HP aims Slate 500 at business

HP has finally released details of its much rumoured Slate 500 tablet PC... but scruffy media types need not apply.

The company says it is aiming the nine-inch device firmly at the enterprise market, going so far as to say the business tablet will not be available at retail in the foreseeable future.

Sitting neatly between Apple's 10-inch pioneer and the plague of seven-inch offerings waiting in the wings from just about anyone who has ever made a PC (and a fair few outfits who haven't) the HP 500 will apparently be available later on the year for $800.

HP reckons the slate will be able to do everything a proper PC can do (hush up all you touch typists) because it runs full-fat Windows 7 and has the look and feel of a regular computer.

Powered by a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 CPU, and with just 2GB of RAM and 64GB of NAND storage in its base configuration, it might well do everything the average business PC user might need, but saying it will do everything you want it to do might be a bit of a push.

"The Slate is really a fully-functional PC, only in a tablet form factor," HP Director of Business Notebook Marketing Carol Hess-Nickels told eWEEK, without a hint of irony.

The HP Slate 500 comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office which might soften the $800 blow a wee bit, and can play back HD video at 1024x600 using a Broadcom Crystal chip, which could be useful for all of those boring conferences.

It comes complete with a charging dock, a four finger multi-touch screen and has a single USB port which seems a bit mean given the fatness of the metal bezel which surrounds the whole device making it look like a podgy iPhone.

Add a three-megapixel camera on the rear and a VGA version on the rear and you have the whole picture.

You can register your interest in the device here but we'd be careful about hitting the button which specifies you want it for personal use. If they don't like the cut of your jib they probably won't add you to the mailing list.