HP have officially priced their Windows 7 powered slate device at $799.
The steep price is $200 more expensive than Apple’s iPad. The device is powered by a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540, 2GB of RAM, 64GB SSD and will handle 1080p video. There’s also a front facing camera and a rear one. The 8.9-inch device runs Windows 7 Professional and HP says it’s targeting the enterprise and business market.
Microsoft has been criticized for its slow response to Apple’s iPad device, introduced in April earlier this year. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, previously said Windows 7 based Slates would be available “as soon as they’re ready” when questioned earlier this year. The iPad sold three million units in its first 80 days of release and is currently selling approximately 4.5 million units per quarter, Bernstein Research estimates.
Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, said earlier this year that the company has a lot of different tablet projects it is pursuing. Microsoft canceled their internal Courier project shortly after the release of the iPad earlier this year. The project was an innovative new tablet concept that had promised to combine a dual screen book design with finger and stylus input. The leaked promotional materials demonstrated various concepts that would have brought an unparalleled productivity tool to the market. Most media outlets and analysts felt the move to cancel the device was a mistake.
Microsoft has been working closely with several OEMs to produce a genuine answer to the iPad. The software giant is concerned that iPad sales are slowly cannibalizing Windows sales and eating away at the recent boom in netbook sales. Microsoft shares dropped 2% during US trading earlier this month after Goldman Sachs cut its rating of the tech giant. The investment bank cut its rating from “buy” to “neutral” over fears Microsoft’s Windows sales were being threatened by tablet computers such as the iPad. Speaking at the London School of Economics earlier this month, Ballmer promised that Microsoft will cover all form factors. “You’ll see slates, but if you want most of the benefits of what a PC can offer, creating, a form factor that has been tuned over years, you’ll see us expand the footprint of what Windows can target” he said. Ballmer also promised Windows based Slates this Christmas. “We’ve done work on a Windows tablet, and you’ll see slates with Windows on from this Christmas.”
HP has not named a release date but we’d expect to see these very soon.