HP Teases Us With Its Slate Again

Today’s the first weekday of the post-iPad era, and HP is once again talking up its upcoming Windows 7-based slate computer. Here’s a video it released:

Looks slick–but it’s a lot easier to make a gizmo look slick in a promotional video than in real life, of course. (If only every car looked as good in a driveway as it does in TV commercials.)

The big question about the HP device is how much effort the company has put into putting a slate-oriented interface on top of Windows 7. As of the last time I asked Microsoft, it said it didn’t have plans to release a version of Windows 7 tailored especially for tablets. So it’s up to HP to make its device truly finger-friendly. With its TouchSmart PCs, the company has done a much better job than anyone else of figuring out how to integrate touch into the Windows experience. But as the iPad shows, tablets work best if their interface was designed for touch from the ground up, rather than being a desktop interface that’s been rejiggered for touch. And the iPad sets the bar very, very high.

 

 


24 comments

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  1. Chip April 5, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    I wonder if it’s just the video, or maybe the speeding up to fit in a 30-second spot, but the “cover flow” and the picture scrolling doesn’t look smooth at all; it looks like cover snap and picture stepping.
    Anyone know if it’s smoother than this?

  2. morphoyle April 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    “And the iPad sets the bar very, very high.”

    I couldn’t be LESS happy with my iPad. The wifi is junk, the speakers are junk, and almost all the iphone apps I’ve tried look HORRIBLE. Way to set the bar apple. I hope my grandmother is happier with the piece of junk than I am.

  3. Chris Dunning April 5, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    @Morphoyle

    Your experience is on the far opposite end of the spectrum from mine. So far.

  4. Ken April 5, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    What speakers? iPad comes with one. The other big negative no one seems to be addessing is that iPad has only one power and connectivity connector — at the bottom when in portrait mode. If you want to view video or photos in landscape while the unit is docked — forget it.

  5. Hamranhansenhansen April 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    An HP Slate and an iPad make an interesting pair for users who are really into touch. You can dock the iPad to the Slate and load media on, or backup the iPad.

    > The [iPad] wifi is junk

    It’s the same Wi-Fi from the latest iPod touch, and it has the latest “n” standard, it’s not something new and untested for the iPad.

    If you are using your own access point, make sure to update the access point’s firmware to the latest version. Also, if your access point has “n” and iPad is your first “n” device, there may be some configuring you have to do on the base station to work well with a mix of “n” and older devices on your network.

    > HORRIBLE. Way to set the bar apple. I hope my grandmother
    > is happier with the piece of junk than I am.

    If you put it on eBay and open it up to international bidders, you’ll get more than what you paid for it. No big deal.

    > The other big negative no one seems to be addressing is that iPad
    > has only one power and connectivity connector

    The iPad rotates 360 degrees, so wherever you want the connector to be, it can be. Same with the headphone jack. If you want that on the bottom, just rotate 180 degrees.

    > If you want to view video or photos in landscape while
    > the unit is docked — forget it.

    Then don’t dock the iPad in the vertical dock. In the Apple case, it can sit sideways with a dock cable hooked up to it. Or there is a $6.99 “study stand” from Staples that apparently works great for holding the iPad horizontally and just plug on a dock cable.

    There will likely be “sideways docks” coming from 3rd parties. You can probably sell your Apple dock on eBay and get almost what you paid for it and get another dock if you prefer. If you’re buying accessories right now, you’re choosing from a very limited set. There are almost no 3rd party accessories yet.

    In the vertical dock, if you double-tap the photos, they will always fill the whole screen. That may give you what you’re looking for.

    > What speakers? iPad comes with one.

    There are actually 2, one for low-frequencies, and one for high-frequencies, but together they provide mono sound. Same as on the MacBooks, it’s not meant to replace wired headphones or Bluetooth headphones or speakers at home or in the car.

  6. David Hamilton April 6, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    I think Microsoft’s decision not to put any work itself into customising Windows 7 for touch will come to be seen as one of its biggest ever strategic blunders. One has to wonder what other development it is doing that is so important that it cannot assign some resources to work with HP on the slate.

    Or maybe Microsoft acknowledges that it doesn’t itself have the imagination to rethink Windows to the different paradigm. After all, it has taken them 10+ years (and someone else to show them how) to figure out how to fit Windows onto a mobile phone.

