If you had asked us six months ago which tablet HP would still be making come November — the TouchPad or the Slate — the obvious answer would have been the TouchPad. But just as HP's exiting the webOS hardware business and the TouchPad stock clears out, HP's not only keeping on with its Windows 7 Slate 500, but is actually refreshing it. The Slate 2 Tablet PC isn't really much of a change in terms of hardware or software — it still has a 1024 x 600-resolution, 8.9-inch N-Trig panel, an included stylus, and runs Windows 7. However, HP has refreshed it with a new Intel Atom Oak Trail Z670 processor, a faster 64GB mSATA drive, and a Swype keyboard. Other changes include an always-exciting TPM chip for security, a new Bluetooth keyboard dock, and a flat black cover, rather than the grey textured one on the original. It also claims six hours of battery life, compared to the previous model's two. If you're interested in how the first and second Slates stack up against each other, check out this comparison chart here.
As we said, it's a very very minor update, but HP tells us it was focusing on performance and the needs of its enterprise and vertical customers. We're still skeptical about those speeds, considering it's still using an Atom processor rather than something like the Core i5 CPU in the Samsung Windows 8 Developers Tablet. You'll notice some of that lag in the video below, but hey, we're sure it will run much faster with Windows 8 onboard. Although, HP CEO Meg Whitman hinted we'd be seeing plenty more HP tablets with Windows 8 when it's ready. The Slate 2 will be available some time this month for a starting price of $699. Check out the hands-on gallery and video below.