So what do we know about the forthcoming slate device from HP, as debuted by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the CES earlier this week?
We know that it is neither rumour nor prototype but a concrete consumer product that will be released later this year; but it doesn’t have a name yet – Ballmer was referring to it as a slate rather than a tablet, but HP has not revealed any further details on that score.
This device is one of several tablet touchscreen ones running Windows 7 and taking advantage of Windows Touch technology that has multitouch, double tap, flick, shuffle and "pinch and zoom" and larger, fingertip-friendly icons.
With a large screen and slim-line design, this tablet device is superior to any of the Windows ones that have come before. Ballmer’s demo focused on its ability to become an e-book reader substitute by launching Kindle’s PC program, so while it may be seen as competition for Apple and its rumoured iTablet/iSlate device, it also squares up to Amazon’s Kindle reader in terms of display and portability.
The HP "slate" is deigned to transition between netbook and smart phone, and be primarily used for web browsing and multimedia, but the shiny 7-inch gadget will most likely cost less than Apple’s device. While it is running on a version of Windows 7, the iTablet/iSlate is said to have a version of the iPhone’s mobile OS as opposed to Apple’s OS X.
Not much else has been revealed about HP’s slate apart from the promise of great battery life and the fact it’s also game for gaming, due to its processing power.
By Marie Boran
Photos: The as-yet unnamed forthcoming slate device from HP