iPad Should Look Over Shoulder: HP Slate Coming Hard, Soon
Well it's been a week full of iPadiness,and Apple has proven once again that they're the kings of product launches and probably will be for the foreseeable future. What they won't be, however, is the only game in Tabletown forever. The JooJoo tablet is already on the market, but the well publicized fallout between TechCrunch and Fusion Garage may have killed it before its birth: according to Geek.com there were only 90 preorders for the device.
But there is noise on the horizon, and it's coming from HP. The new HP Slate should be released in the not-too-distant future, and it looks to be fairly bad ass, particularly if you don't buy into the Apple lifestyle line.
If you check out the promotional videos, you'll find that not only will the new Slate have pretty much the same basic feature-set as the iPad, it will have a bunch of features that the iPad doesn't. They include multitasking,an SD card slot, two webcams (one facing each direction), Flash support, and, wonders of wonders, the ability to use a USB cable. In other words, the sorts of things you'd expect on a computer of any kind (or a smartphone, for that matter), much of which is demonstrated in the following 30 second video.
More sweetness comes with a conventional sim card slot for 3G support, HDMI-out capability (along with 1080p video), and, for those that don't want to smudge their displays, the Slate will support pen/digitizer input. Nice.
Pricing appears extremely solid as well. According to a document on Engadget that was purportedly leaked from HP, the pricing on a 32GB version is $549, $50 less than the iPad, with a 64GB version at $599 - a full c-note under the iPad, neither of which support 3G. And that's before you cop discounts from resellers.
The downside? Potentially shorter battery life, only 1GB of RAM, and no fixed release date yet. And it will be here, and it won't be long (we're hearing June), and you won't remember having to wait for it once you've seen it KO the iPad in a tablet cage match. Which it may well do if those specs are right and it lives up to its potential and has no glaring screw-ups. It's also the first new tech in 2010 I'm drooling to try (hey HP: How 'bout a pre-release review model?).