HP Slate: Coming 2010, Less Than $US1500, Plain Old Windows 7

HP just popped a video of CTO Phil McKinney demonstrating the "slate" we showed you first at CES 2010. McKinney affirms that this is not just some will-o-the-wisp, but in doing so, might've taken away some of its allure.

Where, for instance, are the tablet modes that Steve Ballmer, when demonstrating it, seemed so impressed with, particularly that gorgeous ebook reader? I want movies and books and maybe some games. Being powered by Windows 7 is great, but I am not sure how I feel about Start buttons, and everything else that a full-blown OS carries with it. What we see here is a Windows 7 desktop running a browser and a NYT app (aka another browser). I still think it's cute, but I think everyone would agree that the hardware is not the story - software is needed to make the tablet lifestyle palatable.

It's still early, and knowing HP's TouchSmart team, something is in the works. McKinney promises to deliver the product "in 2010", and for a price that's "in the affordable range", that is to say, much less than $US1500. I'm not even going to guess. Here's hoping that HP and Microsoft can pull off an impressive product of their own, to rival Apple's as-yet-unseen frontrunner in this battle of vapour and wills. [HP on YouTube]

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