Hewlett-Packard claims its HP Slate 500 tablet PC, equipped with Microsoft Windows 7, is on backorder due to "extraordinary demand." But questions remain about how many tablets HP meant to produce.
A note on HP's Website indicates that the HP Slate 500, which is targeted at enterprise users, will ship to customers in six weeks. HP is also reportedly planning tablets loaded with Palm webOS, the spoils of the company's Palm acquisition earlier this year, but no definitive release dates have been announced for that consumer-leaning device line.
Even as HP claimed a hearty sell-through for the Slate 500, at least one online source questioned how many units the company had decided to produce. Citing a "trusted tipster with a contact inside HP," tech blog Engadget suggested Nov. 13 that HP had planned only a limited production run of 5,000 HP Slate 500 units. When 9,000 customers ordered the tablets, HP "apparently had to re-hire production workers just to get the presses printing out tablets again." Miffed customers are apparently being offered "over $100 off their $800 purchase as apology."
Neither HP nor Microsoft has responded to requests for comment by CIO Insight sister publication eWeek.
The HP Slate 500 features an 8.9-inch touch-screen, inward- and outward-facing cameras for video conferencing, a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor, 64GB of NAND flash storage, and a Webcam port. Pricing starts at $799, and HP offers the device only through its Website.
For more, read the eWeek article HP Slate 500 Sold Out But Number Produced is Under Scrutiny.