After dabbling in the tablet space with Windows and ill-fated webOS models over the past few years, HP is launching its first Android tablet. The HP Slate 7 is a 7 inch tablet which packs mediocre specs and a low price… perhaps HP learned something when the $499 HP TouchPad sold poorly only until the company discontinued the product and launched a $99 fire sale.
The HP Slate 7 features a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, a 1.6 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It’ll sell for $169 starting in
April June. That’s just a few dollars more than an entry-level Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.
Unlike the Kindle Fire, the HP Slate 7 will have a microSD card slot for extra storage. It runs a standard version of Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software, and it has full access to the Google Play Store and other Google apps.
Of course, the HP Slate 7 isn’t much cheaper than Google’s $199 Nexus 7 tablet which has a faster processor, more storage, and other premium features. But HP’s tablet has front and rear cameras, which the Nexus 7 lacks, and it’ll be available in either gray or red, if color options play a role in your tablet purchasing decisions.
HP is also playing up the Slate 7′s support for HP ePrint — a feature that lets you send print jobs from the tablet to an HP printer. If you’ve been lamenting the lack of printer support in your Android tablet, I guess that’s something — and it shows that HP is trying to build an ecosystem rather than just a tablet… something the company was hoping to do years ago by building webOS phones, tablets, and even adding webOS software to PCs and printers. That never panned out, but existing HP customers might see ePrint as a value-added proposition which could make an HP Android tablet a little more attractive than a similar model from Acer, Asus, or Samsung… maybe.