    This hasn’t surprised me at all – one look at the atrocious screen space usage of Windows and Office told you everything you needed to know about how well they would scale down to such a small screen.

    The video highlights USB and SD card connectivity – when was the last time you saw anyone touting USB as a noteworthy feature?! And, to me, the lack those parts from the iPad highlights why it might eventually be truly revolutionary:

    USB and SD have clearly been omitted because the concept of the filesystem is missing from the iP* devices, something that many companies have spoken of as a good thing for usability, but they’ve always bottled out (Microsoft – I looking at you) when it comes to trying to deliver a usable implementation. And obviously, Apple haven’t found a neat way of copying files without a filesystem. Hence SD/USB got the chop.

    Apple have now set themselves a huge challenge – indeed they’ve boxed themselves into a development corner: That of how to add support for filesystem-driven devices without ruining the simplicity of a world without one. Of course, it’s on this kind of challenge that Apple seems to thrive.

    If Apple does solve this problem, it will have succeeded in escaping our computing legacy and forever made computers much easier to use – truly revolutionary.

  7. mark April 7, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    I LOVE MY IPAD!! I truly enjoyed every minute of it. I have a Mac Pro, Ipod & Ipad what’s next? I love my IPAD!! whooooohoooo!!

  8. Technoneutral April 7, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Hamranhansenhansen must work for Apple. I’m glad to see the competition and different conceptual development that has gone into designing and manufacturing the tablets. I think Apple and HP’s start will drive future innovation on similar devices.

  9. Darren April 8, 2010 at 1:48 am #

    @Hamranhansenhansen

    hahahah fanboy!

  10. David Hamilton April 8, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    @Anonymous “Then why are OEMs like Dell, HP, and Asus making small all-in-one nettops with mutltitouch screens running Windows 7?”

    Because they’re making the best of what they have. And what they have in a much-improved evolution of what we had in the past – I’m sure these tablets will be way better than all the tablets that have so far arrived and failed. However… Would we really even be discussing new tablet devices with any energy if it weren’t for the iPad?

    Partly that’s Apple’s Reality Distortion Field, but a lot of it is that Apple have stepped back and asked what a touch computing experience should be like, how would it be if we started from scratch. By contrast HP and MS are tweaking the existing experience, which will suit a lot of people, but cannot realistically be regarded as re-imagining personal computing.

    Competition is always good for the consumer – and they will be the ultimate judge of this competition. Let’s count the numbers in a year’s time…

  11. David Hamilton April 8, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    Ooops – that last comment was meant for a different article! (How? Copy/Paste to a different computer due to iffy internet connection).

    Technologizer: Can we have the ability to delete our own comments?!

  12. John Goldboni April 8, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    I love my iPad. The iPad does exactly what it was designed to do very well. Sure it may have some bugs, but those are things that I am sure Apple will take care of very soon. It doesnt have a camera, but I’ll live. This is a first generation device and I am sure the 2nd or 3rd generation will have the features we need. It makes perfect sense for Apple to release this unit as it is. They make their sales and later one the sales frenzy will continue when they release it with a camera. You can’t always get what you want.. You can’t always get what you want..

  13. Jim in Aubrun WA April 8, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    I dumped my Microsoft stock and have nevr regretted it. They are so NOT INVENTIVE – it is unreal. I will take a look at slate and the NEXT version of the IPAD.

    IPAD is missing too many features. SLATE may also be a no go at least for another year or two. Technology is so fast but DUH, User experience issues needs to be addressed ASAP.

    Windows 7 was NOT my idea. I am a Person – not a PC.

  14. Jack Mehoff April 8, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    THE IPAD IS AWESOME. LAST NIGHT AT A BAR I MADE GOOD USE OF MY IPAD. I WAS CHECKING MY EMAIL WHILE DRIKING BEER AND TALKING WITH FRIENDS. WHEN A GUY HIT ON MY GIRL I CRACKED THE IPAD ON THE GUYS HEAD.

  15. Sal The Stockbroker April 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    I enjoy the iPad because we use a soundboard board made for the iPhone but on the iPad. With the larger screen it is alot more comfortable to use. I had to teach Richard to use it because he is a dumb redneck. Overall the iPad is awesome. I’m just worried that if bababooey uses it he’ll scratch the nice glass surface with his teeth.

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