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11/27/2011 Update: Since this article was written, HP has really stepped up to the plate and delivered some nice tablet computers. This article is kind of dated so might I suggest that you read this one instead: A Peek Inside The HP Slate 2 Tablet Computer.

Here’s a new term that you may not have heard about before.  There is a fairly new classification of touch screen laptop computers called “slate computers”.  A slate computer is a trimmed down version of a tablet or touch screen laptop computer.  A slate doesn’t have a keyboard or many buttons for that matter.  It’s basically just a touch screen.  The user is fully reliant on the touch screen interface to interact with a slate computer.

The most well known of the slate computers is the new Apple iPad.  The iPad is taking the world of personal computing devices by storm to put it lightly.  Users are loving the simplistic styling of the iPad and find interacting with it quite instinctual.  If the early sales numbers are any indication of how well slate computers will do in the mobile computing marketplace of what is to come, consumers should expect other computer manufactures to jump on the slate bandwagon very soon.

Slate computers don’t use standard Windows or Mac operating systems.  Instead they use slimmed down, easy to use operating systems that require little to no learning curve.  Apple iOS, Palm webOS, and Google Android are a few examples of this type of operating system.

A slate computer is most commonly used for things like multimedia applications like viewing photographs, web surfing, watching videos, and listening to music.  Slate computers come with applications for typing on the touch screen but this functionality is fairly limited.  It’s just not as easy to type on a touch screen as it is to type on a regular keyboard that provides a sense of tactile feedback.

Some other examples of slate computers that are on the market are Camangi WebStation and the Fusion Garage Joojoo.  Haven’t heard of these?  Don’t feel bad.  Most people haven’t.  These models haven’t hardly received any media attention when compared to the iPad.

One major computer manufacturer, HP is ramping up to release a slate computer that it hopes will be as successful as Apple’s iPad was.  The HP tablet slate PC will go by the name Android and will be slightly smaller and lower in resolution than the iPad but it will be able to play 1080p HD video.

I’ve read that it’s supposed to be less expensive than the iPad with the 64 GB model expected to be priced at $549 compared to iPad’s 64 GB version which is priced at $699. It will also have a SD card reader, a USB port, and a SIM card tray.  It will have a dock connector for powering the device and an HDMI out port. HP claims that it will be slightly lighter than the iPad but a tad bit thicker.  It will run on HP’s own version of a slate operating system. I think that naming it “Android” but not having it run off of the Google Android OS will confuse customers and is a big mistake. It will also feature two cameras while Apple didn’t provide any with their first version.  It will come equipped with a VGA video camera on the front and a 3 MP still camera on the back.

HP hopes to add features to it’s slate computer that the iPad is lacking in. They’re not really talking much about all of the feature just yet. The release date was rumored to be June of 2010 but HP postponed it and hasn’t given any idea of when it will be released.

I think that HP is wise to hold off on the release of the Android tablet. Holding off on the release will give them more time to find out what people like and don’t like about the iPad.  Then they can build the Android to live up to the things that people like about the iPad and they can make the Android without any of the things that users don’t like about Apple’s first slate computer.

I’d be interested in hearing what your your thoughts are on HP’s strategy? While you’re trying to decide, maybe you’d consider reading my article called How To Clean My Computer To Make It Run Faster, or if that doesn’t sound interesting to you, you might take a peak at How To Use Print Screen On Laptop.

I receive compensation due to affiliate links or endorsements on this website: Disclosure of Compensation