HP officially intros Windows 7 slate at $799

I guess that settles the question of whether or not HP will scrap its Windows 7 slate plans. Engadget reports that HP officially announced the Slate 500 late last night; the product is aimed at business and enterprise customers, and it will cost $799 with an included digital pen, HDMI-equipped dock, and "HP Slate Portfolio" case.

Engadget says the 1.5-pound HP Slate 500 includes a 1.86GHz Atom Z540 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 64GB solid-state drive, and a Broadcom Crystal HD video decoding chip. Atop all of that hardware sits an 8.9" capacitive touch screen, which has a 1024x600 resolution—exactly the same as most netbooks.

Considering it runs Windows 7 Home Premium, I'm guessing the Slate 500 feels about as cramped to use as a netbook in landscape mode. Steve Ballmer's CES demo showed the device running in portrait mode, though, so that's hopefully still an option for reading long articles.

Engadget points out a few little eccentricities, too, like the control-alt-delete button (no, it wasn't just a prank dreamed up for that unofficial video preview), the lack of a slot inside the system for the digital pen, and the presence of a "slide-out Windows license" on the right. I'm sure some business folks will be overjoyed with the option to run Windows 7 on a nine-inch slate, but considering the price and the lack of a touch-specific UI, I'm starting to see why HP is saving its WebOS slates for consumers.

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