HP Slate 500 vs. iPad

HP quietly announced last week the availability of the HP Slate 500, a Windows 7 slate tablet.  There’s a lot of buzz about whether this will be an iPad killer (with the general concensus that it won’t be). 

HP is marketing it to enterprises, and indeed it does have some features that enterprises need.  If they have applications or websites that work on Windows PCs and laptops, they will work on the Slate 500.  The Slate can print everything.  And the Slate fits into the support model of the current enterprise (e.g. using SCCM to push out patches).  But it comes with some trade-offs, most notably the screen size, the battery life, and not having a 3G option.

Below is a chart I made that shows the specs of the devices side by side.  There’s no “right answer,” but this can help aid in deciding what’s most important for your situation.

 

HP Slate 500

iPad

Comments

Price

$799

$499-$829

(model comparable to Slate is $699)

iPad has same features for less money

Screen Size

8.9” multi touch

9.7” multi touch

iPad screen is bigger for same weight

Screen Resolution

1024×600

1024×768

Slight advantage to iPad

Stylus support

Yes, active digitizer

(can use finger or the digitizer)

No

The stylus allows handwriting recognition and drawing

Size (inches)

9.2 x 5.9 x 0.6

9.6 x 7.5 x 0.5

Slate slightly thicker but smaller height and especially width

Weight

1.5 lbs

1.5 lbs

(1.6 lbs for 3G models)

Same

Processor

1.86Ghz Atom Z540 processor

1 Ghz Apple A4 custom

Different technologies so it’s hard to compare. Some people argue the Atom processor is underpowered for Win 7.

RAM

2 GB 800 MHz DDR2

256 MB (speed not publicized)

The 2 GB on the Slate is a plus as Win 7 needs it. iPad uses memory in a different way so these really can’t be compared

Battery Life

Up to 5 hours

9-10 hours

iPad the clear winner here.

Hard Drive

64 GB SSD

16 to 64 GB SSD

Comparable

SD card slot

Up to 64 GB

None

Plus to the Slate for having expansion options. Could also help with app distribution.

OS

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

iOS 4

iOS 4 is optimized for touch, Windows 7 will have awkwardness

Bluetooth

Yes

Yes

Can be used for mouse and/or keyboard

USB Ports

1

0

Plus for the Slate

Application Distribution

Standard Windows “download and install” or Enterprise options

App Store or Apple Enterprise Server

The Windows distribution will be much easier for Enterprises, whereas the App Store is great for consumers.

Flash Support

Yes

No

Steve Jobs would say this is a plus for iPad to not have Flash “problems”, but for enterprise this is a huge benefit of the Slate.

Cameras

VGA Webcam + 3 MP still camera

None

For Enterprise, the addition of cameras may have barcode reading potential.

Printer support

All Windows printers, either wireless, USB, or Bluetooth

None currently, limited support for specific printers in upcoming OS release

Plus for the Slate

CD/DVD

Optional external USB CD/DVD R/RW

None

Plus for the Slate, but may not be a big deal for Enterprise

Dock

Included

Optional

Pretty comparable

TV/Video Output

HDMI via Dock

1024 x 768, 576p, 480p or 480i with special adapter or cable

Slate requires Dock to output to screen

3G Support

No

Optional

iPad may have huge advantage here

Instant On

Long initial boot and then must configure standby with longer resume

Short initial boot and then automatic standby and instant resume

Slate will feel more like a Windows laptop while iPad acts more like a mobile device.

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