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HP: Rumors of Slate’s demise are greatly exaggerated

HP: Rumors of Slate’s demise are greatly exaggerated

Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday quashed rumors of HP Slate’s demise, saying the tablet with the Windows 7 OS may still be sold to customers.

“We are in customer evaluations now and will make a determination soon on the next steps,” said HP spokeswoman Marlene Somsak.

In January, HP announced plans to offer HP Slate with Microsoft’s Windows 7 OS, and a prototype was displayed during Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show that month. HP then announced in April that it was buying Palm for $1.2 billion  and said it would put Palm’s WebOS mobile OS on a range of devices including tablets. That fueled speculation about HP scuttling its Slate plans, as power-hungry Windows 7 is not ideal for handheld tablet devices.

“We hadn’t anticipated the Palm acquisition when we first shared our plans for that product,” Somsak said.

HP has openly said it wants to put WebOS in tablets, but Somsak declined comment on the company’s plans.

Events from earlier this week point to HP possibly launching Windows and WebOS tablets.

The company listed the HP Slate 500 on its website, a hint that the product is still alive.

According to product details, the Slate includes an 8.9-inch touchscreen and runs on Windows 7 Premium. It has two cameras — video and still — and accepts pen and touch input. It is listed as Energy Star-qualified, and the Energy Star website says the Slate has a 1.6GHz processor and 1GB of memory.

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Stuart Davidson

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