The last we heard about the HP Slate, it was dead (at least, according to rumors). HP found that it just couldn't get the performance it wanted out of Windows 7 on the Slate's Intel Atom processor and 1 GB of RAM. That's no surprise to anyone who's used a netbook with similar specs. Add the touch layer to this package and performance really isn't going to be great, at least not without a lot of tweaking.
This past weekend brought fresh rumors to the surface. Now the "insiders" are saying that the Slate will be reborn as the HP Hurricane, and it will run WebOS. That makes perfect sense given HP's recent purchase of Palm and HP's declaration that they were "doubling down on WebOS." More surprising is the rumored launch date of Q3 of this year, which seems like a pretty fast turn-around. Particularly so if HP ditches the Atom and goes with an ARM processor, which Electronista suggests it would have to do. At one point HP announced an Android-based netbook and there was some speculation that a second version of the Slate, this one running Android as well, would be coming out. There's been no further word on such a device and we wonder if HP will go forward with the announced Android netbook now that they own WebOS. Would supporting three different operating systems (Windows, WebOS and Android) confuse consumers? The tablet space seems poised for an explosive growth, but it's seemed poised for a while now. We're still waiting for the Android tablets to arrive, and now we've got WebOS tablets to look forward to as well. In the meantime Apple's iPad continues to entrench itself. Once the competition arrives in force it can only benefit consumers. With HP's aggressive scheduling that time may come sooner than we anticipated.