HP Revives Tablet Business with Windows-Based Slate 2

Remember HP’s fiasco with the Slate, then the TouchPad? You’d think the company would run from the tablet market like a Silicon Valley investor with his hair on fire — but you’d be wrong.

After pulling back from the possibility of exiting the computer making sector altogether, HP is attempting to re-enter the tumultuous (but highly profitable) tablet market. The company is launching the Slate 2, complete with 8.9-inch stylus-bound capacitive screen, Intel’s Atom 1.5GHz Z670 chip, 32GB storage, forward and rear cameras and six-hour battery.

However, missing is the webOS, which HP seems to have certainly ditched for Windows 7. You might remember webOS powered both the ill-fated TouchPad and the first go at the Slate. The device is aimed at “business and vertical markets” rather the bruising consumer sector which Apple seems to own lock-stock-and-barrell. Hence, the second-tier hardware.

All of which begs the question: if HP isn’t going to compete against the iPad and it isn’t going to enter the Android universe, why bother?