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.

HP Slate 7

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.

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10 replies on “HP introduces its first Android tablet: The $169 HP Slate 7”

  1. Being an owner of HP laptops (with both Win7 and Win8 OS), I was hoping the 7″ tablets would come with Windows 8/RT. 🙁

    Here’s hoping that they (and anyone else?) will debut a 8″ Windows 8/RT tablet.

    1. Not at these price points. There simply isn’t any margin in the bill of materials for a Windows license and I suspect the chips with the airtight DRM Microsoft is insisting on isn’t normally part of the bottom of the line stuff either. You just ain’t going to hit these pricepoints with actual products without cutting a few corners. Loss leaders, sealed ecosystem endpoints, that sort of stuff can barely get into the $200 range.

  2. HDMI anyone? The price maybe close to the Kindle Fire, but what about an HDMI port. At least the Kindle fire hd has that.

  3. I have an older HP PhotoSmart wired Ethernet printer on my home network but for whatever reason I’ve never thought about printing from my Android devices. I grabbed my WiFi $80 iRulu 7″ tablet, headed to the Play Store, and downloaded and installed the free HP ePrint app. It found my printer in no time and I was printing in seconds.

  4. That printing thing doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but then again I just picked up a Dell model that supports Dell’s own printing app.

  5. the processor sounds like an RK3066… if that is the case case good luck running it at 1.6ghz…

  6. I hope they do well enough to continue to invest resources into this. It’s a good (and safe) start. It’s clear that they’re testing the waters with a budget device as well as paving the ground into connectivity options to their printers (for starters).

    One thing they have going for them is their distribution network. Their efforts will put their devices into the eyes and hands of the general public. My main interest is that we continue to see competition in this space and good pricing in the long-term.

  7. In This particular Product ( HP Slate 7), There is calling facilities available or not ?

    1. If you mean 3G, then most likely not, however as always there’s Google Talk, Skype, etc, as alternatives

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