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Thread: HP Slate 500 after three days

  1. Default HP Slate 500 after three days

    Suffice it to say that three days is not enough time to render a thorough review of a laptop. But I think the interest level is so high and this is is such a unique animal that I thought I`d get some notes out there.

    I've been a tablet junkie for years, going back to the old Fujitsu stuff and later the Toshiba Portege (which is still limping along after over 5 years by the way). The world seems enthralled with the iPad and so I've also been using a wifi version since last fall. But what I've been missing is a fuller system that integrates with my networks and services a little better, runs office and yes I'd like flash compatibility.

    So here I am with the little Slate 500. It took a couple of months but it eventually got here (props to PC Connection as they do a great job for me).

    The long and short if it is that I believe this slate will be staying with me a while. There are flaws, such as lagging performance on occasion, but the usability has been pretty good and there are some subtle tweaks that I like.

    Good: Easier to carry than my ipad, the screen color and clarity is good. Hey a USB port! I was able to very quickly start using a Sprint U727 3G card. Bluetooth too! I'm writing this using an external bluetooth keyboard that I actually bought for the ipad. Wish it had a small mouse pad but with the touch screen it's working nicely. Productivity apps were easy to get up and running (as you would expect) and MS Office runs ok provided I don't try to run a lot of other applications at the same time. Cool feature: keyboard button that brings up the software keyboard. i fnd that way more useful than you would expect. I like the way that works better than having the ipad constantly asking me to bring up the keyboard. Form factor: I find this is easier and less conspicuous to carry than the ipad.

    Not as good: as expected from a little bugger like this the performance can be a little slow. Some times even web sites can weigh it down (running Firefox not IE). For example I use netvibes and the process of updating all my tabs can make the system nearly freeze for 20-30 seconds at a time. Pen stuttering when writing. The pen is usable but there are times when it stutters while I'm trying to take notes. An odd bug: when logging on to the slate using the software keyboard, the shift button doesn't stay depressed and I some times resort to using the caps lock key to avoid having to race to hit the capital letter in my password. The virtual keyboard isn't as useful to me as the iPad's but it is usable.

    Summary: There are positives and negatives. These devices are sort of specialized tools and buyers need to know what it is they want from them (in my opinion). I wanted something to run my corporate VPN, connect to file servers and Windows terminal servers, do light surfing and serve as my meeting notes tablet. Thus far it does that well enough for me to consider it a success. Being able to quickly get the Cisco VPN client installed, map drives to the file server and install Office and Acrobat was a breath of fresh air after months of ipad use.

    Side note: I made myself carry the Slate 500 instead of the ipad and then jump back on the Apple. It is obvious that Apple's UI is more polished than Windows 7 for touch screen utilization. Odd thing: you cannot mount the Slate 500 in the docking stand while it is in the leather folio case. I wish the docking stand had a cat-5 connection. I may be unique in this but honestly don't care if there is an on board camera much less two of them.

    Sorry that wasn't as compact as I'd intended. I will try to post up some photos but it has been a busy week-end.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Colorado, USA.
    Posts
    112

    Default

    Ahh trade-offs! Thank you for the posting--I'll look forward to your followup. Good luck with the device.
    Rich

  3. Default

    Oh crap I lost that nifty little pen. Now I can't find a replacement to save my life. First time I've ever lost my tablet pen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA.
    Posts
    1,812

    Default

    <<... I lost that nifty little pen...>>

    ...Buy the Fujitsu replacement pen: P/N FPCPN36AP. Same pen, except black in color, at about half the price that HP is asking for its replacement pen! Comes with a spare black nib, too.

    I have used both pens on my Slate 500 and can verify that they are identical (except for color)...

  5. Default Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    <<... I lost that nifty little pen...>>

    ...Buy the Fujitsu replacement pen: P/N FPCPN36AP. Same pen, except black in color, at about half the price that HP is asking for its replacement pen! Comes with a spare black nib, too.

