Can HP Slate Beat the iPad?
HP has firmed up a plan to launch its newest mobile device, the Slate, sometime in June 2010 and had launched videos that aim to disclose the Slate’s advantages over Apple’s iPad. HP is quite confident that although Slate isn’t a pioneer in this field, a full two months after the iPad’s launch, its product will provide better value and features.
Currently, Apple is hard-pressed to meet the high demand in US market. Such is the hysteria for the tablet that Apple has postponed the international launch until the production line can keep up. Sure there are some good reasons behind this craze as Apple is presently the only one offering a true tablet computer experience (No, your bulky Windows tablet doesn’t count!). The iPad boasts features that shape the new and dynamic field in computer world, it has smooth e-book support, better integration with the Apple’s app store and so much more. With a modest price tag of $499, the iPad has created a big impact in the market.
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iPad, like all of its predecessors was a design marvel but lacked few of the key features the Apple
As you might imagine, everyone would like to have a slice of this new lucrative and promising market. Among many contenders in this field, HP has a good position to keep up. Needless to say, the only way to beat the iPad is to cover up iPad’s missing features. The domination that HP enjoys in mainstream computing segment gives it enough stamina to move against the iPad. To put it simply, HP Slate may worth the wait. However, coonecti.ca reported that the Slate runs rather sluggishly as it needs to haul Windows 7 with a relatively underpowered Intel Atom Z530 processor.
- Appearance – Apple iPad’s design is quite alluring and it has proved once again that it takes careful designs to appeal potential consumers. Reviews have shown that the build quality of Slate is slightly inferior to the iPad. Slate’s case is made from plastic, however reviewers said that it still feels dense and looks quite tough.
- Operating System – You can’t miss out on a very crucial feature of HP Slate, that it will run the new Windows 7 OS. But, Windows 7 is designed for faster full-sized computers, it should run at least Core2Duo or Phenom processors, not the slow Intel Atom. Windows 7 at its current state is not designed to run on small tablets. While, iPhone OS 3.2 loads almost instantaneously on the iPad.
- Flash support– To many, the most serious drawback of the iPad is the lack of Flash support, it means users won’t be able to fully benefit from the World Wide Web. Nowadays, many websites use Flash and while video sharing sites uses Flash-based video format, which logically makes it necessary for any tablet developed today to be fully compatible with Flash. That is exactly one strong point of the Slate, you can surf any website and play many online games with it. With the iPad, some Flash-based sites may fail to run entirely.
- Delayed release – To be a little late isn’t necessarily a bad way of doing business, it often becomes a blessing in disguise as HP can make necessary adjustments to stay competitive. Apple is the first to enter the fray and from technical and business standpoints Apple is a guinea pig in a new and untried field, its future contenders will have a better idea of what can work and what can’t work. Unlike Apple, they’ll have plenty of time to make necessary amends. It may be true for tablets released in the winter 2010, but it is a little doubtful the two months delay is long enough for HP to make significant adjustments.
- Corporate support – Tablets are designed for common computer users, traveling businesspeople are among them. With Windows 7, Slate has two big advantages over the iPad. First, Windows OS is ubiquitous in business world, with HP Slate, users can easily integrate files and media needed in their activities. Second, since the Windows environment is highly popular, you will find many business software available, however it will remain to be seen whether there would be good business apps for the iPad in Apple Store in years to come.
- Marketing – HP is working really hard to attract buyers, especially among Windows users, while a large portion of the iPad marketing was actually fueled by frequent coverage and predictions by the media, which filled technology enthusiasts with a good deal of curiosity and hope.
- Brand Recognition – Apple always sees itself as a disruptive and innovative company with forward visions and while others only play catch up games, HP has made it clear that it wants to match up Apple in this field, but it may need to work harder to gain recognition as an innovative brand. Slate is no longer groundbreaking, but it still can be competitive by offering a few more extra features.
- E-book Reader – iBooks, with its fancy bookshelf interface is excellent application which allows iPad owners to buy millions of titles in iBookstore. Slate may have its own Windows-based reader app, but it is doubtful that Slate will have similarly strong support from major book publishers.
- Connectivity – among the highlights of Slate is its superior connectivity options. You can connect it with printer, flash drive, external hard drive or other devices. With a USB port, it can use a wide range of external devices. On the other hand, the iPad owners are stuck with iTunes and a desktop/laptop to transfer files.
- Multitasking – Just like iPhones, the iPad is essentially single-tasking, this may be intended to save battery life and improve performance. However, single-tasking devices tend to inhibit productivity as people can only do everything one at a time. Luckily for iPad users, iPhones OS 4 will be released fall this year, it will provide full multi-tasking capability for the iPad along with hundreds of other enhancements.
- Camera – HP Slate comes with two cameras, 3Mp rear camera and 0.3Mp front camera. In essence, Slate can turn itself into a (mediocre) digital camera with oversized viewfinder screen. While the front camera will make it really easy to do video conferencing everywhere, even in a crowded places. Those are good extra features for a tablet computer that surely will attract plenty of buyers.
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