We first got a peek at the mysterious HP Slate
in January at CES
. Since that time, it's made only fleeting appearances
on our radar and the project seemed to be all but dead. But HP surprised us all by making the Slate 500 official
on Thursday. The Atom-powered, 8.9-inch tablet is available to order now
, but units won't start shipping until November 12. Inside the $799 tablet you'll find a 1.86 Ghz processor, 2 gigabytes of RAM and a 64-gigabyte SSD, along with a Broadcom Crystal HD chip for pumping out 1080p video. As should be expected, the Slate has a multitouch capacitive screen, but it also has a Wacom digitizer for taking handwritten notes with the included stylus. Add in a front-facing webcam for video calls and three-megapixel camera on the back, and you've got a pretty compelling little device.
As an interesting design quirk, the Slate has a slide-out plastic bar that bears the license sticker for the included Windows 7 Professional. It turns out that any machine pre-installed with Windows must show the license, but HP chose to tuck the sticker away to keep the rubberized back and glass front clean and clear. Though originally touted as an iPad
-killer (before there was even an iPad to kill), HP is now positioning the Slate as business-class device, and will likely utilize its recently-purchased Palm and webOS properties to target the consumer market. We'll be doing our best to score a review unit of course but, until then, check out the gallery below to get your fill of the HP Slate.