Is HP's Slate 500 a hot seller or a rare beast?


— 3:30 PM on November 15, 2010

There's a bit of a "he said, she said" story shaping up around the recently released HP Slate 500. Visiting the Slate 500's product page, one is greeted with the following message: 

Due to extraordinary demand, the HP Slate is on backorder. Orders are expected to ship in 6 weeks. Order now to reserve your place in the queue.

Granted, there's nothing overly interesting about a company being overwhelmed by initial demand for a hot, new product. That said, this is a $799 device aimed squarely at the business market, so an onslaught of orders capable of overwhelming a company with HP's resources seems a little strange. Certainly, one wouldn't expect the Slate 500 to reach the blistering sales of the iPad—over 46,000 units sold per day, according to Apple's latest quarterly results. HP's statement blaming "extraordinary demand" raises the question: what kind of demand was expected?

According to Ubergizmo, HP only manufactured 5,000 units of the Tablet 500 and was caught off-guard after receiving 9,000 orders for the device, to the point where meeting demand required some retooling. It's important to note that Ubergizmo got those figures from an anonymous source, so we recommend taking them with a grain of salt. However, if the quoted numbers are even remotely accurate, HP must have had startlingly low expectations for its first Windows-based slate.

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