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It wasn't Courier yet, but Steve Ballmer did present a tablet at CES: the HP Slate

And the rumor was really hot: at dawn yesterday to today, in his CES 2010 opening keynote, Steve Ballmer introduced the world to HP Slate, a tablet manufactured by Hewlett-Packard in partnership with Microsoft. It has nothing to do with the Courier project that we checked out a few months ago, but it is still interesting (starting with the name).

The product is not immediately available for purchase, but will hit the market later this year. In his presentation, Ballmer demonstrated this by running the Kindle software and Windows Media Player, highlighting his ebook reader and multimedia player capabilities. The system it runs seems to be Windows 7, with all of its multi-touch support.

Check out a video teaser of product:

(youtube) http://www.youtube/watch?v=IIIjTDnX2Y0 (/ youtube)

, it seems that we already have a good candidate for iTablet's competitor, when it is launched in late January.

(via Engadget)