[Merged] HP Slate - Upcoming Tablet, Possibly Running WebOS

Discussion in 'iPad' started by mbell75, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. mbell75 macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007

    This about sums it up right here

    The company is trying to complete with a device that is fundamentally different. The iPad runs what is essentially a cell phone operating system. It's designed exclusively for mobility. It's a touch smartbook, rather than a touch netbook. The HP Slate, on the other hand, is running a desktop operating system -- Windows, no less -- plus an application interface layer that can only add to the processing and memory burden.

    HP is trying to compete with the iPad on price. The Slate will start at $549. How does a PC match the price of a cell phone? You mis-match on performance. You add only 1 GB of RAM. You use an underpowered processor. You offer sucky battery life. I'm not aware of a single Windows expert who recommends running Windows 7 on fewer than 2GB of RAM. The reason is that Windows 7 is a sluggish, unusable pig with only 1 GB. Sure, the Slate has more memory and processing power than the iPad. But the iPad is a big cell phone. The Slate is a small PC. There is no conceivable way that the Slate can even approach the iPad's impressive overall performance running Windows 7 in 1 GB of RAM.
  2. RawBert macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2010
    North Hollywood, CA
    Just TRY multitasking on that thing... :rolleyes:
    The slate is a step backwards for Tablet PCs.
    Thank God (and SJ) for the iPad!
  3. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    This is why it will fail.

    It's amazing how some smart people can be such idiots. A child's wagon has four wheels. A car has four wheels. Just because the iPad and HP Slate are both tablets doesn't make them competitors. Why tech writers and other geeks insist on comparing the two is beyond my understanding.

    If the slate were better spec'ed -- 4GB RAM for starters -- it would have a better shot as a netbook alternative. As-is I'm not sure who it's good for. It's one of those "World's Fair" type products that looks interesting in a controlled demo but isn't practical for everyday use.
  4. master-ceo macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2007
    The SUN
    lol. Fail? Are you Serious?


    A mobile device that can run Protools, Reason, Soundforge, VST's, Edit Audio/Video, Play any Aud/Vid format will never fail.
  5. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Even though the slate and iPad are completely different devices, they have the same form factor which is why the public always compares the two. (Not to mention, even tech people like Steve Ballmer seem to think the products are in the same category!)

    The iPad is easily classified as a media consumption device.
    The HP Slate is classified as a portable tablet PC.

    Tablet PCs have ALWAYS failed in the past (most people don't even realize they had a past!) because they are a regular OS with touch interfaces. Software ends up being buggy with them, people get frustrated with keyboard shortcuts because they always end up having to tap on the screen. Its never a good user experience.

    Apple did something different, instead of trying to replace the computer, they built a new type of device (for the most part). They also built it using a touch interface so the user was able to have easy, convenient interaction with the device. This device is for internet and media consumption, exactly what most people use their home computers for.

    There will still be the windows crowd who snatch up the slate but all they have to do is give the gateways that came out 5 years ago a try to see that a tablet interface with a regular OS is not that great.
  6. gillybean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Even if version 1 of the slate doesn't do too well, I think it has a lot of potential. Version 4 or 5 will probably have like 8-12 gb RAM, a very fast processor, better battery life, and be able to do things like multitasking and Microsoft Office better than the iPad.
  7. rittchard macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    Now I am a huge iPad fan, but I think the RAM argument is over-simplifying this, and regardless of the difference in hardware, clearly the *intention* is as a competitor for the iPad - beginning with the similar form factor and weight and touch screen. If someone is shopping for a new, lightweight device that does email, internet, games, books - the HP Slate will certainly be on the short list.

    The HP Slate has a better processor than the Archos A9, which also has only 1GB of RAM. The A9 actually runs smoothly in Windows 7 after you turn off Aero and tweak some settings, even more smoothly if you're willing to use a USB stick for Readyboost. In other words, while additional RAM would be great, it's not the main problem. What is/was the problem for the Archos is that the OS and software/apps were not developed specifically for the hardware, which made for an overall clunky implementation out of the box (and arguably even after significant work/tweaking). HP has the chance to learn from these mistakes and tweak the OS and UI prior to release with an easy to use touch screen overlay (for example) similar to their Touchsmart products. That will make a huge difference in initial attractiveness.

