Swype for Windows 7 Debuts in New HP Slate 2 Tablet PC

The Swype technology that makes it possible to type without lifting your finger from your Android smartphone or tablet screen has cracked the Windows barrier and is included in the new Windows 7 powered HP Slate 2 Tablet PC.

A small, but significant logo sits at the bottom of the screen on the new Windows-powered HP Slate 2 Tablet PC announced today: Swype. Yes, the same Swype utility that lets you type by sliding your finger across your Android smartphone or tablet screen without lifting it has come to Windows 7.

The 1.5-pound Windows 7-powered HP Slate 2 Tablet PC (starts at $699) has an 8.9-inch capacitive multitouch display which supports both pen and finger input, a 1.5 GHz Intel Atom Z670 CPU and a preinstalled copy of Swype, which up until now had only been seen on Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian devices.

HP Slate 2 Tablet PC with optional HP Slate Bluetooth Keyboard and Case

The unit is meant for business and will not be marketed as a consumer device, said Kyle Thornton, category manager for HP Emerging Products at a recent HP press preview in New York. It’s meant for retail and other business uses where full access to Windows applications is needed. It has an SD Card slot for storage in addition to an internal solid state drive and a 3-megapixel digital camera on the rear and a front-facing VGA webcam.

According to HP, the battery should last up to six hours on a charge and the unit offers a number of built-in security features, including a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip. A dock adds two USB 2.0 ports and a single HDMI port to the unit.

Business-friendly options include the HP Retail Mobile Point of Sale Case, which has a magnetic stripe reader and barcode scanner and the $79 HP Slate Bluetooth Keyboard and Case (above), which folds out to support the slate as if it were a notebook and closes up to protect both the keyboard and the HP Slate 2 Tablet PC.

Note that while Swype comes preinstalled on many Android devices, it can also be added to Android devices that didn’t ship with it. Swype Beta is available for download at no charge but does not work on all Android devices, especially those with older versions of Android or have relatively low-resolution displays. (Don’t install Swype Beta on a unit which came with Swype. It won’t work.) Swype is not available as an separate installable Windows application for other Windows tablets.

The HP Slate 2 Tablet PC will ship later this month and will be available from the HP website.

Text and photos Copyright 2011 Robert S. Anthony, Stadium Circle Features
Video courtesy of HP

HP Photosmart eStation: Take One ‘Tablet’ and Call Me When My Boarding Pass is Ready

All-in-one inkjet printer has a detachable Android-based color control panel which looks and acts like a tablet, but isn’t.

So what can you get in a $399 all-in-one printer in 2010? Answer: The HP Photosmart eStation, a unit with a detachable, wireless Android-based control panel. The seven-inch color touch screen offers a full Web browser and a selection of HP Web apps, including an airline app that will print your boarding pass in four clicks.
At the HP Imaging and Printing Group Innovation Summit in New York Monday, HP showed how the eStation’s panel can surf the Web without a PC and can download and print out online documents. Like other printers announced this year, the Photosmart eStation supports HP’s ePrint feature, which allows you to e-mail print jobs to the printer from any Web-connected device.
The control panel is similar in size and shape to many of the new Android-based tablets like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, but even though it’s based on the Android 2.1 operating system, it’s not configured to act an independent tablet. 
While it does have a solid Web browser, supports multi-touch image resizing and rotates the image from portrait to landscape orientation as needed, it doesn’t have a memory card slot and it doesn’t have access to the apps in Android Market. It does, however, function as an ebook reader and to that end has access to the Barnes & Noble eBookstore. The control panel has a little more heft than some of the newer tablets but has a solid feel and proved very responsive.

Already installed in the control panel are apps for Facebook, Yahoo, the Snapfish online photo service and other websites. Also installed is a Delta Airlines app, the first of what HP representatives said would be a handful of links to airline ticketing systems. The app will allow users to print out their board passes in four clicks, HP said. The control panel will evolve over time and more apps may be added in the future, HP representatives said.
The eStation can send faxes over the Internet, thus negating the need for a telephone line, and supports two-sided printing. According to HP, the unit can generate up to 33 black and white pages or 32 color pages per minute, its scanner tops out at 1,200 by 2,400 dots per inch and the unit supports the 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi standards.

Video, photo and text Copyright 2010 Stadium Circle Features

HP ePrint: No Print Driver? No Problem

Hewlett Packard led off Internet Week in New York Monday by unveiling ePrint, a new Web print service that allows users to print from any Web-enabled device whether it has built-in printing support or not. The new ePrint service will come with a wave of new all-in-one inkjet printers starting at $99.

During a morning press conference, Vyomesh Joshi (right), HP’s executive vice president for Imaging and Printing Group, noted that all of the new printers will come with their own e-mail addresses. Sending a print job to any of the ePrint-enabled printers is as simple as sending an e-mail he said.

While three of the four new printers will be available in August and September, the $99 HP Photosmart e-All-in-One printer, which features a 2.4-inch touchscreen and a flatbed scanner, will be available later this month.

For more on the new ePrint service, see my piece at PCWorld.com.

Copyright 2010 Stadium Circle Features