Hewlett-Packard's upcoming tablet PC will be priced at $549 for its base model, and include a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor, inward-facing VGA Webcam and outward-facing 3-megapixel camera, according to a purported internal presentation leaked online on April 5. Although HP has claimed that its Adobe Flash support and camera modules will give it an advantage over Apple's iPad, a specs comparison shows that the iPad has advantages in battery life, higher screen resolution, larger screen and lower price for its 16GB WiFi-only model. The iPad selling 300,000 units by midnight on April 3, its first day of release, places pressure on other manufacturers to introduce a successful rival tablet.
A day after Hewlett-Packard posted a video highlighting its upcoming tablet
PC's video conferencing abilities and other functions, a purported internal
document details the device's supposed specs. With Apple's iPad proving a hit
with consumers following its April 3 release, the pressure on other
manufacturers is high to introduce a product that can be a competitor in the
burgeoning tablet market.
On April 5, Engadget
posted an image
of what it claimed was an internal HP presentation
comparing the specs of the company's upcoming tablet PC to the iPad. According
to that document, the 8.9-inch capacitive multitouch "HP Slate" will retail for
between $549 and $599, and include an inward-facing VGA Webcam and an
outward-facing 3-megapixel camera, as well as a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530
processor. It will run Windows 7 Home Premium, paired to a proprietary HP
touch-optimized user interface, and feature either 32GB or 64GB of upgradable
flash storage. HP claims that the tablet will offer more than 5 hours of
HP is apparently betting that certain key features of its offering, such as
the camera modules and its ability to run Adobe Flash, will offer it a
proverbial leg up on the iPad, which does not include cameras or Flash support.
However, as noted by HP's presentation, the iPad has advantages in battery
life, higher screen resolution, larger screen and a lower price for its 16GB
WiFi-only model. The iPad does not support Flash, which is used to power rich
content on many popular Websites, supposedly because Apple CEO
Steve Jobs believes the platform is "buggy."
an April 5 posting on HP's Voodoo Blog
, Phil McKinney, vice president and
chief technology officer for the company's Personal Systems Group, touted the Slate's
features as essential for what he termed "the ideal mobile experience."
"Think about the last time you chatted with friends over Skype on your
notebook," McKinney wrote. "Or
uploaded a picture from your mobile phone to Facebook or Flickr. How about the
last time you viewed images or video from an SD card or a USB
device. We know that you expect to be able to capture and share digital content
on your mobile devices."
In a 30-second video accompanying the blog post, a pair of hands takes an
image, inserts a 16GB memory card into a side slot, and uses the camera modules
to activate video conferencing.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer offered a
first glimpse of the HP slate during a keynote presentation at January's
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas,
with Ballmer suggesting that the tablet's capabilities would include e-reading,
Web surfing, and playing movies and other multimedia. Other manufacturers,
including Fusion Garage and Fujitsu, also have tablets in development, but they
all face a substantial competitor in Apple, which announced it sold 300,000
iPads in the United States
by midnight on April 3. Some 1 million
iPad apps and 250,000 ebooks were also downloaded by that date, suggesting that
ultimate advantage in the tablet battle may rest equally on software and media
offerings in addition to hardware specs.
In an April 5 research note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggested
that, based on his survey of 448 iPad buyers soon after the device's release,
some 74 percent of iPad purchasers intended to use the device for surfing the
Web, while another 38 percent planned to use it to read ebooks; another 34
percent said "Email," 26 percent said "Watching Video," 18 percent said
"Playing Games and Apps," and 8 percent said "Listening to Music." Presumably,
a tablet from HP or other manufacturers would see similar numbers with regard
to intended use.
The 16GB version of the iPad costs $499 with WiFi, and $629 with WiFi and
3G. The 32GB version costs $599 with WiFi, and $729 with WiFi and 3G. The 64GB
version costs $699 with WiFi, and $829 with WiFi and 3G. In his research note, Munster
estimated that Apple will sell some 4.3 million iPads in 2010.