HP aims low with its first Android tablet, yet still falls short of the mark
7 in 1,024×600 display, 372g, 1.6GHz ARM Cortex A9, 1.00GB RAM, 8GB disk, Android 4.1
Unfortunately for anyone that picked up a Slate 7 at launch, HP has yet to update the tablet with a newer version of Android. Sat side-by-side with other, newer budget tablets, it is beginning to show it’s age, and with a very small development community behind the device it seems unlikely that an unofficial update to Android 4.4 KitKat will be arriving any time soon. This could prove problematic when it comes to certain apps, as some will refuse to work on older versions of Android. If you’re thinking about picking one up on the cheap, be aware that it may not have the support you could expect from other manufacturers.
The 3-megapixel rear camera is able to take fairly basic photos. Unless you’re framing your subject exactly, you can’t guarantee focus or exposure because the lack of touch-to-focus in the default Camera app stops you from choosing the metering point manually. Sadly, the Slate 7’s camera over-exposes photos, there’s a lack of detail and colours are muted. It’s a useful inclusion, but is no replacement for a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera. There’s also a front-facing webcam, which is only really useful for low-resolution Skype video chats.
HP’s first Android tablet is a basic, no-frills device. Features such as Beats audio aren’t enough to make us recommend it over the Nexus 7, which runs a newer version of Android, has a faster processor and will receive software updates sooner. The Nexus 7 also has a higher resolution display. However, its one saving grace is its price. You can now pick one up from Amazon for £100, making it £100 less than a Nexus 7, and its MicroSD slot lets you increase its storage capacity to 40GB. If you have a large number of music and video files, and want a budget tablet that on which to play them, the Slate 7 could be for you – just be aware that Android updates don’t exactly appear to be forthcoming.
|ARM Cortex A9
|Processor clock speed
|Memory slots free
|Total storage capacity
|Optical drive type
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PC Card slots
|Supported memory cards
|3.5mm audio output
|Operating system restore option
|one year RTB