It's been a long time coming guys, but it looks like the HP Slate has finally been confirmed. Well, reconfirmed. First announced as the Windows 7 tablet at CES in January of 2009, the company shelved the device in April (just when people were starting to believe those June launch rumors). HP was expected to launch it before the year was out, but it would no longer be a consumer device. The company was said to be targeting the enterprise market with the Slate. This week, speaking about previous plans to target the consumer market, HP's CTO and VP Phil McKinney said the company had been "bullish" about the direction the tablet would take.
"The first videos of the slate showed a consumer product with functions like e-reading, video calling and media creation. And we talked about how it fit snuggly into a new category between cell phones and netbooks," Phil said. "We were bullish about the direction we were taking at the time, but an unanticipated development gave us an opportunity to refine our plans.
"When HP acquired Palm this year, we saw huge potential in webOS as the foundation for a whole ecosystem of connected consumer devices," he continued. "We quickly realized that we had to include the slate in that equation. Imagine the slate connecting to the cloud and working in concert across all your devices. We adjusted our approach, shared our new vision and confirmed that a webOS slate will reach the market in 2011."
So HP's plan was to go full steam ahead in targeting the business market with the Windows 7 Slate PC. Well, here it is, the 8.9-inch HP Slate for business customers. It's been described by some as a netbook without the keyboard and it's easy to see why. The tablet boasts an 8.9-inch (1024x600) display, a 1.86GHz Atom Z540 CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 64 GB SSD, a Broadcom Crystal HD chip for playing 1080p video, a front-facing camera for video conferencing along with a traditional rear-facing camera (3-megapixels), and one USB port. The external dock that comes bundled with the tablet packs two more USB ports and HDMI out.
The tablet is available now in a bundle that includes the docking stand, a carrying case, and a stylus and retails for just shy of $800. Though it's aimed at business consumers, anyone can buy it from HP's business website, so if you're really dying for a Windows 7 tablet and have $799 to drop on one, pay HP a little visit.
Check out HP's brand new commercial for the Slate below.