HP Slate Making a Timely Entry into the Tablet Market

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

5. The enterprise might like it

Tablets are designed specifically for consumers. But if the corporate world decides to pick up tablets for employees, the HP Slate might lead the way. Unlike the iPad, the Slate runs Windows- favorite of the enterprise-and will likely work with many of the simpler applications companies currently employ on a daily basis. Compatibility means everything to the enterprise. And the Slate will provide it.

6. Its advertising is Apple-esque

When you have the chance, go to YouTube and check out HP's latest teaser video for the Slate. Notice anything interesting? It's a PC vendor delivering a 30-second spot that can rival Apple's commercials. That's no small feat. A main contributing factor to Apple's success is its marketing. It has impressed most viewers who have seen its commercials. The Slate's marketing is on par with the iPad's. That can only be good for HP.

7. It's forward-thinking too

There's no debating that the iPad offers several features that clearly define Apple's desire to look ahead, rather than focus on the past. But the HP Slate reflects that desire as well. The device boasts multitouch, and it appeals to what consumers really want to do with mobile products. Perhaps most importantly, it's trying to deliver an experience, which is something that, so far, only Apple has been successful at.

Reading and more

At CES this past January, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed off some of the Slate's many features. Included in that is the ability to read ebooks. Apple has marketed its iPad as a Kindle killer, capable of delivering ebooks (or, in Apple's case, iBooks) to consumers who want to be able to read their favorite titles without holding a hardcover. HP Slate owners will be able to read -books as well. And like the iPad, the device will allow users to listen to music and watch videos. The Slate is a full multimedia device. Consumers will like that.

9. Connectivity

Unlike the iPad, which requires users to buy accessories in order to connect peripherals to the device, the HP Slate will offer a USB port, making it much easier for consumers and enterprise customers to connect flash drives, printers or just about anything else to the device. Connectivity could be one of the Slate's most important advantages. Although the iPad will allow users to connect products through an accessory, the Slate doesn't require an additional purchase to perform such a basic task. That's refreshing. And it's a major selling point.

10. It's coming this year

The iPad is scheduled to hit store shelves sometime in 2010. That's important. If HP had given Apple a full year to offer the iPad without any competition on the market, the company would have likely taken an insurmountable lead. After all, HP's product would have looked like the also-ran as Apple prepared to release the second iteration of its device. But by releasing the Slate this year, HP has the opportunity to capitalize. It can let consumers use the iPad and offer a product of its own a few months later that, it claims, will trump the iPad on several fronts. It's a smart move. And it could spell trouble for Apple's iPad.

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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