HP's iPad-killer slate PC makes an appearance

In a cunningly timed move, a mere 48 hours after the iPad's retail debut, HP releases a new video demo of its tablet device, which the company refers to as a "slate."

During CES 2010, Hewlett-Packard issued a preemptive strike against the still-unannounced iPad by showing off its own tablet PC at Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's keynote. Only briefly seen and largely undescribed, it may not have left a lasting impression on the audience, but it showed that, like Dell and others, HP was not going to cede the suddenly sexy tablet market to Apple.

In a cunningly timed move, a mere 48 hours after the iPad's retail debut, HP has released a new video demo of the device, which the company refers to as a "slate."

The very iPad-looking tablet is shown making use of different apps and features as part of a 30-second musical montage. The actual on-screen footage seems suspiciously simulated, but the key points HP wants viewers to pick up on include the built-in video camera, a USB port (perhaps mocking displayed using an iPod USB cable), an SD card slot, and most promising, the ability to use Skype.

While the brief video is overproduced, set to an annoying "corporate club" beat, and is mostly CGI and/or screen simulations, it certainly makes the case that a device like this can include all those extras, from Flash to a Webcam, that are so obviously missing from the iPad. That said, we've reviewed plenty of HP touch-screen devices, such as the TouchSmart TX2, and generally found them to be not nearly as responsive and easy to use as Apple's touchscreen devices.

HP has a mailing list sign-up for slate updates at hp.com/slate, but there are no further price or availability details available at this time.

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