If you thought HP couldn’t make a complete 180 degree turn after dropping webOS…they’ve gone ahead and done exactly that with the announcement of their first Android product. The HP Slate 7 is a middle-of-the-road tablet with a price point that is bound to grab plenty of attention at $169.
As the name conveys, the Slate 7 is a 7″ tablet with a 1024 x 600 FFS+ LCD display which HP says boasts wide viewing angles and will perform very well in low light. The device is powered by a 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor of unknown variety with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (stock Android) powering the software. Inside the device you’ll also find 1GB of RAM, 8GB internal storage with microSD expansion, front-facing VGA camera, 3 megapixel rear camera, and stereo speakers with Beats Audio. All the hardware is packed into a stainless steel frame that comes in at just 10.7mm thick weighing around 0.8 pounds. HP claims the Slate 7 has battery good enough or around 5 hours of video playback. Yup, that’s five whole hours.
It’s arguable at the price that the Slate 7 will compete directly with the Nexus 7, perhaps its greatest competition in the Android arena. Not to mention the release of the Galaxy Note 8.0 is bound to overshadow HP’s first entry into the Android tablet arena. Still, the Nexus 7 costs $30 more, has no expandable memory, no rear camera, but it does come equipped with the Tegra 3 processor and triple the storage capacity at 32GB.
HP does make it a point on their website to differentiate from the likes of Amazon by accentuating on Slate 7 homepage that the device is a “fully certified Android tablet” and that “If it’s on Google Play, it will work.” HP is clearly working on building their Google and Android portfolio with the recent addition of the HP Chromebook and now their first Android tablet.
“To address the growing interest in tablets among consumers and businesses alike, HP will offer a range of form factors and leverage an array of operating systems,” said Alberto Torres, senior vice president, Mobility Global Business Unit, HP. “Our new HP Slate7 on Android represents a compelling entry point for consumer tablets, while our ground-breaking, business-ready HP ElitePad on Windows® 8 is ideal for enterprises and governments. Both deliver the service and support people expect from HP.”
The HP Slate 7 will be available in the US sometime in April with a starting price of $169.