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MSFT, HP Slate PC to Beat Apple to Tablet Punch

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 22 comments

Word on the street says Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer will reveal the device tonight.

Pretty much everybody is tired of hearing about the Apple tablet. The device isn't even official but the Apple rumor mill is known for being tireless and incredibly loud. We're bored, Apple fans are bored and PC fans are bored (in fairness, PC fans were probably always bored). Today, a new rumor came crashing down: Microsoft is launching a tablet of its own as part of a collarboration with HP.

Ashlee Vance from the New York Times reports that Steve Ballmer will unveil a slate PC at his CES keynote taking place this evening. According to Vance's sources, "Mr. Ballmer will show the as-yet-unnamed H.P. device, which will be touted as a multimedia whiz with e-reader and multi-touch functions."

Tuan and Devin will be in Vegas this evening to bring you the news. They've actually already started their very first road trip together and are on the road to Vegas as we speak. They'll be playing four hours of I Spy, 20 Questions and any number of crappy games involving out of state license plates just for you guys. All together now, awwww!

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  • 7 Hide
    fatkid35 , January 6, 2010 4:06 PM
    hope tuan and devin just watched the hangover. that way they know how to roll! i want pictures of them with tysons tiger!
  • 2 Hide
    zak_mckraken , January 6, 2010 4:27 PM
    Driving to Vegas? Tom's can't afford plane tickets for their reporters? You guys must really love your job! Or is it because of the new safety rules in airports? If they want to get in Vegas in time for the show this evening, they better drive than fly there.
  • 7 Hide
    JMcEntegart , January 6, 2010 4:35 PM
    zak_mckrakenDriving to Vegas? Tom's can't afford plane tickets for their reporters? You guys must really love your job! Or is it because of the new safety rules in airports? If they want to get in Vegas in time for the show this evening, they better drive than fly there.


    I think it's about half and half when it comes to who's decided to drive and who's flying. Tuan wants to drive because having a car on hand is really useful. I think avoiding the new safety rules is just a bonus.

    Went through London the other day and they had a girl play her bagpipes just to make sure they were bagpipes.
  • Display all 22 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    mrcmark , January 6, 2010 4:40 PM
    Mr. Steve Ballmer, Sir this better be revolutionary.
  • 0 Hide
    pbrigido , January 6, 2010 4:49 PM
    Maybe it is just me, but I can't seem to get excited over tablets...regardless if is by Apple or MS/HP.

    Now on the other hand, if a netbook/laptop came out that had dual lcd screens (one for viewing and one for typing on) that is passively cooled, has a SSD, I would be game. I am all for eliminating moving mechanical parts.
  • 0 Hide
    lifelesspoet , January 6, 2010 5:02 PM
    To be fair, apple hasn't been first to a new market in 25 years.
  • 2 Hide
    kravmaga , January 6, 2010 5:10 PM
    pbrigidoMaybe it is just me, but I can't seem to get excited over tablets...regardless if is by Apple or MS/HP. Now on the other hand, if a netbook/laptop came out that had dual lcd screens (one for viewing and one for typing on) that is passively cooled, has a SSD, I would be game. I am all for eliminating moving mechanical parts.


    Touchscreen keyboards have been tried and rejected before. Without some physical feedback on your fingertips, typing fast with that thing feels like trying to run in the dark with a headlamp, meaning you'd need to look down, then up, then down, then when you make a typo, you'll probably hit 3 wrong keys before finding the backspace key without looking. You'd give up, screaming for the head of idiot responsible for that idea on a stick before you could ever get used to it and force yourself to like it.

    And as much as I approve of the benefits of passive cooling on chips and SSD, in this world those factors translate into ultra low performance cpu and outrageously high cost for little storage, respectively.
  • 0 Hide
    ckthecerealkiller , January 6, 2010 5:16 PM
    My PSP is more appealing as a reader considering the price of tablets. I'm
    only interested in new PC hardware.

    A 4 hour drive is nothing. You figure it takes 2-3 hours to fly when you include parking, walking to the terminal, going through security, flying, going back through security, and getting transport to the CES.
  • 0 Hide
    christop , January 6, 2010 5:21 PM
    The price will beat apple...
  • 0 Hide
    mdillenbeck , January 6, 2010 5:21 PM
    I'm confused... I thought HP already had a line of convertable tablet pcs and there were several manufacturers making slate tablet and convertable tablet pcs. I seem to remember a Microsoft Windows XP Tablet edition, along with tablet support with Vista and Windows 7. Then there was the Asus T91 which is a netbook "tablet".

    As to e-readers, I am waiting for plastic logic's premiere on the 7th... to me the idea of an e-reader with a plastic display that won't shatter when knocked around in my backpack (or dropped when crammed into a rush hour bus) and is suppose to have the size/weight of a pad of paper sounds far better than anything out there. I hope it lives up to its promises (unlike the T91).
  • 0 Hide
    Abrahm , January 6, 2010 5:31 PM
    lifelesspoetTo be fair, apple hasn't been first to a new market in 25 years.

    This is true, but they do always manage to brainwash the mindless sheeple into believing they are pioneers and revolutionary, and that somehow their products are worth the Apple tax.
  • 0 Hide
    fwaits , January 6, 2010 6:00 PM
    Where's the Courier? That is a slick looking device.
  • 0 Hide
    balister , January 6, 2010 7:39 PM
    fwaitsWhere's the Courier? That is a slick looking device.


    Maybe this is courier that Ballmer is going to talk about. If so, boy is Apple screwed. Between Google's Nexus 1 (and Motorolla Droid) and if it is Courier, Apple just had it's legs chopped off at the knees.
  • -1 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 6, 2010 7:52 PM
    Right now I don't care if the device is crappy either. The fact they could get this far without shooting their mouths off with the rumour mill means the device has to stand entirely on merit... as opposed to endless media hype for what will eventually be a disappointingly overpriced Apple offering...
  • 0 Hide
    kentlowt , January 6, 2010 8:05 PM
    ckthecerealkillerMy PSP is more appealing as a reader considering the price of tablets. I'm only interested in new PC hardware.A 4 hour drive is nothing. You figure it takes 2-3 hours to fly when you include parking, walking to the terminal, going through security, flying, going back through security, and getting transport to the CES.

    You forgot the layover at the hub airport because there are no direct flights to where you want to go...
  • -1 Hide
    dman3k , January 6, 2010 8:27 PM
    and Apple will have 20 days to "re-invent" the tablet... copycats galore.
  • 0 Hide
    ravewulf , January 6, 2010 8:48 PM
    Course tablet PCs have actually been out for years now.

    They've been standard at the doctor's office I go to for a while (since XP tablet edition).

    They still aren't nearly as impressive or as powerful as a convertable notebook/tablet like hp's tx series.
  • 0 Hide
    erikstarcher , January 6, 2010 9:22 PM
    Leaving for VEGAS in the morning, Should be there by noon local time. Can't wait to see all of the new stuff, not just read about it on Tom's.
  • 0 Hide
    SneakySnake , January 6, 2010 9:52 PM
    I'm waiting for the product to be released before taking any of these comparison articles seriously
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 7, 2010 12:57 AM
    I've been using fujitsu tablets for over ten years now, still run a Fujitsu Stylistic 2300 from 1998, so MS, HP or Apple aren't exactly going to be first here.
    What will be a first is an e-reader that really works, that you can take notes on, highlight things etc. and could be used at work instead of a printer for reports etc. Just the savings on paper and toner costs would pay for a 'printer tablet' at my work within a year.
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