The HP Slate (or HP Slate 500) is a Windows 7 slate PC with multi-touch capabilities. I got my own last April 2011 and I love it. As with all other devices, it has some pros as well as cons. Let me share my thoughts on this device based from my experience with it so far.
It is very portable; smaller than a laptop or netbook. It is light enough to be used like an e-reader (think Kobo or Kindle). It runs on a Windows environment, which means most of the applications/programs you are currently using at home or at your work computer can be installed and used on this. It has a multi-touch interface which means you can do stuff right there on the screen without needing a stylus pen (although it comes with one). It has a USB port, which means you can plug in more devices to it which provides more functionality to it. Also, it has WiFi capability (but which netbook or tablet doesn’t already?). It also has an SD card reader for easier transfer of files/pictures from an SD card.
It is not as light as the Apple iPad or BlackBerry Playbook, or other tablets for that matter, which could be a disadvantage for some because some people want a tablet/slate PC to be extremely light. It doesn’t really have a specialized interface either for touch, unlike the iPad or Playbook which have some apps which makes tasks or viewing of data easier on them. The screen also isn’t as responsive to touch as I’d like it to be, especially since I tend to have sweaty fingers at times. Also, it only has a 64GB internal hard drive and doesn’t have cellular network capability (3G).
Of course, despite of its cons, I still think the HP Slate is a great product. It is more targeted for professionals who need to work on the go from time to time, if not all the time. It is useful for logging into work through VPN using a Cisco client. It can run simulators which I can use for practicing for my CCNA (though I have yet to install it). I can use the standard Microsoft Office programs on it (or Open Office if you prefer). I can also install Adobe Photoshop (or whatever else) on it if I prefer, but that one can be memory extensive, so never mind. With regards to the small internal hard drive capacity, you can obviously connect an external hard drive to it for additional capacity through the USB port. Also, with the availability of internet sticks, you can use the Slate on the 3G network by plugging the stick in the USB port; or tether to it if you have a BlackBerry (as I do) or iPhone.
So despite quite a number of cons, there are still a good number of pros for this device, and that is why I chose to have it.
Also, coming soon from HP: the TouchPad which is more like the iPad or Playbook, and more targeted to regular consumers.