HP: We haven’t killed our Windows slate… yet

When HP bought Palm and revealed plans for webOS-powered slate devices this spring, word on the web was that HP had quietly euthanized its Windows 7 slate. Evidence now points to the contrary. Kind of. Engadget has been told by HP itself that the Windows-powered slate is "still very much in the works."

Confirmation came after a mysterious HP Slate 500 product made its way onto the HP website yesterday. Inquisitive folks also unearthed an EnergyStar page for the device; the page mentions a 1.6GHz Atom processor and Windows 7.

HP hasn’t confirmed any specs directly, though, and even its statement to Engadget is somewhat open to interpretation. The company reportedly said it’s carrying out "customer evaluations" and "will make a determination soon on the next steps." To my eyes, that phrasing leaves room for the Slate 500’s potential demise. Then again, it’s just as likely that HP will allow Windows and webOS-powered tablets to co-exist.

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    • GTVic
    • 12 years ago

    Your in depth analysis has convinced me … Actually, I wasn’t convinced until you said “It just won’t” at the end there.

    • cheesyking
    • 12 years ago

    I don’t think any touch screen OS can be considered “power user friendly”.

    If you want to control everything with fat ended fingers then its got to be very simplified with big fat buttons and plenty of space between them.

    I suppose they could create a tablet that understands that tactile sign language used by deaf/blind people… probably be really good for a cli interface.

    • Skrying
    • 12 years ago

    The HP application suite is not good. It’s barely serviceable. In addition I don’t think even the lowest end of user’s would be satisfied with the applications they provide alone. Then there’s the power users (the one’s who would actually think Windows on a tablet would work) who would get out of the HP applications right away and then be mad because Outlook sucks with your finger or Chrome sucks with your finger or Foobar sucks with your finger or the Windows build in keyboard sucks period.

    It’s a big pile of suck. Windows 7 in no way should be put on a slate.

    • Heiwashin
    • 12 years ago

    Stylus’s as you think of them don’t work on capacitive touch screens, which are rightfully becoming the dominating type. There are some that work with capacitive tough screens, but the are the size of your finger as well, so what’s the point.

    At any rate, windows 7 is multi-touch compatible. I’ve seen bad reviews of it but haven’t looked into it in detail. There’s two major things i’m curious about before i make a slate decision in the coming months. Due to the good enough computing era we’re in, my biggest concerns are battery life and and program availability. I don’t know if windows plays nice with batteries or not, but if i’m going to be getting a new device, i better be able to go to class, sleep it or not between classes, go home with a 30% or better charge, and then plug it in whenever i feel like it.

    I’d been waiting for years for laptop makers to stop putting the smallest battery possible and offer something more than 3 hours life, and now that it’s been happening in the past few years i won’t accept anything less for a non desktop replacement.

    • jdaven
    • 12 years ago

    You are absolutely right. As much as some here would like to think, the Wintel world will not work on tablets. It just won’t.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 12 years ago

    Could be. They have to use Home Premium to get the tablet stuff.

    • Mr.Lif
    • 12 years ago

    I’m inclined to agree with you on this. Windows 7, the OS itself actually plays well with lower resolution screens in my opinion. The taskbar can be shrunken down, the start menu icons can be increased in size, with the smaller resolution, the apparent icon size of most windows applications would be larger too.

    The “Applications” however, your programs is where there can be troubles. HP apparently has it in the bag however, taking your word on it, but other applications –browsers for example– can be controlled rather intuitively if given the right multi touch front end.

    A stylus can dramatically give you more accuracy as well. I don’t understand stylus’ aren’t being used in some of these devices nowadays actually. Your finger is a stick of meat with a ~1cm round surface area and is greasy, leaving smudges on your pretty new tablet device.

    Actually I could think of a several options to make windows 7 more usefull in this sense. If only I could get PAID for it. :<

    • MadManOriginal
    • 12 years ago

    Ah but the key is not in the OS but in the programs. Do you ‘use’ your OS or do you ‘use’ programs? HP has a complete line of touch-based desktop all-in-ones with their own software for doing ‘touchy’ things. And there’s nothing stopping one from using a kb/mouse with this…and even the iPad has kb/mouse options 😉 In the end tablets are devices with more niche-ish uses than laptops or desktops, the OS doesn’t change that and there is always a stylus (yes, they make capacitive screen styli) if you really want.

    • TEAMSWITCHER
    • 12 years ago

    I can save HP money and embarrassment – kill this project right now. If there were any hope that this thing could sell well against the iPad there would be a stronger message from HP. It’s time to face a cold hard reality, Windows 7 is not a tablet OS. It is a cursor-based, desktop OS, designed for mice and keyboards. iOS from Apple (and Googles Android OS) were designed from the ground up for the touch screen. This simple fact will doom this product to failure.

    • bthylafh
    • 12 years ago

    Translation: they’re looking for a bribe from MS by the way of cheap Windows licenses.

    • heinsj24
    • 12 years ago

    Dear HP,

    Please consider me for a “customer evaluation” of your Slate 500.

    Thank you.

    • no51
    • 12 years ago

    I don’t know about webOS as a MID/slate OS but I’ve recently had experience with the Pre. The UI is nice but overall, not very power user friendly.

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