HP Slate: Cheaper Than Apple iPad?
The products aren’t even in the wild yet and the war is already brewing. Hewlett-Packard apparently wants their tablet (the HP Slate) to be cheaper than Apple’s iPad and still include 3G wireless. So, will VARs give the HP tablet a look? Here are some perspectives.
Sadly, the Wall Street Journal report on this requires a subscription for the viewing of the entire article. But the good folks over at MacRumors.com have kindly quoted the most important parts of this news for the rest of us.
Here’s the scoop:
In the next few weeks, executives from Hewlett-Packard Co. will meet in the U.S. and Taiwan to tweak prices and features on an upcoming keyboardless computer dubbed the Slate, said two people familiar with the matter.
H-P has discussed selling a version of the Slate — similar to the iPad in size and features, and including a cellular connection — for a price below the $629 Apple charges for an equivalent iPad, one of these people said.
Many believe that HP was hush-hush about their Tablet in January 2010 CES because they were waiting for Apple to unleash their toy and then position the Slate competitively. It’s not unlikely this is exactly the strategy that HP has actually taken.
Speculation aside, there’s also this interesting nugget coming from WSJ…
There’s still plenty of skepticism about whether PC companies have the right products to compete against the iPad. Many of the products risk being seen as “computers without keyboards,” in part because many of them run an operating system, Microsoft’s Windows 7, which is primarily aimed at traditional PC functions, said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey.
Okay, nothing entirely new, but I think that the skepticism isn’t correctly placed. While clearly the Apple iPad has been designed for mass media consumption, a ‘keyboardless computer’ — as McQuivey calls it — is most likely what professions need instead of the iPad.
Can you believe you’re hearing that from me? In all seriousness, a cheaper tablet with a wider range of options is most likely going to win in any distribution or VAR scenario. Now, that’s not to say which will be better. Oh, no, we could have that argument for days. But the fact is, if HP’s tablet is offering out-of-the-box use with existing Windows software, plus 3G and a small form factor, all at a cheaper price than the iPad.
Well then, I think we have a winner.