CES: Ballmer Intros Three Slate PCs, Including HP Prototype

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LAS VEGAS -- As expected, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during his Wednesday night CES keynote introduced an HP slate computer, along with two other similar devices, all of which were running Windows 7 and could be used in three modes: PC, movie, and e-book reader.

CNN.com’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt noted that when Mr. Ballmer showed off the HP device, it had on the screen an Amazon Kindle version of the book Twilight, which he speculated was “a subtle dig at [Microsoft’s] competitors in Cupertino.” According to PC World, which said the HP device is "a big disappointment," he described each one as "something that's almost as portable as a phone and that's as powerful as a PC running Windows 7." Little was revealed about the HP slate, other than a sub-US$500 price point. The Pegatron one had a larger screen and was aimed at those who want to read newspapers and magazines on it.

The other two tablet PCs displayed by Mr. Ballmer were made by Pegatron Corp. and Archos. The HP version received the most attention; Mr. Ballmer said it will arrive “later this year.” Gizmodo has several pictures from the keynote address, along with a promotional video for the HP slate computer that shows off its multi-touch display.

Gizmodo also has a rundown of Mr. Ballmer’s entire keynote, which opened with an amusing video from Saturday Night Live’s Seth Myers but didn’t have anything more exciting than the slate PC introductions going for it. A TV with a built-in PC was going to be demo’d, but, according to Mr. Ballmer, “it blew the tube.”

A video of Mr. Ballmer’s keynote is available on Microsoft’s web site.

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8 Comments Leave Your Own

geoduck

A TV with a built-in PC was going to be demo?d, but, according to Mr. Ballmer, ?it blew the tube.?

It blew the tube? That’s so….so….1995.

According to PCWorld  which said the HP device is “a big disappointment,”

Interesting analyses from the Win PC side of the tracks.

Lee Dronick

according to Mr. Ballmer, ?it blew the tube.?

I thought that the AEE wasn’t opening until today.

Tiger

The “big disappointment” is that it’s running Windows.

Anybody surprised by their assessment?

AceNet-Alan

According to PCWorld? which said the HP device is ?a big disappointment,?

I played through Ballmer’s keynote, and the announcement/demo of the HP “slate” PC can definitely be summarized in one word: “disappointment!” The demo was nothing more than an oversized portable touchscreen that can play back video.

I find it fascinating that MS/Ballmer is formally calling tablet PCs “slate PCs”. This is no doubt an attempt to remove differentiation from Apple’s rumored “iSlate”. Now, I am even more confident that Apple will not use the product name “iSlate” and instead go back to “iBook” as their new product name.

mblaydoe

Ironic that the picture shows Ballmer holding a picture of hands holding an APPLE.

Subliminal message: Like vampires, Windows sucks and what people really want is APPLE.

AceNet-Alan

Subliminal message: Like vampires, Windows sucks and what people really want is APPLE.

Hmmm, my subliminal message was: this demo sucks!

Dean Lewis

My subliminal message was, “Great. Twilight. I think I’m gonna vomit…” Now, if they’d pictured a real vampire like the classic Dracula or even Victor from the Underworld series, then I might have taken a second look at the tablet itself. smile

James

I find it fascinating that MS/Ballmer is formally calling tablet PCs ?slate PCs?.

Likewise. I also find it interesting that, just as (like it or not) virtually every smartphone now replicates the look, functionality, and business model of the iPhone, these devices all look like they came straight out of Cupertino. It would appear that at this point everyone in the valley is following Apple. It’s unreal. With the still existing Mac prejudice out there, I sometimes forget that Apple has made such a comeback, and yet it is shocking how widely copied they still are, so many years later.

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