HP’s Slate 500 looks an absolute nightmare

Have you checked out HP’s all new Slate tablet device? The videos hit the web recently and I made a note to sit down and document my utter dismay.

The ‘Slate 500’ is 8.9″ and it runs Windows 7.

Let me just stop there.

Oh dear.

Dear me, dear me. That automatically means it will perform like a pig. In mud. Wearing ballet shoes.

But you don’t need to take my word for it, oh no.

HP are advertising the shoddy performance in the promotional video. It all sounds quite exciting until you get to 17 seconds in:

At 17 seconds, you’ll see the doctor chap try to enlarge the x-ray of the hand. And that’s when the true horror is revealed in j-j-j-errky multi-touch glory. Watch as the doctor’s fingers enlarge the photo and the operating system follows him, roughly, about 0.5 seconds behind.

When everyone else on the planet is working to make sure that they can just equal, if not exceed Apple’s ‘it just works’ multi-touch smooth scaling zoom, HP have — it appears — vomited out a traditional Windows-powered nightmare.

To put that scene in the promotional video is, I suppose, a good idea. It warns you that if you were expecting Apple level smooth scaling, you should reset your expectations immediately. One commenter on the Youtube video lept to the Slate’s defence with this contribution:

Is there a reason you need it to zoom smoothly? The zoom is like that because the way Windows 7’s zoom works is it goes up by percentages with set increments. It doesn’t do a 1% 1.1% 1.2% 1.3% 1.4%………99.5% 99.6% you get the picture. It’s just the way the OS is built. You can’t smooth zoom in paint. If you install programs that can zoom at smaller increments it’ll be smoother. The cool thing is hp doesn’t try to hide the jerky zoom. Apple hides their lack of flash support…

So the new HP Slate 500 comes complete with JerkyMultiTouch™? Because it’s how Windows 7 ‘works’? Well, that misses my expectations by a lightyear.

Surely smooth scaling/scrolling is a prerequisite now, for a tablet experience? Ah dear.

Who knows, perhaps the Slate will make up for this shortcoming (and it does look like a shortcoming to me) with some phenomenal other features? I hope so. I really am hoping to be blown away when it arrives on my desk.

The official site is at hp.com/slate.

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18 Responses to HP’s Slate 500 looks an absolute nightmare

  1. Murat Mutlu November 11, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    This is classic. If you can’t beat Apple or smash their price point then why bother…

  2. Ewan November 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    It does frustrate me. Am I missing something, do you think?

  3. Michael Selvidge November 11, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    but the music is so inspiring! It sounds very innovative!

  4. Ewan November 11, 2010 at 11:15 pm #

    The music made me want to get really excited about the Slate… I was doing so for 16 seconds…

  5. Murat Mutlu November 12, 2010 at 1:04 am #

    Hmm only that it could be a early firmware but I still think it’s a joke.Sometimes I feel like asking the guys that make this stuff if they’ve ever touched a iPad. I don’t think adding some gestures to Windows 7 makes it suitable for tablets.

    Checkout 56s, when he presses answer it looks like hes about to press it again because it didn’t register

  6. Anonymous November 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    HP Slate is not even expressively claiming to be as smooth as iPad. It may be be a bit slower but…get this, it just works! And it works much more than what the toyPAD currently does. For fluidity there are going to be plenty of Android based tablets out soon with lower prices than iPad. You guys also need to write an article about the ‘value’ of a product compared with its price point. In that sense my $250 Toshiba netbook beats the cheapest iPad hands down!

    How long will the media continue to put form over substance? Why not start putting Apple’s products to some scrutiny for a change?

    Here is a copy/paste from one of the HP Slate 500 user-review from the HP site.

    Nice device Date: November 8, 2010
    “can iPad join windows domain control? Network shares? Can we use USB-to-Ethernet adapter on iPad? iPad has no sd, hdmi, and USB slot. iPad can not run Microsoft office. With more than 250000 apps on ITunes, there is no app has ability to analyze wifi signal strength. HELLO!!!! There is no way you can edit an PDF file on iPad. Full web experience with ipad? What a joke! No flash, no java. You can’t even use simple “scroll bar” function on safari browser. iPad is a cripped toy. Period!

    Hp slate does all that and it is what I need on the road.

    (typing on iPad)”


  7. Dom_edhdhd November 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    The reason why the zooming on the xray was jerky was because that kind of imaging is done at incredibly high resolutions. An image like that would likely be hundreds of megabytes in size. Certainly you can’t compare it to zooming in on a simple JPEG on an iPad

  8. Shabadoo November 17, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    I can take a “Jerky Multitouch” for an overall more superior machine, any day. But it’s alright, more than enough people below have outlined why you are incorrect.

  9. Ewan November 17, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Why I’m ‘incorrect’?

    The jerky-touch is because it’s handling a large x-ray image? Ridiculous.

  10. Emcee December 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    for someone who was supposed to be an objective reviewer, you sounded very biased. Plus your whole review or blog was based on a video commercial of the product.
    You must be a jerk.

  11. Ewan December 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Objective? It’s an opinion that’s subject to modification.

  12. Boit December 13, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    Yer a putz.

  13. Ewan December 13, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    Right back at you!

  14. Pgh1969pa December 31, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    You should not review this device because you’ve already made your mind up. No need to continue to drone on. You don’t like it…we get it. No need to be a further bore telling us all the things you don’t like.

  15. Ewan December 31, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    So it’s rubbish then? I’m keen to be proved wrong!

  16. Ewan January 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    Good news then!

  17. Anonymous July 24, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    I just stumbled upon your ridiculous article. Smooth scrolling is not the be-all, end-all of tablets. Some of us need to run Windows software, want to use an active stylus for input… I don’t care about laggy zooming.

  18. Ewan July 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    You don’t care about laggy zooming? This is good news for HP!

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