PALO ALTO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Amid all the hype surrounding Apple's ( AAPL) iPad launch, more details are starting to emerge of rival Hewlett-Packard's ( HPQ) own tablet, dubbed the Slate. Technology Web site Engadget, citing what "looks like an internal H-P presentation," reports that the Slate will cost $549 in its base 32-Gigabyte configuration. A 64-Gigabyte version will be available for $599, it added. Both devices will have a five-hour battery, two cameras and a dock connector for power, audio, and HDMI out, which is used for connecting devices to a TV.
H-P refused to confirm these details when contact by TheStreet Tuesday. "We can't comment on rumors or speculation," explained a spokesman in an email, although the computer maker gave users another glimpse of the Slate technology this week. A 31-second video that appeared on the H-P Web site Monday describes the Slate as "Holistic Mobile Experience." The fast-paced video appears to show the tablet functioning as a video camera, a feature lacking on Apple's iPad, and also shows users video-conferencing, apparently via Skype. "We know that you expect to be able to capture and share digital content on your mobile devices," explained H-P on its Web site. "And the HP slate device excels there." Analysts are already starting to draw comparisons between the iPad and the Slate, notably H-P's decision to support Adobe's ( ADBE) Flash technology on its tablet, something that the iPad lacks. Widely used for multimedia applications such as video, Flash has been touted as a crucial part of the Slate story in another demo running on the H-P Web site. While H-P's Slate is unlikely to grab as many headlines as Apple's iPad, the computer maker can at least count on the support of software giant Microsoft ( MSFT). The Slate will use the Windows 7 operating system, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has already championed the device in his own inimitable fashion.
Ballmer gave users a sneak peek of the Slate during his keynote at trade show CES earlier this year. "It's almost as portable as a phone and as powerful as a PC running Windows 7," he explained. "It's perfect for reading, surfing the Web." There has been speculation, however, that H-P may need to tweak the operating system for the Slate given that Windows 7 is primarily a desktop OS. H-P, in its latest Slate video, also focuses on the device's messaging and digital media capabilities. "Think about the last time you chatted with friends over Skype on your notebook. Or uploaded a picture from your mobile phone to Facebook or Flickr," said H-P on its Web site. "How about the last time you viewed images or video from an SD card or a USB device?" Clearly, H-P is positioning the Slate against the iPad. Apple's own tablet pricing starts at $499 for a 16-Gigabyte Wi-Fi only version of the product, rising to $829 for a 64-Gigabyte iPad offering both Wi-Fi and 3G. -- Reported by James Rogers in New York Follow James Rogers on Twitter and become a fan of TheStreet.com on Facebook.