Hewlett-Packard Launches iPad Rival Slate

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Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) on Friday began selling its own tablet-style personal computer, marking the computer-making giant's entry into a rapidly-growing market dominated by Apple Inc.'s (APPL) iPad.

HP's Slate 500 computer, which will run on Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows operating system, will start at a base price of $799. The 1.5-pound computer has an 8.9-inch screen and 2 gigabytes of memory. iPad prices range from $499 to about $800, depending on features.

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HP is looking to boost sales by launching its own tablet-style computer in time for the holiday season as more people look to buy the portable devices. The iPad leads the tablet-computer industry in which sales will more than double during each of the next four years, research firm In-Stat said last month.

Earlier this week, Apple said fiscal fourth-quarter earnings surged 70% on record quarterly sales of $20.3 billion. The company sold 4.19 million iPads during the quarter.

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