There's obviously a lot of interest in all-things tablets these days. But for a lot of IT organizations, the fact that the most popular tablet devices of the day don't run Windows is a problem. They either have to figure out ways of making Windows applications more accessible to tablet PC devices such as the Apple iPad or any number of Google Android devices, or they can opt to deploy a Windows tablet PC device today that provides a touchscreen interface.
Hewlett-Packard recently enhanced the Windows tablet PC lineup it launched earlier this year with the addition of the HP Slate 2 Tablet PC, which has been upgraded with enhanced touchscreen interface software that HP is now deploying on a wider range of its PC offerings.
Granted, the HP tablets don't have the level of third-party software support that many IT organizations are hoping to see with Windows 8 on a tablet PC some time next year, but for organizations that need a Windows-based tablet today, the HP Slate 2 creates an interesting option.
The 1.5-pound HP Slate 2 has an 8.9-inch screen and is based on the Intel Atom Z670 processor that gives the device up to six hours of battery life. In this version of the tablet, HP has also included support for a Swype keyboard applet that makes entering data easier.
According to Kyle Thornton, category manager for HP emerging products, HP doesn't expect the Slate 2 to knock the Apple iPad off its tablet perch. But for a lot of environments where Windows applications are a critical part of the business equation, Thornton says the HP Slate 2 is hard to beat at a starting price point of $699.
Windows tablets may not have the cache of the Apple iPad these days and it's too early to say what impact ultra-notebooks will ultimately have. But when it comes to finding tablets that most easily work within the context of an existing Windows application environment, cool should not be the first thing to comes to mind.