HP Slate videos mock iPad's 'watered down' Web capabilities

HP takes a jab at the iPad's missing Adobe Flash support in its latest HP Slate videos, claiming that there will be no sacrifices in this tablet's Web capabilities

Patrick Steen Special to CNET News
2 min read

Apple's iPad may have grabbed mass attention with its slim and sexy design, but there's no doubt its dogged rejection of Adobe Flash support is a major weakness. This gap in the iPad's armour has provoked HP to make an unsubtle attack with its latest HP Slate videos, as Crave US reports

HP isn't afraid to jump head first on to Apple's bandwagon, coming straight after the new iPad ad screened during the Oscars. And doesn't it look remarkably similar? Embedded above, the video simply features the device's screen and a pair of hands caressing the device, just like the iPad trailer.

Although HP hopes to differentiate the Slate with Windows 7, which is certainly more powerful than the iPad's iPhone OS, we still have our qualms as to whether Microsoft's latest operating system is the right fit for a touch-capable tablet. The HP Slate may sport familiar pinch-to-zoom touch abilities, but it doesn't appear to enjoy the same effortless and varied interface that's evident on the iPad.

Nonetheless, Windows 7 does come with the advantage of Adobe Flash support, a feature HP isn't afraid to highlight in its latest blog post:

"With this slate product, you're getting a full Web-browsing experience in the palm of your hand," Phil McKinney, vice president and chief technology officer for HP wrote on the company's blog. "No watered-down Internet, no sacrifices."

There's not even a touch of subtlety in that comment, but he has a point: the iPad can't really be taken seriously as a Web-browsing experience if it doesn't support Flash. Sure, the head honchos at Apple may hate Flash (CEO Steve Jobs calls it a 'CPU hog'), but the software does have an almost complete monopoly over Internet video and casual gaming

This is a point HP and Adobe like to rub in with their next video venture, where Adobe's Alan Tam demonstrates the Slate running MTV videos, a Web-based Flash game, and a digital version of the New York Times.

HP has still not released any official specs for the Slate since we last saw the device in January, but you can bet your bottom dollar it'll be a lot like the iPad. Except with Flash. Did we mention that?