HP’s slate has been a hot topic since it was demoed at CES 2010. I’m happy to announce it as the newest device in our business portfolio. And I’d like to spend a bit of time and text reviewing the winding road leading to today.
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. 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. 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 we decided to target the business market for the Windows product. And we collaborated with beta customers to better understand their needs. The new HP Slate 500 Tablet PC runs Windows 7 which supports a wide variety of business solutions, from retail point-of-sale to hospitality, banking healthcare or any custom business application.
It features an 8.9-inch diagonal LED screen, weighs 1.5 pounds and accepts both digital pen and finger input. It features multitouch gestures and includes integrated front and rear webcams. It also has USB ports and an SD slot which allows you to quickly upload photos from your camera SD card or show a PowerPoint from a SD/USB stick. Oh, and of course, it supports Adobe Flash and Air. You can probably imagine a thousand applications of the device in business scenarios. Wouldn’t it be great if after a car accident, your insurance agent could take your statement, photograph and video the scene, and send all the information to the claims office on the spot? That’s the direction we’re heading for our business customers. Check out the video below to see it in action. Or peruse pictures of it here.