While Windows 7 tablets aren't suitable for most consumers because of their high price, bulk, and relatively touch-unfriendly UIs, there are still a number of vertical industries that need them. To meet these needs, HP has rolled out an update to its now-dated Slate 500 tablet. The new Slate 2 has a 1.5-GHz Intel Atom Z670 CPU, an mSATA SSD, and an 8.9-inch multitouch display.
For text entry, the Slate 2 provides an on-screen Swype keyboard and supports an optional active stylus. It also has some business-friendly security features, including TPM, Computrace Pro BIOS support, and embedded security for ProtectTools, HP's powerful security suite. Business users will also appreciate the ability to talk via the VGA front-facing webcam or do basic photography with the 3-megapixel back-facing camera. The Slate 2 also has an SD card slot, two USB 2.0 ports, and HDMI out for connecting to larger screens.
The 1.5-pound Slate 2 starts at $699, which seems pricey compared to most Android or iOS tablets, but is cheaper than the $1,099 starting price for the 11.6-inch Samsung 7 Series. HP is also selling a variety of accessories including a point-of-sale case with a barcode reader, a Bluetooth keyboard, and the HP Digital Pen. The Slate 2 goes on sale later this month.
Slate 2 Screen
The Slate 2 has an 8.9-inch WSVGA (1024 x 600) display, and is powered by an Intel GMA 600 GPU.
Slate 2 front
The Slate 2 measures 9.21 x 5.9 x 0.61 inches, and weighs 1.5 pounds, which is a bit heavier than Android tablets, but good for Windows tablets. Its metal chassis feels sturdy.
Slate 2 rear
Unlike the original Slate, which had a diamond pattern, the Slate 2 has a flat rubber back that still feels good to the touch. Also here is a 3-MP webcam.
Slate 2 buttons and ports
In addition to volume and a power button, the Slate 2 has a Control-Alt-Delete button on its side, as well as a full-sized USB port.
Slate 2 bottom
The bottom of the Slate 2 has a docking connector as well as two speakers, which can take advantage of the SRS Premium Sound in the tablet.
Slate 2 dock
The Slate 2 comes with a dock as well as an active stylus that can be used with the display.
Slate 2 keyboard
Built into the Slate 2's case is a Bluetooth keyboard, to make it easier to type longer documents on the tablet.