HP wants you to know that this is not meant for the public. It’s a business tablet and it’s not the next HP TouchPad. We applaud that decision because this tablet just doesn’t hold up to almost anything available in the consumer market. We got to hold the new device, which is thick, unattractive, and runs Windows 7. Businesses may want that Windows 7 experience, but you don’t. Trust us. In our short time with the device, we found the touchscreen to be better than some previous Windows 7 tablets, but the OS is just not made for touch and has trouble re-orienting itself when you turn the tablet around. One improvement is the keyboard. HP worked with the guys at Swype to make a custom keyboard for the Slate 2, which outclasses Microsoft’s default keyboard in almost every possible way. It’s still not as good as an Android keyboard, but at least it works.
The Slate 2 has an 8.9-inch screen (a good size), 2GB of RAM, 64GB mSATA drive, 6-hour battery life, runs on an Intel Atom Oak Trail processor, and sports a 1024×600 resolution. It will be available sometime this month and costs $700.
Do any of you plan on getting a Slate 2? Does it meet the requirements of business users? We’re looking forward to what HP can do with Windows 8, but we’ll pass on this one.