    But long term, though, if no one is developing apps specifically for the Slate, I think this is why they will ultimately fail. Having access to all the Win 7 apps in the world is nice on paper, but if they weren't meant to run on a touch screen, they will always pale in comparison to apps that were designed ground up to utilize the different interface.
  8. dojoman macrumors 65816

    Apr 8, 2010
    Slate will fail mainly for being built by HP. HP computers have terrible reliability problems even with common PC.
  9. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    All that said, I think Android on a slate will be awesome.
  10. vini-vidi-vici macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2010
    But it can't.. that's the point. It's underpowered to do any of those things effectively, or "pleasingly" (so as to provide a pleasant user experience). I know it's been said many times, but sometimes the features you leave out are as important as the features you put in. This is why.

    but, it is conjecture at this point... maybe they've figured out some magic mojo that'll make the slate downright snappy?
  11. dvrk547 Guest

    Nov 4, 2009
    Here is my favorite quote from someone from Engadget, summing up all the upcoming "iPad killers":

    "Not surprising. HP started with a check list that looked something like this:

    1. Flash - must have
    2. Multi tasking - must have
    3. Full blown desktop OS - must have
    4. Speed - Optional
    5. Usability - Optional"

  12. RawBert macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2010
    North Hollywood, CA
    Yes, that should be awesome. ^^^

    With the slate, it's not just a lack of RAM, but the OS that is a HUGE problem. Why didn't MS just throw their upcoming Mobile 7 OS in this thing? :confused:
  13. jalpert macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2008
    I think the biggest difference is the screen resolution. 1024x600 is fine for movies, but it sucks for browsing the web. 1024x768 seems like a bad resolution for movies because of the bars but the alternative 1024x600 (what most netbooks are) doesn't give you a larger picture.

    On the flip side, 1024x768 is a great resolution for surfing the web. I spend a lot of my day in RDP session, my desktop resolution is 1280x1024. I tend to RDP in 1024x768 because I like viewing in a window, but surfing and working in that resolution is fantastic.
  14. hamlinspahn macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2010
    Oklahoma City

    All I can say is HP has been cranking out tablets for years and none of them were must have items and could be considered failures, the slate is just the next version of those tablets and will likely be a failure also when compared to the current iPad numbers. I think the iPad has a shot of long term success but it may also end up being a product without a big market over time. I don't think the iPad could ever be considered a failure however 500K is a lot for any product.
  15. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Thanks for posting, mbell75. I enjoyed reading Mike Elgan's article.

    As an iPad owner, I find myself just a bit curious about the HP Slate. I'm one of those "netbook replacement" users who wishes iPad did just a little more or at least offered me a way to get at the filesystem without jailbreaking.

    The reason iPad can get away with 256 Meg of RAM is it's running a Unix kernel, the same kernel as OS X. A Windows kernel cannot even fully load in something smaller than a gig so any device running Windows on a gig of RAM is a ticket to swap-file-hell.

    Still, I bet I could pick up an HP Slate, pop in an Ubuntu Live USB stick and turn the thing into a more useful computer. This is what I did to my Acer Aspire One. After beltsanding away Windows XP, I was pleased with its performance under Ubuntu 8.10 and then 9.04. Unfortunately, I got spoiled by OS X. While Ubuntu can live in small RAM footprints, I grew tired of some of its quirks. When the iPad came out, I snapped one up on day one and made plans to retire and sell off my trusty AAO.

    But the list of things the iPad can't do (that I would like it to do) even with OS 4.0 means I owe it to myself to take a look at the HP Slate, especially if somebody makes a Linux distro specific for that platform. But I'm in the minority. The average user could give a crap about beltsanding away Windows 7 to install Ubuntu to get a useful machine.

    Windows 7 is the millstone around the HP Slate's neck just as iPhone OS is the "secret sauce" that makes an underpowered hardware device like the iPad work so well for enough things to satisfy most users.

    By the time the HP Slate comes out, I will probably be able to get my hands on OS 4.0 and see if it fills enough "gaps" for me to forget about the HP Slate altogether. I know there was no mention of a filesystem in the OS 4.0 preview, but Apple have pleasantly surprised me before. I bet this fall will be one of those times and since they promised a free 4.0 update to all of us iPad early adopters, I won't have to pay to find out. So even for a "netbook replacer" like me, the allure of the HP Slate is only a mild one.

    I think Mike Elgan's article is right on, and you don't have to chug the Apple Kool Aid or sit in the Reality Distortion Field to see the validity of his arguments.
  16. LSUtigers03 macrumors 68020


    Apr 9, 2008
    What's your point? That something made years from now is better than what we have today? The new 13" MacBook Pros have more RAM, have a faster processor, and have better battery life than my 2007 MacBook. Technology moves fast so of course something made years down the road will be better than what exists today. However when version 4 or 5 come around they will probably still try to cram whatever desktop OS exists and the hardware will still probably be strained. PC tablets sucked a decade ago and the Slate shows no signs of changing that so why would it be different in another decade?
  17. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    I'm not so sure about the battery life. I remember my old "Pismo" PowerBook getting over 9 hours of use with 2 batteries loaded, so about 4.5 hours with the standard single battery. That was probably, what, 10-15 years ago? Today of course laptops are much faster, have tons more RAM, and so forth, and yet the battery life really hasn't increased much at all. Most full-sized laptops today get about 3-6 hours of real-use battery life (much, much less if playing 3D games or doing something like After Effects rendering, or yes, using Flash), and they still tend to weigh in at over 5 lbs.

