As a tablet PC user since the launch of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition in November 2002, I've longed for a lightweight, portable and thin slate device that essentially functions as a digital notepad computer, and this is what I believe HP has delivered in the 500. There's nothing new here, the Slate is just a vanilla Windows 7 Professional device with practically no 3rd party applications installed except Evernote and the camera software, but I think that's actually a good thing as it keeps the unit from being bogged down given its adequate but less-than-powerful Atom platform.
- Genuine Windows 7 Professional
- Slate tablet design starting at 1.50 lb/0.68 kg
- 8.9-inch diagonal LED-backlit WSVGA wide-viewing angle display (1024 x 600 or 1024 x 768 for some applications)
- Capacitive multi-touch screen with pen digitizer
- Integrated 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN
- Bluetooth 3.0 + HS
- Intel System Controller Hub (SCH) US15W chipset and Intel Atom™ processor
- 64 GB SSD
- Secure Digital (SD) slot
- Two integrated webcams (VGA inward facing; 3 MP outward facing)
- HP Slate Dock, HP Slate Digital Pen, and HP Slate Folio are optional accessories that may be included on select configurations
- $799 MSRP
The HP Slate 500 packs a lot of hardware into its svelte 5.91 x 9.21 x 0.58 inch body, and it only weighs 1.5 pounds to boot. The unit is impressive with an Atom Z540 1.86 GHz CPU, 64 GB SSD, 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, front-facing VGA camera, rear-facing 3 megapixel camera and an 8.9-inch 1024 × 600 screen with an N-trig Duo Sense capacitive touch and digital pen digitizer. This combines to give the HP Slate 500 topline specs at a topline price compared to most consumer slates. The 500 is sealed with no user replaceable battery or other parts.
The device is physically attractive and the rubberized back with a distinctive textured repeated pyramidal design with the HP logo in the center allows for good gripping either lying on a surface or in one's hand, and the flat back allows the Slate to function well for inking on a desk.
The device is fanless and completely silent but still manages to keep cool most of the time. The back does get quite warm when the device is charging or being taxed, such as when playing HD video. It's not scalding, but it might make your hands sweat.
The Slate has one USB port, a full SD slot, a combination headphone/microphone jack and a combined power/dock connector. There are five hardware buttons along three sides of the machine. On the right in the primary landscape orientation is the combination power and screen rotation lock switch that disables the accelerometer.
At the top right is the home button that minimizes all open windows and when held down for several seconds turns off the display backlight. To the left is the Control-Alt-Delete button for domain security purposes. On the top left is a volume rocker and finally on the left side is a toggle button for the Windows Tablet Input Panel.