The information is vital because although we know it will come with Windows 7 there is a league of difference between a touch screen tablet with an atom chip and one with say an Intel lower power Core 2 rig on board.
While the price of a heavy duty chip might push the unit cost of HP’s tablet out of the league of Apple’s iPad, something like a low cost Atom might not have the performance to match Jobs’ Mob’s marketing machine.
Phil McKinney, chief technology officer at HP’s Personal Systems group, hinted last month that while you could do all the things that an iPad like device needs to do on an Atom the experience isn’t always smooth–even when using the new “Pine Trail” Atom.
Moorestown Atom is a different beast and might be a candidate. Already it is ending up under the bonnet of that other iPad killer the Open Tablet 7.
However the low-power versions of the Core i and Core 2 Duo chips and the Celeron and Pentium processors are also possibilities. The ultra-low-voltage (ULV) Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor can run an HP Pavilion laptop lasted more than nine hours. It is safe to rule out the low-power Core i5 and i7 processors as too expensive.
HP needs to create a pad that shows Apple’s A4 chip to be underpowered for the role that Steve Jobs has assigned to it while at the same time being price competitive. Normally price competition with Apple is not something you have to worry about at $500 the iPad is reassuringly expensive for netbook.
However HP has to have a machine that does much more, looks nice, and probably has more features if it is going to take on the Apple machine.
Of course tablets might fail again, in which case it makes no odds at all.