretty responsive. I can easily see this slate, with OneNote, as the “yellow pad” replacement I’ve been looking for. I would really like to see the inking experience however, as that would be what seals the deal.

    What really caught my eye was that kick stand docking station. That is a killer accessory and could really make this Slate a traveling dream for those longer sessions back at the hotel where a keyboard and REAL software (MS Office, not wannabe work-arounds like DocsToGo, Quick Office, iWorks) can get the work done.

    The specs look pretty good overall, as my old clunky Dell Mini 9 did pretty well with the older processor and an 128gb SSD running Win 7 Premium (here’s to hoping they ultimately offer a 128gb model). The two cell battery concerns me though – just don’t see how you get even 4 hours out of that puppy. One has to wonder if adding 1/2″ more to teh long endge to add a row of batteries wouldn’t have been a better idea overall. In fact, that is one of the secrets of the iPad’s success that Apple stuffed a relatively large battery in its 1.5 lbs.

    Overall, I feel HP is on to something here, particularly if they’d market it as a yellow pad replacement, and not as some multi-media mega machine. If Microsoft were really on it’s game, they’d find a way to bundle a low-no cost version of OneNote with the OS they sell to HP on slates, and take the education market by storm.

    • GoodThings2Life

      09/25/2010 at 7:01 am

      I agree… OneNote + Kindle Account + Wifi = Education Wet Dream… but I always carried around my Toshiba Satellite R10 to classes which worked great, so it’s nothing new to me. It’s really all about the marketing of it though. The design this time is “anything fruits can do, we can do better, and oh yeah, we can also do all of this other stuff.”

      • Byron

        09/25/2010 at 10:04 am

        Bingo. This device could be the ultimate educational tool. People will rag on Windows as a touch OS until Windows 8 with I’m pretty sure will go a long way to addressing this issue but you simply can’t have a serious slate computer for real productivity without a pen.

  9. Nameless

    09/25/2010 at 7:20 pm

    I was wondering “Where the hell is the pen they keep mentioning, but never showing?” this whole time, but there it is…that battery-powered N-Trig “Digital Pencil” I haven’t seen outside of an Engadget article. N-Trig doesn’t seem so bad nowadays, but I still have yet to verify Win-Tab pressure sensitivity-and it also doesn’t seem to support hover-click for the side button like Wacom does.

    As for the screen, I somehow couldn’t quite make out if it was some cheap TN panel or not. If it ends up being IPS or AFFS+, we may well be looking at TC1100 2.0 (or would that be TC1000 3.0, or Concerto 4.0?) here.

  10. Mike

    09/25/2010 at 8:03 pm

    I think it is seemingly a netbook with no keyboard and a touch screen.
    Which – with windows 7 will get crap battery life and I am not interested.

    Anxious to see what intel has up its sleeve for first quarter next year. But if it is just some stupid intel incremental gain on the same-old/same-old … then I’ll be looking to something other than win 7 for my fun.

    Especially since MS seemingly is above developing a touch friendly interface to sit on top of the windows UI.

    • acerbic

      09/25/2010 at 10:07 pm

      This thing is meant for work first, fun second. By all means don’t get one… actually I’d like to recommend that NOBODY get one! (so that my order won’t get delayed too much)

      • Byron

        09/25/2010 at 11:45 pm

        LOL! Really, anyone who doesn’t understand that these things are going to sell VERY well doesn’t work for a living. But there’ll be some fun one will be able to get from this as well. There’s a large number of casual games that will work with this even without a keyboard and something like Plants vs. Zombies will be awesome. Plus it can play 1080P video, there’ll be a lot of Netflix and Hulu going on with this thing.

        • Mike

          09/26/2010 at 1:34 am

          where did fun vs play come in?

          What is the current battery life on netbooks? Because it is not all day then no, not interested.
          I have spent my life carrying a bag to carry the necessary wall wart for every laptop I’ve ever had.
          All the marketing is about how it weights on a few pounds – but then wallwart is half that again and the bad needed is that again, etc, etc…
          I want to go forward, not back.
          I want battery life up the butt because I don’t want to be worrying about carrying a damned charger with me.

          It is about time something powerful enough to actually use became truly portable and not just lug-able.

          As for games – don’t care much beyond some freecell or the like to pass the occasional time.
          I also don’t plan to watch full theatrical release films on it – so it better have hdmi out and a slim remote would be nice.

  11. Tuur

    09/26/2010 at 12:07 am

    2 questions for mystery revealer:

    1. battery life?
    2. release date?

    I’ll get one, is the perfect device for my work, if it ever will be released…

  12. Chad Essley

    09/26/2010 at 7:59 am

    The world’s digital artists just let loose a huge collective sigh. Ntrig??

    Oh man, I hope that Wacom is using this as a showcase for some new multitouch / pen tech, but by the looks of things, it looks to be Ntrig or some other vendor.

    I think Wacom has a patent lock on access to wintab, so your dreams of pressure sensitivity working across the board in all apps are dead with this device, unless there’s some new software miracle going on..

    I’d actually buy one of these, if it had a Wacom digitizer. Le1700, I’ll have to keep you around a whole lot longer..

    • Joe H

      09/26/2010 at 9:09 pm

      N-trig supports Wintab now, and there’s full pressure sensitivity in Adobe Photoshop.

  13. Chad Essley

    09/26/2010 at 8:04 am

    Stop the presses! Ntrig has wintab support! I’ve read users saying it actually works! 32 bit and x64

    I have to give Ntrig credit.. they were listening!

    Now I think I’ll be reserving one HP Slate, if it ever gets released.. :-)

  14. Dan

    09/26/2010 at 11:56 am

    “The video has been removed by the author.”

    Ouch…did anyone save teh .flv file?


  15. Dan

    09/26/2010 at 12:00 pm

    Uh-oh, the user is no longer on YouTube either? His lack of shyness may have been discovered?

  16. WellThen

    09/26/2010 at 6:44 pm

    Doh! So much for my hopes for a 3rd video showing the use of the pen for writing.

  17. dstrauss

    09/26/2010 at 7:11 pm

    I think his Daddy put him in the time out corner for exposing his beta model in violation of the NDA – OUCH!

  18. dstrauss

    09/27/2010 at 6:11 am

    I think I may have stumbled onto why the HP Slate is not ready for prime time yet. Look at these battery life tests for the HP 5103 netbook with the Pinetrail processor and Broadcom Crystal HD:

    The numbers look abysmal (sub-two hour battery life). Despite how much I like the form factor, given that the Slate’s 2 cell battery is rated at only 1 Watt higher than the 5103 4 cell battery, you’ll need a real LONG extension cod when traveling with the Slate compared to the iPad, and unfortunately, that is what the general tech press will focus on…

    • JOE H

      09/27/2010 at 8:09 am

      I don’t think there is anything unfortunate with the general tech press focusing on a sub-2 hour battery life. IF this is meant to be a portable device, that is a deal breaker.

      I miss electrovaya’s good old days…

  19. Steve S

    09/27/2010 at 8:44 am

    I miss electrovaya’s good old days…

    ACTUALLY, one might argue that these are Electrovaya’s good old days. The PowerPad 90 and 135 appear to work reliably, sell at a (mostly) reasonable price, and have a reasonable warranty period. That’s a whole lot better than the days of “Old Puffy.”

    As for the Scribbler, it may be that its time has passed, but I thought that TabletKiosk was always better anyway…

  20. Dan

    09/27/2010 at 12:54 pm

    Ya’all can see it over here….


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