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HP Slate 2: New Microsoft Windows 7 tablet update unveiled

Hewlett Packard’s last tablet standing – the Windows 7-based Slate 500 – has today got a reboot. The Slate 2 has been unveiled, resembling its older sibling but coming with a few tweaks and a big difference on price.

From appearances alone, the Slate 2 could be mistaken for the preceding 500 model – which actually began life as an eReader concept. As well as delivering Microsoft Windows 7 as OS of choice, the tablet comes along with a very familiar frame and almost identical, yet generous 8.9” screen, packing a 1024×600 resolution display. Looking under the hood you’d find a few things have changed since 2009.

The last generation’s Atom Z540 processor has been modernized to the latest Z670 – bringing 1.66GHz processing power to the HP Slate 2. Yes, you’ll notice that this is an incremental drop in speed but we can only presume this is to better battery life from five hours to at least six – and to be fair, nothing should really be lost by this minor reduction.

And who’s to complain when this adjustment means a one-hundred dollar price drop from last season’s slab? That’s right – when released for public sale in the US late November the HP Slate 2 will cost only $699.

After the retirement of WebOS leading to the ‘fire sale’ of its TouchPad, it looks like Hewlett Packard is open to Windows as a mainstay, not only reviving it’s Slate for version 7.0 but also promising optimized tablet platforms for the upcoming Window 8 in 2012.

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