I have written quite a bit lately about the new Apple iPad, often called a "slate computer." A slate computer is one that has no keyboard, uses a finger or stylus in place of a mouse, and is handheld.
The iPad certainly is not the only such computer. Other manufacturers have either recently released slate computers or are about to release such systems. The one competitor to Apple that seems to be obtaining a lot of publicity is Hewlett-Packard which expects to ship a new slate system shortly. The system is called "the Slate," an appropriate name. When compared to the Apple iPad, there are several advantages and disadvantages to the Slate. Perhaps the most notable difference is that the HP Slate will use Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system. I'll leave that to others to decide if that is an advantage or a disadvantage.The biggest difference for genealogists probably is the fact that the HP Slate should be able to run any of today's Windows genealogy programs. (That has not yet been proven.) The Apple iPad is able to run programs written for the iPad or iPhone, programs that are significantly less powerful than the Windows genealogy programs.
Here is a side-by-side list of the HP Slate features versus the Apple iPad:
|Feature||HP Slate||Apple iPad|
|Price||$550 with 32 GB of storage, $600 with 64 GB of storage||$499 with 16 GB of storage, $599 with 32 GB of storage, $699 with 64 GB of storage|
|Processor||1.6-GHz Atom Z530||1.0-GHz Apple A4|
|Operating System||Windows 7 Home Premium||Apple's iPad/iPhone O.S.|
|Weight||1.5 pounds||1.5 pounds|
|Battery Life||5 hours||10 hours|
|Wireless networking||802.11g (slower than iPad) and optional 3G||802.11n (faster than HP Slate) and optional 3G|
|Display||8.9-inches and 1024 by 600 pixels||9.7-inches and1024 by 768 display|
|SD card reader||Included||$29 option|
|USB port||Included||Not available|
|Webcam||Full VGA included, on the front||Not available|
|Camera||3-megapixels, on the rear||Not available|
|Multi-tasking||Yes||No, although that may be changing soon|
|Available||Not announced, probably mid to late summer, 2010||Shipping now although with a two or three week backorder|
|Genealogy Software||Should be able to run any Windows genealogy program (not yet tested)||Runs special genealogy programs designed for iPhone/iPad, most of which have far fewer features than most Windows genealogy software|
You can watch a video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeDalRBjyJo&feature=player_embedded or click on the image below.