August 2011 Update
1.Great news Microsoft appears to be hearing the cry's of the people to create an amazing tablet user interface. Check out the youtube titled "Building "Windows 8" - Video #1." The rumor is that Microsoft will try to make windows 8 compatible with machines running windows 7. The key issue with this HP Tablet is the screen resolution. From Wikipedia "The new interface is primarily designed for 16:9 screen resolutions, with 1366×768 and larger screens able to display two Windows 8 applications. 1024×768 screens can display one Windows 8 application in full-screen, and 1024×600 screens can only use the traditional Windows desktop." The HP slate runs 1024 x 600 as its native resolution but it can run 1024 x768. So the hope is that the HP Slate will be able to run windows 8 and the future software that will be written for windows 8.
2. Increase the scroll bars (making them fatter) can help improve the windows 7 user interface. Sometimes the scroll bar is covered by the leather case but by making the scroll bar fatter you can move up and down web pages a little easier.
Right-click on desktop, select Personalize.Click on "Window Color" and then "Advanced appearance settings." In he drop-down list choose scrollbar (or click on the scrollbar in the picture) and finally change the size. Check the entire drop-down list for the items you wish customize by size and fonts.
3. Swiftpoint SM300 Laptop Mouse works well with the tablet. It is small, comfortable and portable. The rollerball allows for better scrolling with large documents and more intense work. Again, just plug and play usb device.
4.Rotating your screen 180: You can switch horizontal sides so that the AC Plug is on the top of the device instead of the bottom when charging. Right-click on the desktop,click "Graphic Options" then "Rotation" and choose your side. 180 flips it. You can also change this in the control panel, "Display" "Change Display Settings" "Orientation"
5. HP Slate continues to be stable: Noticed other new windows slate devices were having trouble with their operating system with bugs and shutting down. My HP may freeze up just as typical as windows 7 laptops. Otherwise it is very stable. Pressing the CTRL Alt Delete (all-in-one) button on the side of the slate seems to break up any frozen screens.
So would I continue to buy HP 500 (August 2011)?
Still to this date. IPADS are not standalone computer, don't have flash video capabilities, needs lots of apps to fill in for office, and no plug-n-play with devices (only those built for IPAD), missing drivers to many printers. Android may be better than IPAD as it does have Flash video, the ability to store documents (file system) and sd/micro sd expansion. HP 500 is a windows 7 computer with a slower "not snazzy" tablet user interface but now with the hope for windows 8 if the device can be upgraded. But what does Apple have for IPAD3 and when will it be released, October or now 2012? Presently, when I travel, I don't want two devices, I would buy the HP 500 still, with the potential delay of IPAD 3 and Windows 8 without a release date, the HP remains the travel companion that allows for relaxation (music, movies)play, intense work (stand alone office (no cloud connection needed) and security (known/free virus protection).
Start of old review.
I have had my tablet for the past month plus. I am a heavy tablet user and have had tablets for the past 5 years. (Motion Computing, Lenovo convertible). I thought hard about buying the IPAD, I held back and I was so happy that I did. Everyone, I talk to that has an IPAD says that it does not do what a computer does. I am tired of getting an item and finding out that I have to find all of the work arounds (extra apps) to do what my slate does for me. I am a heavy pc user and have found that this tablet has replaced my Lenovo Convertible tablet. I use my HP to get my work done, surface the web, enjoy movies, listen to music and then get out and ENJOY LIFE by moving around and socializing with real people!
1.WEIGHT: HP Slate weighs 1.5 lbs with the pen and nice case 1 lb 10oz. Any item that gets to 2 lbs is too heavy to carry. The screen is big enough to do work. I think the power cable is 9oz?? Most newer tablets are pushing 3lbs which is the SAME as a LAPTOP. A Laptop, that lasting 2hrs forces you to carry the power cable 1lb, too heavy to carry in your bag.
2.Your Software works: NO finding work arounds and converting file formats from Android/IPAD
3.No DVD drive: I have a portable DVD drive so I plugged it in, the driver installed. But for software, you can download the trial versions off the web and then use your key to unlock your programs
3.Windows 7 Professional: Quick, seems as fast as my Lenovo Convertible Tablet. But I have not done heavy work such as video editing on this machine. I have had 7 programs opened and have not had any problems in speed.
4. Office 2010: Word works great, PowerPoint awesome, OneNote wonderful. Excel as usual. But I haven't pushed EXCEL or the other software in the bundle yet.
5.Other Favorites: Snippingtool: Lets you take a picture of anything on your screen; Cutepdf: Free pdfprinter on line; Freemind Mindmap, Stickies, Picasa to alter photos
5. Free AVG or AVAST Antivirus
6. Printer: Set up your PC printer as usual. Lexmark 901 wireless. Downloaded the driver from the website and installed. I suspect my other printers will install as this is windows.
