HP Touts Upcoming iPad Rival

Trying to catch some of the iPad’s reflected glory, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) today posted a new video teasing its upcoming “slate device,” an unnamed tablet computer that will closely resemble the iPad but offer some features the new Apple (AAPL) device doesn’t.

Since the iPad sold more than 300,000 units over the weekend, it’s clear that this is a category waiting to bust out. And HP is not alone in wanting to ride Apple’s coattails; at least a dozen device makers, from Dell (DELL) to Lenovo to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), are looking to hop on as well.

While the blog and video on HP’s site do not mention the iPad by name (nor is the device called “the HP Slate,” as many commentators have mistakenly referred to it), it’s clear that the venerable computer-and-printer giant is aiming directly at Apple’s latest runaway success.

“Media consumption is only half of the ideal mobile experience,” the HP blogger wrote, adding “you expect to be able to capture and share digital content on your mobile devices. And the HP slate device excels there.”

Due for release later this year, HP’s new tablet will offer a built-in camera, video-recording, a USB port and a SD card reader — none of which are included on the iPad. The HP device, which will have an iPad-like touch-screen display, will also come with Skype already loaded, plus support for Adobe Flash — again, features that the iPad lacks. Based on Windows 7, the new tablet will also have Mozilla Firefox installed.

It’s a sign of our speeded-up times that the term “iPad killer” is already being tossed about, with the new Apple device on the market less than a week. The HP slate device is not going to kill the iPad — but along with other tablets reaching the market this year, it will offer a credible alternative.

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