The HP Slate: Anyone Want Half A Netbook For $800?

Ty Dunitz October 23 Hardware

You hear the term ‘iPad Killer’ an awful lot, don’t you? Well, like, I guess you would if you read tech blogs with any regularity. If you’ve trickled all the way down to Techi, I’ll assume you do, and I’ll also assume ergo that you have, in fact, heard the term ‘iPad Killer’ an awful lot. So we’ll start with that.

Anyway, I’m not going to talk about an iPad Killer today. Good grief, am I ever not. Today, I will regale you with a tale of the HP Slate, the real goddamned expensive tablet that sucks out loud – for the price, anyway.

To be fair, the Slate isn’t the worst machine in the world; this is, of course, presuming the world in question is one with significantly inferior advances in computing. With a 1.86GHz Intel Atom under the hood, the Slate also rocks sports 2GB RAM, a 64GB SSD, two cameras, HDMI out – what you’d basically expect from a would-be iPad Killer. Along with these features is possibly the strangest move I’ve ever seen in industrial design: so as not to sully the pristine casing of the tablet (which, to be honest, is actually kinda nicely designed, if a hat tip to the iPhone 4), the obligatory Windows license SLIDES OUT OF THE UNIT ON A PLASTIC STICK. No, really. This is a thing. The HP Slate has a plastic stick that slides out for no other reason than to show you a printed Windows license. There’s something unforgivingly archaic about that, but I don’t know how to accurately describe it in the form of a quip, so you’ll have to come up with your own.

But where the Slate really, really fails is in what it doesn’t have. First of all, it doesn’t have a keyboard – which is difficult to comprehend, considering HP’s insistence that the device is ‘specifically designed for business’ (more on that in a second). I mean, if I was all-business I’d have a notebook anyway, but if I could be suckered into buying a tablet, I’d definitely want some sort of keyboard peripheral, for sure.

Secondly, the Slate doesn’t have 3G. It’s Wi-Fi only.

Thirdly, the Slate doesn’t have 3G. I am fully aware I’ve listed this twice.

Fourthly, the Slate doesn’t have a reasonable price, being thrown into the arena with an EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLAR price tag. That’s $800, for those of you who are more impressed by numerals than the Roman alphabet. For $800 dollars, you get a dangerously-close-to-completely-underpowered machine running full-on Windows 7 with no 3G. HP, again, justifies this by saying the device is ‘specifically designed for business’, but, uh… which business, guys? You’re selling a netbook chopped in half for the price of an iPad. Get real.

The Slate isn’t so much an iPad Killer as it is an iPad Sacrifice. Ballmer had a dream that the Slate could fell the iPad; he’d better wake up and apologize.

Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.
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Comments
  • http://rollingbed.com Barry Allen

    While I will certainly agree on the overpriced part. The iPad is also overpriced by at least $200 as well. What I find funny is that all the Apple fan boys dogging this because it’s too much like a “Notebook/Netbook”. Yeah, you know it’s useful, something iPad user wouldn’t know the first thing about. While the unemployed iPad owner sits a Starbucks sipping coffee and parusing PerezHilton.com, the Slate user can VPN to work, install any Windows application, in short do some actual work. Probably something the typical iPad owner wouldn’t know much about. Consumption over Production.

  • http://www.philnolan3d.com Phil

    Agreed with Barry 100%

  • The Bone

    Ty, iPad Killer? That’s absurd. It’s not. Comparing the Slate to the iPad is like comparing a bicycle to a car. Also, it doesn’t have a keyboard because it’s a freaking tablet. That’s not even a valid argument. You also failed to mention the digipad. $800 seems dirt cheap for a full OS tablet compared to a $700 iPad with 64gb and no 3G. You should compare Apples to apples if you’re gonna be such a hater.
    Is this a tech blog or a “I hate everything non-apple” blog?

    Barry hit the nail on the head – as far as iFanboys go.

  • Joel

    Sorry guys, but I disagree with the comments to far. I don’t think it’s a matter of Ty being a fan boy. I think it’s a matter of some of you being anti-Apple. Any iPad user will tell you that the experience of using a tablet like the iPad is very different to using a mouse/trackpad driven OS. Apple realized this and this is why used iOS for the iPad and not OSX. Don’t you think they would have made this a Mac tablet if they thought it would be better?

    Seriously, there have been Windows tablet computers on the market for years, but nobody talks about them as hardly anyone uses them. The HP slate is just a Windows tablet computer that’s designed to look more like an iPad. It’s actually an under powered Windows computer. Sure it has 2GB of RAM versus the iPad’s 256MB, but the iPad does not need much as the apps are all light weight and snappy.

    The apps for the iPad and the OS is designed for the touch screen experience. Windows apps are not designed for touch screens and for the touch screen gestures. Apple thought about all of this when they made the iPad the way that it is today. How many iPad owners want it to run Mac OSX? I bet very few…..

  • The Bone

    Uh, I’m not anti-Apple, I do prefer PC over Mac, Zune over iPod, etc, but I do own 2 iPods and an iPad 16GB (bought it for the wife, she loves it, and it’s so easy to use for the less techy crowd too). iPad is great at what it does, however, the iPad is not a corporate caliber machine. Plus, it has too many restrictions locked down on it. Walk around any big city hospital or high-end private practice and you’ll probably see some PC tablets. Yes, they’ve been around for a long time, just not glorified like bloggers, graphic designers, video editors do with their Apple products.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the HP Slate was revealed before any leaked iPad photos were ever show (and most of those were PhotoShoped over sized iPhones), so NO the Slate is not trying to look like an iPad.

    The Slate isn’t too bad of a machine for it’s compact size. And yes, for the love of god, it is underpowered – we freaking know this. Sure it’s $800, but that’s chump change to the corporate world. But the price could be driven down eventually – remember the first Netbook? It was pretty outrageous in price, but now you can get one close to $200. I look forward to an ENVY-styled Slate for the consumer world too.

    You’re absolutely wrong – Apple probably could put a full OS on it, but that would give it’s user too much freedom to use, plus let’s not forget the App Store – no way Apple will shoot itself in the foot.

    My point is that there’s been too much love for Apple with most of these tech blogs – everything gets compared to an Apple iThis or iThat, and usually are two incomparable things. And this distorts a legit review of any other device/gadget/OS. Everything has it’s place and usually does what it does well, but when blogs dismiss it or shoot it down because it “doesn’t compare to this or that of my Apple” is absurd, especially when it’s Apples to Oranges.

    P.S. And I do Architecture, Graphic Design, and Video Editing all on a PC. And no, I do not put “Made on a PC” after everything I produce. LOL

  • http://www.glitchritual.com tydunitz

    If it makes everyone calling me a fanboy feel better, I don’t think the iPad itself is really worth a shit, either. The Slate is just YET MORE laughable.

    ~ Sent from my circa 2001 Toshiba

  • behroz

    damn! techi do a little research before you write some stuff. This makes me think you really come up with ideas directly off your stomach.

    hp slate was designed before iphone 4.
    so hat tip to hp slate on the design.

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