HP to release Slate 2 tablet with Windows 7, stylus, for $699


Just a week after Hewlett Packard announced that it would stay in the PC game, the lumbering electronics giant has unveiled its latest attempt at a winning tablet, the Slate 2.

Unlike the apparently defunct, webOS-based TouchPad tablet, the Slate 2 will be powered by Windows 7, and sport a 1024 x 600-resolution, 8.9-inch N-Trig multitouch display.

Most of this is quite similar to the Slate 500, which HP released last year. Upgrades to the Slate 2 include a faster Intel Atom Oak Trail Z670 processor, a 64GB mSATA drive, a longer 6-hour battery life (up from 2 hours) and a Swype keyboard. Oh, did we mention it has a stylus? Yeah, it does.

Also like the Slate 500, the Slate 2 is specifically designed for the enterprise, and includes a variety of heavy-duty security features, like a TPM Embedded Security Chip and BIOS support for Computertrace Pro for secure remote file management.

“HP is dedicated to the tablet PC category and continues to listen to customers and improve the product in ways that best address their business needs,” said Dan Forlenza, vice president and general manager of HP’s Commercial Managed IT Segment. “The HP Slate includes the right mix of rich features, support for custom-built applications, and the security and connectivity needed for today’s highly mobile and rigorous day-to-day professional environment.”

We haven’t yet had a chance to try to the Slate 2, but from the spec list, we can’t imagine this tablet will make much of a splash. And because of this, it’s surprising that this is the first PC product HP chose to release after the future of its entire PC division hung in an unstable limbo. Perhaps the company is  simply trying to get its old products out the door so the company can start fresh. But we were really hoping they’d come out swinging. This is more of a play slap.

The HP Slate 2 will be available worldwide for $699 later this month.