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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