Remember the HP slate? That’s the tablet device Steve Ballmer was waving around during his CES keynote this year, and the very same one subsequently canned by the computer hardware manufacturer. Today we’re treated to a full four minutes of demonstration courtesy of YouTube user x313xkillax, showing off boot-time and web browsing.
The video starts off well, showing the slate’s 2 (count ‘em) cameras, SD card slot and USB port. The most interesting, and without doubt ludicrous button ever placed on a consumer device is a CTRL-ALT-DEL key! That’s right folks, when your shiny new HP Slate crashes you just need press one button to kill it. Terrific!
Is it real? Engadget seems to think so. If I hadn’t seen the thing power on (which happens in a spritely manner) I’d be shouting ‘FAKE’ from the highest mountain I could find, but considering you see the hardware running Windows 7 as HP initially planned – and Endgadget’s belief it’s legit – it might just be real.
Watch the video and let us know what you think – could this have been an iPad killer?
To answer my own question… No
The issue I see with all the ‘iPad killers’ (I do hate that phrase!) is that they seem to be aiming for a different market. Apple’s focus is to get the iPad into as many hands as possible, which is borne out by its competitive price. This means making it as user friendly as possible, sometimes at the expense of losing some of the bells and whistles other manufacturers seem desperate to include.
Take the HP offering as an example. Putting a full-fledged desktop OS on there may give the device more possibilities than Apple’s offering, but could this cause confusion? Possibly. What about that USB port? Can you plug a printer into it? What about a USB 3G dongle? Will the device have drivers for these or will they need to be downloaded? Will they even work at all?
These are all questions Apple doesn’t want the user to have to ask. In Apple’s eyes at least, choice feature bloat equals user confusion and that’s a bad thing.