HP Slate Tablet PC May Give Apple iPad Heavy Competition
Consumers considering the purchase of an Apple iPad in April may want to wait around for the Hewlett-Packard (HP) "Slate" tablet, anticipated for a June 2010 release. The competition between HP and Apple for the growing tablet market shows the consumer thirst for smaller, yet still powerful computers that converge browsing the web, reading magazines and books, and listening to music.
HP has been working on development of the Slate for five years, according to the company’s blog, and recent advances in chip and screen technology have made it more affordable. Meanwhile, the Apple iPad has jumped out ahead to meet consumer demand, and may well be the best-selling device in 2010.
The HP Slate will use Windows 7 with Intel inside, making it more like a computer, in contrast to Apple and Android, which are using smart phone processors. The HP Slate's new Intel Atom processing chip will give the device the power of a PC with increased energy efficiency. According to Intel, many netbooks using the Atom chips are getting 10 hours of battery life.
Analysts like International Data Corporation (IDC) however, aren’t sure that the tablet PC market will actually take off. And although HP is a world leader in core PC sales, Apple appears to be the recent leader in the smaller device market, with the Apple iPad and iTouch appealing to consumer desire for portability and ease of use.
Pricing for the HP Slate is anticipated to start at $549 in comparison to the Apple iPad at $499, but the two seem to be targeted at different audiences. It still remains to be seen whether the tablet market is large enough for both.