Rumors of the HP Slate 500 have been floating around the interwebs for quite some time, as far back as January of this year at CES. I remember hearing that the whole project had been scrapped completely, but since then we've been hearing that it wouldn't be directed at consumers, but had its eyes set on enterprise users, and those rumors seem to have hit the nail on the head. At first, the Slate was supposed to be a consumer-friendly, media-centric tablet with it's own custom UI. That has since changed and it is now aimed at enterprise users and running Windows 7 Professional, altered with touch capabilities but no UI changes.

The Slate, weighing in at 1.5 lbs., will carry some heavy specs in comparison to some its counterparts, but it's no knight in shining armor for those of us that long for the perfect tablet. It's not the HPalm webOS tablet that I've been drooling over phantom images of, but the Slate will feature:

  • An 8.9 inch capacitive touchscreen (1024x600)
  • 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 64GB SSD with a Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator for 1080p video playback
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • 3MP camera on back, VGA front facing camera
  • USB port, headphone jack, keyboard button
  • Wacom active digitizer

It's the latest for now, but it surely isn't the greatest unless, of course, you're looking for desktop/laptop functionality in a tablet. Since it has a full operating system (not a mobile platform) installed on it paired with a slower Atom Z series processor, you won't be surfing around the Internet at breakneck speeds, but it could definitely lighten the load for a quick business trip. The HP Slate 500 will set you back a steep $799.00, which will include the HP Slate Digital Pen, HP Slate Dock, and HP Slate Portfolio. Yes, the Slate comes with a stylus, that's where the digitizer comes into play. For those of you who aren't keen on software keyboards, you can use the provided stylus and make use of the Slate's digitizer and turn handwriting into text (a very convenient and differentiating feature).

Does the Slate 500 stack up to the competition? It definitely isn't heavily media driven, though it has a beautiful screen and full 1080p video playback. It isn't going to have heavy application support, but for someone looking for a tablet that's little more professional than a essentially a portal to an endless supply of games and apps, this could be the ticket. For a photo gallery of the Slate and the full press release, hit the source link. What say you guys, a tablet dogfight in the future (iPad vs Galaxy Tab vs PlayBook vs Slate)?

Via Engadget

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