Feb, 26 2013

HP has announced its own sub-$200 Android slate and named it accordingly. The HP Slate 7 was on the floor at MWC and we gave it the inaugural hands-on treatment, getting a feel for what the company that bought webOS is bringing to Android. The short answer is not much more than what others making 7-inch tablets have already done.

For $170, the Slate 7 is serviceable enough. You get a 7-inch display with a 1024 x 600 resolution, 1.6GHz dual-core CPU, and 3MP camera. The price affords 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. Perhaps the biggest differentiating feature is the inclusion of Beats Audio, much like HP has done with its notebook lineup (and similar to HTC’s inclusion of the audio enhancement software).

The tablet has a solid feel for its price point and matches wits with other competitors in the class. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is presented in stock fashion, and you get a few HP-centric apps to round out your experience. Still, we wonder how many more options people need in this class.

At this point, tablet makers are mostly competing on price alone. Specs remain more or less in the same class. Rumors of a new Nexus 7 and other upcoming low-priced devices like the ASUS Fonepad make the HP Slate 7 a hard sell as it is.

 

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