Hewlett-Packard may have a Windows 7-powered tablet PC in its production pipeline, according to images spied on its Website. This would in addition to the Palm WebOS tablets reportedly in the works.
As noted by a number of online sources, a cached page on
Hewlett-Packard's Web site shows off a
tablet PC listed as the HP Slate 500. The description accompanying the
image suggests the device will have an 8.9-inch screen, two cameras for still
images and Web conferencing, Windows 7 Premium, and a pen for writing or
drawing. It also comes with headphones.
The device pictured at the top of the Web page, while small, bears marked
similarities to the tablet shown off by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at this
year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Whether or not the HP Slate 500 sees the light of day, the description
suggests that HP is envisioning it as a media-consumption device: "No matter
where you are or what kind of fun you're in the mood for, the HP Slate 500 is
all you need. Exclusive HP software gives you access to photos, videos and
everything on the Internet with just a touch."
Another page on HP's Website lists
eight different HP Slate models, all of which link to the same Windows 7-centric
separate PDF lists an "HP Slate 500" as Energy Star compliant, but makes no mention of the
is also reportedly seeking to trademark the name PalmPad
, possibly for a
tablet PC running its newly acquired PalmWebOS. Even following HP's $1.2
billion acquisition of Palm, however, rumors continue to circulate that the
manufacturer is considering tablet PCs running Windows 7 and possibly Google Android-although
a July 15 report by All Things D
, quoting unnamed sources "in position to
know," suggested the Android effort was on hold.
The idea of Windows 7 running on an HP tablet seemed a likelier proposition-an
HP vice president even reportedly confirmed plans to do so
information on the state of that project's state has been scarce.
An HP spokesperson declined to confirm reports about the PalmPad trademark:
"At this time, we're not sharing information on future products, operating
systems or road maps beyond what we've already released. We'll be providing
more info on this at a later time."
Before the Palm acquisition, HP's
plans for a Windows 7-powered tablet seemed practically set in stone
. In an
April 5 posting on HP's Voodoo Blog, Phil McKinney, vice president and CTO
for the company's Personal Systems Group, touted a Slate that he said would
provide "the ideal mobile experience." In addition to Windows 7, that version
of the device included Web conferencing, thanks to a pair of integrated
cameras, and slots for SD cards and USB
Before that, Steve Ballmer offered a first glimpse of the HP Slate during his
keynote presentation at CES, where he suggested its capabilities would include
e-reading, Web surfing, and playing movies and other multimedia.
But then HP acquired Palm, and those Windows plans much less
solid. If the HP Slate 500 pages actually show a device at some stage in the
production pipeline, though, then the situation could change yet again.