What's the difference between a media slate vs. a slate PC? A media slate (like an Apple iPad) is built to be a consumer device, not a professional device. However, some people may argue that you can run enterprise-level applications by running a virtual machine on a device like an iPad.
In many ways, the HP Slate 500 looks like a larger version of some of the earlier ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) units. That "origami" UMPC phenomenon that never took off. I admit that I was an early adopter of the UMPC and I purchased a Samsung Q1 Ultra UMPC. I still have that 7" touch-screen tablet and I use it for a variety of things. The 7" screen was a bit too small and the lack of an active digitizer made the Q1 Ultra difficult to use for pen-based computing. However, it was nice and small (but it could have been thinner). I wonder what would happen if Microsoft tried to revive the UMPC now that Apple has plowed the road for people to adopt slate tablets. Would a Samsung UMPC sell like hotcakes if it was priced around $500 or 600?
The HP Slate 500 is a very thin device that only weighs 1.5 pounds. It has an 8.9" screen, a 1.86GHz Atom Z560 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a 64 GB SSD, so it should run Windows 7 adequately. Compared to my Samsung Q1 Ultra, the HP Slate 500 will be much faster. I'm eager to give it a test drive.
Here is link to a video (on SlashGear) featuring Carol Hess-Nickels from HP talking about the differences between a media slate vs. a slate PC and showing you the key features of the HP Slate 500.