HP Slate 7 Android-powered tablet announced
HP returns to the tablet market with the Slate 7, the company's first Android-powered device
HP has confirmed rumours that it will re-enter the consumer tablet market, unveiling the HP Slate 7.
Running Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, like the vast majority of non-Apple tablets on the market, the tablet features a mid-range 7in 600x1024 HFFS display panel with multi-touch sensing, 1GB of RAM and an unnamed dual-core 1.6GHz processor. 8GB of on-board storage can be expanded through a micro-SD card slot, while a three megapixel rear-facing camera is joined by a VGA-resolution front-facing camera.
The specifications, therefore, are distinctly pedestrian - but then, so is the price. Compared to the competition, particularly in the form of the higher-specification Nexus 7, HP has confirmed US retail pricing at $169 (around £112 excluding taxes,) $30 less than Google's offering - albeit with half the storage space, a lower-quality screen and a slower processor.
HP's last tablet effort, the TouchPad, was a powerful device based on the webOS operating system acquired by HP when it picked up palmtop computing pioneer Palm, was an undeniably impressive device - but one that came at a bad time in the company's life. A top-end corporate restructuring and some massive changes in focus led to the webOS division being canned and production of the TouchPad cancelled, with the few that made it into the market becoming heavily discounted from £400 to just £89. At the time, HP claimed it had decided the consumer tablet market was simply too crowded for it to succeed.
UK availability and official pricing has yet to be confirmed for the Slate 7, which HP will be launching in the US in April in a choice of grey or red finishes.