7. Web Browsing: Explorer or Mozilla. All my web programs work, gotomeeting, toodledo.com.
8. FLASH YES, Youtube, HULU, watch my favorite shows online.
9. SD Memory Card: Can upload your photos from you camera. Have a 32GB ($50). Increases memory from built-in 60GB to 92GB. So much can be stored in the cloud which frees up space on the tablet.
10.USB slot: Plug and play my CURRENT Windows items. Drivers are there. USB Mouse, microphones, storage drives, phone charger. No searching the web looking for a work around with my existing tech gadgets. Many items running android and IPAD do not have the drivers for accessories
11.Wireless: I have no problems connecting at work, starbucks, coffee shops, home.
Bluetooth: Connected my old Foldout Stowaway keyboard (didn't have to spend another $100). Figured out how connect my jawbone but the sound quality is not great to listen to music. Probably ok for Skype calls.
12.MIC/Headset/Speakers: The Speakers are loud enough to listen for personal use in a room similar to a hotel room. They don't have base but they are not as tinty as some can sound. When you plug in a good speaker or headset the sound is great. The internal MIC is fine for Skype calls or recording such as on ONENOTE.
13.SKYPE: Works fine. It was hard for the Skype to detect the camera. I got frustrated and tried to install my Logitech external webcam. When I did this, Skype then saw the HP cameras. In the Skype settings, video you can select the camera because you have a front and back. If you use a Bluetooth headset, first connect the headset using the windows Bluetooth icon, "Add a Device." If you wish to only listen and speak using your Bluetooth, you have to "disable" your default speakers, open the "horn" icon, right click on the "playback", select the speakers, right click, select disable. This will force the sound into your headset only. Then go into the Skype audio settings and choose the Bluetooth mic and speaker. The video camera works but you will need high speed to really get good video quality.
14.Battery Life: Last for 5 hrs. I can go to meetings and sit in coffee shops for hours until I need to plug in. Before with a laptop, I could only last 1-2 hrs.
15.Camera quality is fair. It doesn't get moving people as well. If it is a stationary item it does ok. The video works also. I get better quality on my SPRINT EVO. The camera is nice to capture something quick to add into a document.
So, this is how I use my tablet.
I go to 3 hr meetings, record information using the stylus or type using my foldout keyboard. I go to a preschool sites (evaluate safety and nutrition). Hook into their wireless or Tether to SPRINTEVO (haven't needed to yet), get reports, take photos of what I see if necessary, write notes on my ONENOTE, printpdf the report, send it to the teacher by email. She prints the document if necessary. Other instances, I can complete a surveymonkey as a report gathering tool and submit it. I have training video, I can show a teacher on the spot. I go to a coffee shop with free wireless, plug in my headset (Pandora), plug in my wireless mouse, pull out the Bluetooth keyboard and use office and answer emails. I could also make SKYPE Calls if needed. Go back to the office, plug into my screen (see below) and it becomes a regular computer. For movies, I use to copy my DVDs that I purchased with software and loaded them on to my portable hard drives and download the movies that I want to see. But I just watch online (remember flash).
Why buy this device if I have to pull out all of the extra gadget (keyboard, mouse). It's because of the weight. I can walk around with just the slate comfortably when I want or need to which you can't do with a netbook or laptop.
No VGA port: There is HDMI on the docking station. HP please find a spot on the device, then I don't need to carry the dock and preferably on the short side. I bought the HP HDMI to VGA converter for $39 in the HP Home section. It works with old VGA ports. You need the converter for VGA as you are going from digital back to analogue. But many projectors and TVs are HDMI or DVI (HDMI without the sound). You can get an adapter for HDMI to DVI for projectors too. You might need a 3.5 audio to cable out. I never use the speakers from a projector. I have external speakers which provide better quality or I feed into the AV System. Used the HDMI cable with a projector and it was beautiful. You could project your movies or use it as a large screen. I am sure if you were in a hotel, carry your HDMI and plug into the Flat screen, carry your Bluetooth keyboard and work from bed. Or show your personal movies for yourself or kids.
No Ethernet: I don't use my Ethernet much. Yes my Agency has this but doesn't let us plug our personal items into their system. There is a HP USB to ethernet adapter for $39 if this is a needed.
Stylus: You will need 4AAAA batteries. BEWARE; I scratched the screen with the stylus. It is a quarter inch scratch. Don't know how it happened. I don't see it when the screen is on.
