Apple’s iPad launch and subsequent sale of 300,000 WiFi-only tablets spurred HP to tease us about a tablet of their own called the Slate. Shown in this slick 30-second promo, it does everything that the iPad doesn’t – take photos, video Skype chats, and USB and SD card dock. But HP provides no launch date or even price points. So simply this is a prototype promo video aimed at dangling the carrot in front of PC consumers. Microsoft purportedly also has a ‘secret’ tablet called the Courier which when I first saw also via promo video, I was highly impressed. Microsoft in fact has been promising us a tablet since 2001 and has yet to deliver. In fact when a real-world live prototype called the JooJoo (formerly known as the CrunchPad; what? No jokes?) created by a startup no less, is released for review to an industry blog, it doesn’t even live up to its early promises.

The process is becoming rather tiresome. Release a fancy promo promising the sky in order to compete with a product already in the market and then promptly disappear. Honestly for the sake of competition, I would love for HP and Microsoft to release great tablets so we the consumers have more choices that will in effect keep the prices competitive and avoid the need for closed systems that most tech pundits accuse Apple of. I vehemently disagree with Apple’s handling of the App Store but hey, they make sexy products and take ease of use and convenience to a new high. If other companies offer similar if not higher levels of satisfaction and user friendly technology while being all that open source wants us to be, consumers will not hesitate. But do not do one thing definitely – promise the sky and deliver rocks – like Nokia N97 did:

Update: Dave Winer, father of RSS, who didn’t exactly like the iPad has this on a post discussing reactions to his iPad review post:

While we’re at it, a lot of people seem to think you have to be either for or against something like the iPad. This is very wrong thinking. People should find out what they think by having experiences, and then reflect on them and try new things out, always feeling you have the right to change your mind.

Exactly. Which is what I was trying to convey in this post. Supremus and his wife used the iPad and found that it wasn’t for them and that’s fine. Perhaps if they have a need for a tablet, HP’s Slate or Microsoft’s Courier may interest them. If they ever release with their promises they make in the promo. That is the reason I called my iPad post a ‘first impressions’ and not a ‘cast in stone’ review. I’m already seeing some shortcomings which I hope Apple fixes in future iterations.