Why the Microsoft-HP tablet is a big disappointment

The tech world was hoping for a novel device. Instead, we got a tablet computer we've seen before.

Apple must be patting themselves on the back, as the Hewlett-Packard (HP) tablet unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Wednesday night failed to wow those expecting a true competitor to the mythical Apple tablet.

At Microsoft's opening keynote for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the tech world braced itself for Ballmer unveiling a novel slate form-factor computing device from HP, something to rival the yet unannounced Apple tablet.

Earlier on Wednesday, speculation was revving up for the Microsoft announcement, as it was thought Ballmer would introduce the dual-screen Courier tablet which we got a taste for late last year, after a Gizmodo leak.

However, it turned out that Microsoft didn't manage to beat Apple to the punch and release a breathtaking tablet. What Ballmer unveiled was "something that's almost as portable as a phone and that's as powerful as a PC running Windows 7."

The HP tablet is a basically a color e-reader running Amazon Kindle software, with few other details besides a sub-$500 price point and an estimated arrival on the market by mid-2010. So disappointing was the release that Microsoft and HP's shares fell yesterday according to BusinessWeek.

Microsoft's CEO also briefly showed off two other similar products, one from Archos (which was running a movie, hence focused on multimedia) and a larger-screen slate from Pegatron, for reading newspapers and magazines.

Overall, the three slate devices presented by Ballmer are basically just regular Windows 7 PCs, but in a smaller form factor and lacking a keyboard. Despite an attractive design, there is nothing particularly special about them.

The over-hyped, yet disappointing slate computers presentation from Microsoft leaves way for Apple to surprise the world in late January, as analysts expect a better offering from the Cupertino company. That's unless hype gets the better of them as well.

And finally, here's videoof Steve Ballmer presenting the HP tablets.

For more up-to-the-minute blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out PC World's complete coverage of CES 2010.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftHPtablet PCsslate PC

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?