Hewlett-Packard has begun a marketing campaign against the iPad and for its Slate tablet PC, highlighting the fact its tablet runs Adobe and AIR software and the iPad doesn't. HP is still mum on the specifications, pricing, and the release date of its Windows 7-based Slate tablet. But that hasn't stopped HP from flaunting its tablet in the days leading up to Apple's release of the iPad. Pre-orders for the iPad will start on March 12.
Adobe's Flash and AIR are de facto Web standards for displaying multimedia and interactive content on Web browsers. According to Adobe, over 75 percent of all video on the Web uses Flash, with an even higher percentage of websites using the platform to deliver content. Apple has refused to support Flash and AIR on its mobile devices, with Steve Jobs reportedly saying that Flash is a "CPU hog" (reducing battery life) and has "security holes".
Targeting the lack of Adobe Flash support on the iPad, HP and Adobe released a video (embedded below) showing the Slate playing full episodes of MTV's ‘The City' and Flash games, claiming that Flash hardware acceleration on the Slate allows you to watch "hours and hours of video on a single charge".
Ironically, this video also shows the HP Slate running the Adobe AIR software application made by the New York Times Company. The Air app is the Times Reader software application and the video shows Flash videos playing. Apple had to pull a series of ads showing the iPad running Flash on the New York Times website, after a consumer charged the company of false advertising. Apple or the iPad were not mentioned in the HP video by name.
HP also released a teaser video of the Slate (embedded below), which touches base with the Apple iPad advertisement released on Sunday during the 2010 Oscars ceremony, and clearly shows how the Slate will feature multi-touch pinch-to-zoom on its capacitive display.
HP Slate: All Show and No Go?
But do we really know more about the HP slate after these two videos? Not really. Adobe Flash was a given, considering the Slate runs on Windows 7, so pretty much any app running on the OS should be able to run on it.
We are a bit more enlightened though on the desktop front, where it seems HP added a theme with large icons, and you can star your favourite shortcuts. There is also an additional menu bar at the top of the screen, adapted for touchscreen use and we can see a floating keyboard, part of Windows 7, which can be moved around the screen.
However, there are still plenty of questioned to be answered. 72/why_the_microsofthp_tablet_is_a_big_disappointment.html">HP demoed the Slate a week before Apple announced the iPad, and two months later, we still don't know what specs the Slate will feature or what will be the asking price. Meanwhile, Apple is ready to sell the iPad, with pre-orders starting this week and the first shipments arriving from April 3rd.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @danielionescu