HP says it has begun customer evaluation of a Windows 7 tablet that appears to resemble the Windows-based touchscreen device that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer trotted out in January at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show.
The device, apparently called the “HP Slate 500,” will run Windows 7 Premium. It will have two cameras and a stylus.
HP is also planning to launch a tablet running the webOS operating system it acquired when it purchased Palm earlier this year.
About the HP Slate 500
The HP Slate 500 will come with headphones, HP software and a stylus, according to a page that appeared on HP’s website this week. The page, however, appears to have been taken down as of Wednesday. A cached version of the page can be viewed here.
The device will run Windows 7 Premium. It will have an 8.9-inch screen and a unique design which will “put the full Internet in your hands,” the page read. The HP Slate 500 will also have a still and a video cameras.
Users can adjust the screen orientation, which might mean the device has an accelerometer. They can also use the stylus to write or draw on the tablet.
The HP Slate 500 is Energy Star qualified. The device will have a processor with a speed of 1.6 MHz per core, according to the Energy Star website. However, it will only have one core, one hard drive, and a single GB of RAM.
The HP Slate 500 doesn’t have dedicated video card memory listed on the Energy Star website. HP did not provide Energy Star information on networking options, hard drive storage or the device’s default video card display output resolution.
HP’s Plans for Slate PCs
“The only thing we’re putting on the record right now is that we’re in customer evaluation with the Windows-based Slate right now,” HP spokesperson Marlene Somsak told TechNewsWorld.
Asked whether or not HP will go ahead with the Windows 7 Slate — it had, after all, reportedly killed the device after Microsoft’s Ballmer demonstrated it in January — Somsak was non-committal.
“We’ll make a decision based on that evaluation,” she said.
Somsak also confirmed that HP will offer a tablet based on webOS, the operating system it acquired when it purchased Palm in April for about US$1.2 billion.
“We will have a webOS-based Slate,” Somsak said.
However, she would not say when this device will be available.
“We’re not giving timelines out right now,” Somsak remarked.
Perhaps the webOS device will be called the “PalmPad.” HP applied to trademark the word “PalmPad” July 9.
Both the Windows 7 and the planned webOS tablet are called Slates because “Slate is the category,” Somsak said. “We’re not ready to reveal any kind of a name yet,” she explained.
HP may have yet another Slate tablet in the wings — one that will run Android. It was scheduled to be launched at the end of the year, but HP has pushed back the launch date.