10 Reasons Why Apple Should Worry About the HP Slate

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-03-10 Print this article Print

News Analysis: HP's Slate is back in the news after the PC vendor released videos detailing why it believes the Slate can beat the Apple iPad. HP is making a strong argument with the Slate's design and features that it will give the iPad a good run for its money despite arriving in the market later in the year. Here are our reasons why we think the Slate has the stuff to make consumers think twice before buying an iPad.

With the release of Apple's iPad less than a month away, consumers are anxiously awaiting the company's latest offering in the touch-screen space. Apple's iPad will boast an impressive slate of features, including a full ebook integration, access to the company's App Store and much more. It's essentially a big iPod Touch. And at the affordable starting price of $499, it should generate significant buzz.

But Apple isn't alone in the marketplace. Apple's competitors are led by HP. The company's upcoming Slate product looks like it could be the single competitor in the market that could give Apple a run for its money. The device will boast several features that the iPad lacks. Plus, it will be backed by a company that consumers can trust. Simply put, the Slate is a product to watch out for. And Apple should be concerned about its appeal to consumers.

Here's why:

1. It's good-looking

Part of the iPad's appeal is its nice design. The device reflects Apple's ability as a designer to deliver products that appeal to the consumer's eye. But HP has done the same with its Slate. Granted, the designs are extremely similar, but who cares? HP's Slate will appeal to consumers just as much as the iPad. For once, Apple won't easily win out in product design. That's refreshing.

2. It's running Windows

The HP Slate will run Windows 7 when it hits store shelves. That's an extremely important feature. One of the issues with the iPad is that it isn't running a full-fledged operating system. That limits its functionality and turns it into a big iPod Touch, rather than a portable computer. That might be what Apple is going for. But whether or not users really want to use such an operating system when working on basic computing tasks is currently unknown.

3. Flash support

It seems that whenever people talk about the iPad, the question arises about whether or not compatibility with Adobe Flash multimedia platform is really necessary. I think it is. Many of the top Websites on the Web use Flash. It's what powers many Web videos. No matter how much some people hate it, Flash is a necessary evil on the Web. And tablets need to support it. HP's Slate does, meaning any Website will work on it. Apple's iPad doesn't.

4. HP is second

Typically, when a product comes to market second, it spells trouble for that company. But in this case, it might have helped HP. Since Apple showed its hand by publicizing iPad's features, HP can go back to the drawing board and improve the Slate to offer features missing from the Apple device. Thanks to a delayed launch, the Slate might be everything the iPad is-and isn't.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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