More HP Slate Videos — Is Adobe’s Flash the Killer App?


Looking to get your slate fix on but don’t want to watch the first iPad television commercial on Apple’s web site or your DVR? HP is happy to oblige with two new videos showing off the HP Slate that was first introduced by Steve Ballmer at the Consumer Electronics Show. Both vids are worth a look in order to get a feel for the device thickness, ports and such, but they also show the custom user interface on top of Windows 7 — can you say Origami Experience, part III? — as well as some applications.

The first video is more promotional than anything else, but for me it does raises the following question: Will the device be this peppy in terms of performance? My concern is that it won’t, but that’s purely speculative on my part. Well, maybe not “purely” speculative — I’m basing the thought on several years of UMPC ownership as well as on the performance of today’s netbooks.

Why compare the HP Slate to a netbook of today? While there’s no official announcement on what’s powering the HP Slate, we know several things that tell us what’s likely powering it. Given that the device runs on Microsoft Windows 7, I’d guess that like new netbooks, it runs on an Intel N400-series Atom CPU with integrated Intel graphics in addition to a hardware accelerator solution — that last bit is mentioned in the second vid, as pointed out by Engadget. Could HP surprise me and use a different x86 processor? Sure it could — at the cost of battery life — something I don’t think will happen.

The second video focuses on a key differentiator to Apple’s iPad — the ability to run Adobe Flash. I’m still wondering if Microsoft is skating to the puck while Apple skates to where the puck will be on this one. I believe that Flash and HTML5 can easily co-exist in the world, but Flash won’t control nearly as much of the video and gaming web that it does today. And Flash isn’t the only big function difference here — Apple’s iPad won’t natively handle inking and handwriting recognition, although some third-party apps can help out that deficiency.

I’m excited by the HP Slate simply because it appears to be the closest product yet to the exciting and original Project Origami vision from 2006. Once the device hits the market later this year, there’s bound to be plenty of buyers who need that full desktop computer compatibility with a mobile device. I’m just not sure that I’m one of them, given my reliance upon the cloud for nearly all of my work activities — a full desktop operating system on my mobile device adds overhead that I don’t think I need for a device in this class. I’ll have to ponder that a little bit more though. Thoughts?

Image courtesy of HP

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Handwriting Recognition: A Killer App for the iPad?

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