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HP Sends the First Win7 Slate Out to Battle iPad

Called the HP Slate 500 the device is positioned as business’s alternative to Apple’s iPad

Making no splash about it and apparently limiting sales to the U.S., Hewlett-Packard quietly introduced the first and only Windows 7-based tablet PC last Friday. The thing's got a swipe-able touchscreen that can turn handwritten notes into legible text.

Called the HP Slate 500 - no news there - the device is positioned as business's alternative to Apple's iPad although it has a smaller 8.9-inch screen compared to iPad's 9.7 inches, which Steve Jobs claims is as small as you can get and still be practical. It still should be able to play high-def movies and supports the Apple-scorned Flash.

HP imagines companies running their custom applications on the thing.

It starts at $799, which is towards the upper end of iPad's $499-$829 range. HP is going to use its own recently acquired Palm webOS for a consumer (and probably business) tablet coming out next year.

The Slate 500 runs on a 1.86 GHz Atom chip and includes 802.11n WiFi, a USB port (for a real keyboard and mouse), front- and rear-facing cameras (think web conferencing) and up to 64 GB of flash storage. It does not have 3G connectivity. It's got a docking station.

The 1.5lb dingus ships on November 12. It's promising five hours of battery life.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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