    So yes, future slates will be faster and more capable, but running a full desktop OS and apps is invariably more resource-intensive, and that always hurts battery life. And for me at least, getting 9-10+ hours of real use from my iPad is a real revelation. I don't think such slate devices will be able to match the iPad's battery life easily without adding considerable weight. The HP slate is claiming 5 hours battery, that's probably a maximum and it remains to be seen how much that will be reduced in real usage scenarios. Maybe that's useful for some people, but for me less than 5 hours of battery is a very serious inhibitor.
  18. ZZ Bottom macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2010
    It will fail because even by netbook standards it is underpowered. The people that would be interested in it for what it is (netbook with touch interface) will not like the ram restrictions. I for one was excited about it until their internal flyer showed up. As another poster mentioned, it would have been great for music production on the go (reason, pro tools, etc). But at 1gb all the good pc software will max out quickly. I have used pro tools 8 on a lenovo s10-2 with 1gb of ram and it crawled.
  19. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Right there you've already put up a big roadblock to over 95% of your potential audience. Most people are not tech geeks and are not going to want to muck around with such tweaks hacks. Apple gets this, most of these PC manufacturers do not. I think some Android tablet will likely be the only serious challenge for the iPad in the mainstream market, and then they still have to get the software right, even if they can match the iPad's hardware and battery life.
  20. ippikiokami macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2010
    Sorry to point out just one piece of your argument as I hate people who do that but how is it a serious inhibitor. For me around 5-6 hours is an ideal time if the device is powerful enough. What if gen 2 got up to 7~?

    And agree that full windows 7 isn't the way forward for non apple ipads.
  21. ippikiokami macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2010
    Why would you use protools on a machine like a tablet? The goal for having a smaller more portable solution is to make it easier for music creation on the go. It is up to the software makers to optimize their platforms to be able to take advantage of that.
  22. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Well I did say for me it's an inhibitor. Certainly it may be acceptable for some people and certain uses. Personally I just hate that feeling with a laptop that as soon as you turn it on you feel like you're "on the clock" and can just feel and see that battery ticking away right in front of your eyes. At some point you have to ask yourself "what is the value of this mobile device if it's compromised so much...should I just go back to my desktop or laptop instead?".

    Yes, gen 2 might get better battery life, but as I tried to explain, that really hasn't been historically true for mobile devices without a radical change in architecture.
  23. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    Once again we will see the advantages of the hardware and OS maker being one in the same.
  24. tacoshell macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    The reasons the Slate could fail are the same reasons I now keep my Intel Convertible Tablet in a closet and have my iPad next to me at all times at home.
    1) Always on computing:
    iPad: This is a big one. The iPad is always on, and always nearby. I ~usually~ charge it at night, but I have gone a couple days without charging it, and I never turn it off. If I want to use it, it is always immediately ready.
    Windows Based Tablet: Need to shut it down or put it to sleep when not using. If you shut it down, takes a while to boot up. If you put it to sleep, it still drains asleep quite quick and then you need to charge. Needs to be charged quite often.

    2) Touch based design:
    iPad: Operating system and all applications were Designed with touch in mind making it very intuitive.
    Windows Based Tablet: Operating system and some applications modified for using touch screen, but not very well. The bulk of the applications are a pain to use in touch mode.

    So I would say if the Slate is windows based, with long start up times, poor standby (as in lots of windows processes running) and using a modified version of windows that is 'technically' touch, then they don't get it, and will fail. On the other hand, the Android based tablets (like Notion Ink) seem to get it, and might give the iPad some competition. But that depends on how many publishers decide to release Android Apps.
  25. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    There won't be a single reason why the HP Slate will fail... there will be multiple. But the major issue will not be RAM, processor power, or any of the hardware specs. It will be the OS, and in particular the UI.

    Even with the touch extensions, Win7 UI wasn't designed for touch. UI elements such as buttons and menus will need to be oversized (compared to their desktop counterparts) and spaced out more to accommodate touch. That means that existing Windows apps will most likely not work well. The big selling point for the Slate is that it runs full Windows 7. MS Office 2007 will not work well on such a small screen with oversized UI widgets. That means... new versions of software designed specifically for the Slate will need to be developed (and sold).

    I can see an Android-based tablet being a viable alternative to the iPad, but a Win7-based tablet? nope.

Share This Page