HP Announces Slate 500 for Corporate Customers

HP’s made it clear that their Windows 7 tablet, the HP Slate 500, is for corporate customers. This makes perfect sense to me.

As a long-time Tablet PC user, I’ve been a fan of the convertible tablet for almost a decade. That means I’m a fan of the kind that’s a “normal” notebook computer with a screen that swivels into tablet form. It provides the best of both worlds—an active digitizer with pen for taking notes, filling out electronic forms, etc., and still provides a full-size physical keyboard for text entry. My current Tablet PC, a Dell Latitude XT, has both an active digitizer/pen combo and a capacitive multitouch screen. While it doesn’t have the battery life or instant-on capabilities of an iPad, it runs the full version of Windows 7 and is far more versatile for creating content.

Therein lies the rub, of course. The HP Slate 500 doesn’t have either the strengths of the convertible Tablet PC or the iPad with its mobile OS and processor. It’s a sort of in-between form factor that isn’t optimal for the kind of ad hoc use of an iPad or the high-volume content creation of a Tablet PC. These limitations really explain why HP is minimizing its plans for the Slate to specific corporate and vertical markets and pushing the idea of a webOS tablet for the consumer market.

Check out this video for a straightforward indication of just how HP plans to position the Slate:

Notice the niches here: medical, business executive, restaurant hostess. These are use cases that likely require Windows applications, an active digitizer and pen, or some other combination that perhaps wouldn’t work best for an iPad or webOS tablet. HP might have some limited success in these niches, but I doubt that they see the Slate 500 as a device to position them most strongly in the future mobile space.

That’ll be left for the webOS tablet. I hope, though, that HP doesn’t ignore the possibilities. I’d have nothing against the ability to take notes in webOS as I do on my Tablet PC, thus giving me one less device to carry around.


  1. While I in general think a separation of the chairperson and CEO is a sound matter, especially in public companies, it is not a healthy resolution to set up 2 individuals of similar ages, big egos and healthy ambitiousness in this sort of spot relative to each other. They tell a camel is a horse planned by a committee. This is a two humped camel.

    • Mark Coppock says:

      Interesting point. We’ll have to see how things shake out. The one thing they both have in common, though, is an abiding dislike or Oracle. Maybe that’ll be enough to keep them on the same path.


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Paulo R. G. Amaral and Juliano Moraes, AboutwebOS. AboutwebOS said: Wonder how @HP_PC is going to position the Slate 500? http://tinyurl.com/2cmeuw9 [...]

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