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Just over two months after abandoning its WebOS tablet and
smartphone strategy, HP has announced the HP Slate 2 Tablet PC, based on
Windows 7, with expanded touch capabilities and embedded security.

HP’s Slate 2 Tablet PC is aimed at business users and
vertical markets such as education, healthcare, government and retail,
according to HP.

At 1.5 pounds, the Slate 2 is slightly heavier than the 1.33
pound iPad 2 and slightly lighter than HP’s 1.6 pound TouchPad tablet. It
offers an 8.9-inch diagonal capacitive multitouch screen for touch and pen
input and includes a new Swype keyboard. It comes with an Intel Atom Z670
processor with mSATA solid state memory to deliver faster boot times. It has an
improved battery life of up to six hours, HP said.

“HP is dedicated to the tablet PC category
and continues to listen to customers and improve the product in ways that best
address their business needs,” said Dan Forlenza, vice president and general
manager, Commercial Managed IT Segment, in a prepared statement. “The HP Slate
includes the right mix of rich features, support for custom-built applications,
and the security and connectivity needed for today’s highly mobile and rigorous
day-to-day professional

According to HP, additional hardware and
software enhancements include:

A TPM Embedded Security Chip that protects
data – from email to information on the hard drive.

Embedded Security for HP ProtectTools provides
user control and management of the TPM chip to increase secure user
authentication, improved personal secure drive integrity, secure email and
support protected digital certificate applications.

BIOS support for Computrace Pro helps
protect against data theft by allowing customers to remotely delete data at the
file, directory or operating system level and keep confidential information
more secure.

Through a single user interface, HP
Connection Manager offers easy control over wireless connections, including
Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth and optional integrated 3G Mobile Broadband(6)for
convenient internet and intranet access from more places around the world.

The device also offers a front-facing VGA
webcam, and a 3-megapixel camera on the back for still image and video capture.
It also includes an SD card slot. An HP Slate Dock provides device connection
via two USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI port.

Optional accessories and business
solutions include the HP Retail Mobile Point of Sale (POS) Case with an
integrated magnetic stripe reader and barcode scanner for retailers. The case
attaches to the HP Slate 2 and creates a secure portable POS solution.

The HP Slate 2 Tablet PC starts at $699
and is expected to be available worldwide later this month.