Screen: Nice Glass. The case is designed to accommodate the cameras. I flip it around in the case when I want to stand the HP like a Teepee. The bummer is when you plug in and don't have the dock you have to prop it up against a bag. You can only rotate the screen on two sides where other tablets let your rotate to any side. It is true that the leather can get in the way on the side to move scroll bars. But learn how to use the "FLICK" setting and you don't need the scroll bars. I still use my key commands of CTRL + or - to increase or decrease the screen. The finger zoom is not as good as newer device.
Screen set up. Because your palm can rest on the bottom part of the screen, I set my windows taskbar on the top screen instead of the bottom so I don't open the Clock by accident. I also docked the INPUT panel on the task bar. When it is docked on the sides, it can block items. Learn how to go use your "Flick" settings which help you use your fingers on the tablet. Also, right click on the N Trig DuoSense Pen Icon in the taskbar tray, select properties. Here you can turn off the capacitive screen and use only the pen such as in ONENOTE or Windows JOURNAL. So you can rest your palm of your hand on the screen and it won't draw scribbly lines.
Overall, this was the best purchase technology wise that I have made in years. I have invested much to try out new tech gadgets. This does it all. It is not perfect in the touch screen interface but it is an improvement from the earlier tablets. Yes, it cost more ~$850 but I don't have to buy more apps and I can use what I have from my windows computers. In the end, it is what the tablet CAN DO that matters.
HP, you have a winner. I wish you went toe-to-toe with the IPAD, you could have punched hard! Don't do what Microsoft always does. Create something good and then let another company create and market another product off their original good creation. It's the size, screen, weight and operating system! If you don't like it, return it. It took me 2.5 months to get mine because they sold out. I am sure someone will want to buy it off you.
Weight 1.5 lbs, battery life 5 hrs, no workaround apps, uses my current windows gadgets, prints to printers, usb and SD Memory, Outputs to projectors and monitors using HDMI, wireless, bluetooth, can tether to Phone hotspots. It truly replaces my Laptop for light Office work and entertainment.
This is all I carry now. Computer, tablet (alter graphics, draw, SIGN Legal Documents), DVD Player, MP3 Player, Camera, Video Camera, Phone Skype, Memory Storage, Scanner (take a photo of your document), FAX (use online faxes by attaching documents)
3 Months to date: Still Love my HP Slate.
-Slightly slower than my laptop. For an Atom processor, I am still impressed.
-The touch interface is not as responsive as the android (the nook) or Ipad. I might have to click twice or use my pen. The pinch and zoom is not as smooth where I don't use it often.
-The Stylus is slippery and slipped out my hand and. The tip bent. I was able to order another on from the HP Parts department. Each stylus cost $45. I purchased 2, so if I lose one, I have a backup. You have to use the HP Stylus because N-TRIG is designed for the slate. I also purchased a cheap plastic pen cushion to have better grip.
-Major issue: After updating explorer, something happened and the tablet started up, asking to choose safe mode or normal in that Old "dos" looking screen. Since I can only pull up the keyboard when windows 7 is loaded when the desktop is showing, I couldn't select my option. I tried to shutdown7 but it restarted to the same screen. I plugged in a USB keyboard and was able to choose "start windows" using the arrow keys and windows 7 booted normally. So the issue is with tablets you need to have access to a usb-keyboard for emergency. I leave on old one in my car
Why do I still love it?
-Watch my shows that I missed. CBS runs better in the Google Chrome browser. Converted my videos to watch when I want to. Used the HDMI cable and the output looks awesome. But I did use my Tower Desktop to convert the video. Don't know how the tablet would perform with intense number crunching.
-Storage Space: 60 GB on Hard drive. 30GB on my SD Memory. So I have 90GB. I had to download a ton of photos when I didn't have internet access.
-Plug and Play Printing. I needed to print something at work, so I just plugged in my retractable USB printer cable. Windows installed the driver automatically and I was ready. When I traveled last month, I realized when I was at the computer center of the hotel, I could have just plugged into that printer and probably printed. It's nicer to just work on my own computer for security purposes rather than signing in and downloading a document on the hotels computer.
-Security: Updates to Windows 7 Professional and Free AVG are done on a regular basis. Security is just beginning to be addressed on the android platform.
-Cost. $850, plus extra stylus $45, $39 HDMI to VGA Adapter, $50 for 32GB SD Card, reused $100 Bluetooth keyboard, $45 extra ac adapter. It is about $1000 but it is so worth it.
Most Android or IPADs require you to have another computer. I still use only my HP. I plug it into my screen, use my Bluetooth Keyboard and plug in my USB Wireless mouse and I forget that I have a tablet and I now working off a desktop.