HP unveils $799 tablet with a PC feel

* Runs on Windows 7, comes with Wi-Fi but no 3G

* Has 8.9-inch touchscreen, front and rear cameras

By Gabriel Madway

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Hewlett-Packard Co
(HPQ.N: ) unveiled its first product for the fast-growing tablet
market, a $799 device running Microsoft (MSFT.O: ) Windows that
is aimed at business customers.

HP’s Slate 500 attempts to replicate the PC experience in a
tablet form, providing a contrast to rivals who have brought
more of a smartphone feel to their devices. The Slate runs the
same version of Windows 7 used by many companies on their
standard PCs.

The tablet has a bigger price tag than competing products
such as Apple’s (AAPL.O: ) iPad, which kick-started the tablet
craze when it debuted earlier this year.

HP’s offering has an 8.9-inch, multi-touch-enabled screen,
weighs 1.5 pounds and comes with 64 gigabytes (GB) of storage
and a digital stylus pen. It gets five hours of battery life.

It comes equipped with Wi-Fi access but no built-in
capability to connect to high-speed cellular networks, as
rivals including the iPad, Samsung Electronics’ (005930.KS: )
Galaxy Tab and Dell’s (DELL.O: ) Streak have.

Carol Hess-Nickels, director of business notebook marketing
at HP, emphasized the Slate’s business utility. She expects
retail, healthcare and insurance companies, among others, to
build custom applications that take advantage of the device’s
portability.

“It’s really like a full-function PC, it runs Windows, it
will run your office applications, it just so happens to be in
a slate form factor,” Hess-Nickels said.

The HP Slate features the Intel (INTC.O: ) Atom processor,
which is commonly found in inexpensive netbook computers. Rival
tablets run on low-power ARM-based chips found in smartphones.

The device is equipped with cameras in the front and back,
enabling video conferencing, and a USB port. It comes with a
case and a docking station.

HP’s Slate is now available online, and the company will be
selling it to businesses through its direct sales force.

It’s $799 price tag makes it more expensive than the
Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad, which starts at $499 and runs
up to $699 for a 64-GB model. A 3G iPad starts at $629.

Verizon Wireless plans to sell Samsung’s 7-inch tablet for
$600. Dell’s 5-inch Streak is priced at $550 but can be had for
$300 if bought with a data plan through AT&T (T.N: ).

WEBOS ON THE WAY

HP, the world’s largest PC maker, plans to release a tablet
next year that may look much different from the Slate.

That tablet will be based on the webOS software that HP
acquired when it bought smartphone maker Palm earlier this year
for $1.2 billion. It will likely be a more media-rich and
consumer-friendly offering.

The tablet market is expected to surge next year to more
than 50 million units, research group Gartner has said. The
iPad is expected to continue to be the dominant product in this
market.

Apple has sold more than 7 million iPads since the device
launched in April.

The market is still evolving, but Apple has targeted the
iPad primarily as a consumer device made for media consumption,
rather than a business device.

Earlier this month, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion
(RIM.TO: ) unveiled a 7-inch tablet aimed at business customers.
[ID:nN27231916]

And Dell has touted the business applications for its
tablet, which include healthcare. Dell expects to launch a
7-inch model by the end of the year. [ID:nN14220914]
(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; editing by Carol Bishopric)

HP unveils $799 tablet with a PC feel