HP jumps back into tablet market with Slate 2

The HP Slate 2
Motorola's Xoom 2

HP's personal computing strategy has taken yet another twist with the announcement of the Slate 2, a tablet aimed at the business market.

The Slate 2 runs on Microsoft's Windows 7, has an 8.9-inch screen, and weighs 680g (Apple's iPad 2 has a 9.7-inch screen and weighs 601g). Onboard memory is 32GB (iPad options range from 16GB to 64GB) and there are front and rear cameras.

US release is scheduled for latest this month, with the tablet priced from $US699. So far, there's no word from HP NZ.

New HP chief executive Meg Whitmaqn recently said the company would keep its personal computer business. Her predecessor, Leo Apotheker, had publically dithered over whether to spin-off the division.

In August, the company discontinued its TouchPad tablet, which ran on HP's WebOs software (a decision has yet to be made on whether to make other gadgets based on WebOS).

The Slate 2 - at least in its current form - will also have a limited lifespan.

HP has committed to supporting Windows 8, a radical ugrade to Windows 7 that co-opts Windows Phone's sliding tile interface (see NBR's Windows 8 preview here).

Motorola upgrades Xoom
Meanwhile, Motorola has upgraded its Xoom tablet, which runs on Google's Android software.

There are two new models, one with a 10.1-inch display (weighing 599g), the other 8.2-inch (386g).

Both have a 1.2GHz dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage, and front and rear cameras.

The Xoom is carried in New Zealand by Telecom. So far there's no word on local release.

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