    I have used both pens on my Slate 500 and can verify that they are identical (except for color)...
    Great tip! I was wondering what the heck I was going to do and will get this on order tomorrow.

  6. Default

    Someone had asked me about my inking experience on the Slate 500. My use of the pen is pretty much limited to keeping notes in Windows Journal so it is limited. Right now I`m disappointed as I get a lot of stuttering from the pen when taking notes and this is a huge detraction for me with this tablet. I haven`t tried swapping out the battery in the pen to see if that makes a difference. After my experience in taking notes on my Lenovo X201t and old Toshiba Portege I find Journal almost unusable because of this. On a positive note losing the pen for a week made me feel pretty good about using the touch screen!

    Please feel free to postup your own experience with the inking.

  7. Default

    Long term follow up: I was going to pen a follow up titled "iPad is for the Birds" meaning the best app I've seen on it is actually the game Angry Birds. But the focus here is on my impressions of the HP Slate 500. Bottom line is this - I find having a highly portable Windows slate to have immense business utility. I don't need to buy third party "apps" to do some routine Windows type activities such as file server access (via LAN or VPN). Is it as "slick"? No not by a good margin as the iPad's OS and interface are obviously the result of hard core usability testing by Apple. Cudos to them on that point, but there is strong utility in a simple Windows system that easily integrates into my corporate environment. At this point I've been running Office 2007 and Adobe Acrobat Pro-X. When you throw in native Windows Journal capability it all becomes crystal clear that the Windows Slate has way more utility for me than the iPad. Keep in mind I said MY needs, not yours! :) If you are addicted to the iPad then, as my Australian friends would say, goodonya. Have fun. I like it too.

    One deal clincher for me is not need to depend on a lot of third party "apps" to do specific tasks and the lack of overall integration between these types of tools on the iPad. For example I have no less than three different Adobe capable readers on my iPad and each keeps their own store of documents. The ability to share data between applications is inherently native in MS Windows. Other utilitarian things I find? Being able to run my security tools, Java and Adobe flash interfaces to systems and web sites.

    If I were simply reading email, browsing and riding herd over Twitter streams then the iPad would be fine, but the minute I needed more than what Apple had in mind a Windows Slate became tool of need. An unexpected benefit of this particular slate is the size factor. It is more compact than the iPad and the modest folio enclosure makes it easy to take to meetings and stay low profile with. The drawbacks? Not sold on the active stylus as it is not nearly as smooth as my other tablets have been. Some web sites can drag the system down. My netvibes front end for RSS feeds makes the little bugger cry for mercy. There is a bug in the login process when waking up such that if I use upper case characters in my password the "shift" function won't stay resident long enough to select the character. I sometimes purposely fail login once or twice as a work around since it doesn't do it after that. The display size is a little confining and the aspect ratio is a little odd (but works GREAT for reading Kindle books).

    The bottom line is that after over a month (going on two) the Slate 500 goes out the door with me each day. Its not perfect but addresses specific areas of need well enough to earn a spot in my daily bag of tech.

  8. Default

    I'm having a pretty good experience so far with my Slate 500 - I'm blogging on it here: http://rixbits.blogspot.com/search/label/hpSlate500.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA.
    Posts
    1,371
    Blog Entries
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    Default

    Gideon - feel free to just report a post so that the moderators can make a decision if a post is spam.

    ricardo - I think that Gideon's concern is valid. These forums are for sharing your information with other members of the Buzz. I have left your link but please, for the future, post your experiences here.

    thanks everyone!
    John Hill
    TabletPCBuzz, Owner/Editor

    Allegiance Tablet PC Experts, CEO
    ALLTP Website
    ALLTP Tablet PC Store


  10. #10

    Default

    John: yes, sorry, will do use the button next time. I realized after posting that my post was a bit too harsh and could be easily seen as a flame bait but I wasn't near my machine and when I looked again, you had already cleaned it up.
    signatures and post counts are ...

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