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HP introduces Slate 2 tablet for businesses, not consumers

November 3, 2011 | 11:57 am

HP's Slate 500 (left) and the Slate 2

Hewlett-Packard has released its next tablet, the Slate 2, and it's anything but the successor to the pseudo-cult-hit that was the HP TouchPad.

In fact, the Slate 2 is actually a follow-up to HP's Slate 500, which launched more than a year ago at a price of $800, running Windows 7 and marketed to businesses and not consumers.

The Slate 2, again, isn't a consumer tablet, HP says, noting that it envisions the gadget "for business and vertical markets such as education, healthcare, government and retail, where jobs frequently take users away from a traditional desk." So don't go expecting to see this device showing up in you local electronics retailer.

The new HP tablet for businesses will sell for $700, and like the Slate 500, the Slate 2 will weigh in at 1.5 pounds, feature an 8.9-inch touchscreen and make use of an optional stylus. On the Slate 2, a software update will enable users to also use an on-screen swipe keyboard, HP said.

The Slate 2 will run on Intel's 1.5-gigahertz Atom Z670 processor, offer up to six hours of battery life and encrypt data on the device's hard drive. A VGA camera is built into the front of the Slate 2 while a 3-megapixel camera is on the back and the tablet has 2 gigabytes of RAM, a hard drive of up to 64 gigabytes and one USB port -- the same as the Slate 500's setup.

As far as looks, the Slate 2 looks pretty much exactly the same as the Slate 500 and retains the same dimensions, and both tablets run Microsoft Windows 7. This is an update -- not a whole new device. In fact, even the press image HP offered of the Slate 500 last year and the Slate 2 this year look identical, except for the simulated graphic on the screen (see above).

So, when will we see another consumer tablet from HP? It might be a while. The company has said that it will produce Windows 8 tablets next year sometime and that its WebOS plans are still up in the air.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: Hewlett-Packard's Slate 500 (left) and the Slate 2. Credit: Hewlett-Packard