HP has announced a brand spanking new tablet. But don't get all excited thinking it's a follow up to the much derided, but evidently much loved, TouchPad. Nope, it's back to business with the Windows 7 running HP Slate 2.

Back in 2010, long before Samsung dropped the original Galaxy Tab and when the only Honeycomb you knew of was inside a Crunchie bar, the gap between the iPad's release and the first wave of genuine rivals was dominated by rumours of a "killer" HP tab.

That tab turned out to be, disappointingly we have to say, the Slate 500 which was suited, booted and aimed squarely at the office space.

The Slate 2 picks up where its older brother left off, and you could be forgiven for thinking that it's the exact same device but with a new name.

But look closely and you'll see that it's slightly thicker and slightly heavier. How's about that for progress? It even packs a slower CPU although it is a newer generation Intel Atom Z670 clocked at 1.5GHz and HP states the mSATA SSM technology will deliver faster boot times. There's an improved battery life of up to 6 hours.

The 64GB mSATA drive promises to be quicker and the display, whilst still measuring 8.9 inches, has a better resolution at 1024x768.

Other features include 2GB of RAM, a Swype keyboard, an Intel Media Accelerator 600 GPU, microSD support, optional 3G, Wi-Fi a/b/gn, Bluetooth 4.0 and the option of a Bluetooth keyboard accessory. The camera is still 3-megapixel with a front facing VGA one.

The HP Slate 2 Tablet PC will cost $699 in the States. It is expected to be available worldwide later this month. UK price and date TBC.