The TouchPad was a disaster for Hewlett-Packard, once safely nestled as the global leader in PC manufacturing, so the company is a trying a tablet market re-entry on the safe side: Use Google's Android and sell cheap, for as low as $US169.
The new HP tablet comes to town with a dual-core A9 processor packing a top-speed of 1.6GHz with 1GB of RAM. Its 7-inch screen displays on a resolution of 1024 x 600 with a VGA rear camera of 3MP.
"Our new HP Slate7 on Android represents a compelling entry point for consumer tablets," the company says in a press statement.
Is it a good buy over the Nexus 7, which arguably is the industry pace-setter, next of course to Apple's iPad Mini in the 7-inch plus tablet class?
Google Play still sells the Nexus 7 16GB model for $US199 and besides that bare Android that is squeezed into the Asus-made gadget, it wows (back when it was launched in mid-2012) with a quad-core 1.2GHz A9 processor plus the same amount of RAM that HP installed on the new Slate 7.
Pretty much, this is pure JellyBean battling against its HP incarnation trying deliver the best serving of Google environment.
"The HP Slate7 delivers the Google experience with services like Google Now, Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive and Google+ Hangouts," HP said.
With more premiums, HP-style, according to Engadget, adding that "the Slate 7 feels decently well-made, and pleasant to hold. A stainless steel frame lends the whole thing some much-needed rigidity, while the matte, soft-touch finish on the back gives the fingers a comfortable resting place."
HP will sell the Slate 7 in two colours - silver and red. Note, however, that the tablet is not enveloped in red, for instance, front and back, in the same manner that Apple and Samsung are wrapping their slates in one colour. This is a minor drawback, however, for some wishing to snatch a good deal for a gaming, web surfing, media player and e-book reading tool rolled into one.
"HP will provide an array of simple and easy-to-access support tools and resources to help customers take full advantage of all of the features the HP Slate7 has to offer," the PC maker pledged.
The Slate 7 will become available on April and another promise from HP: Buyers will get ample supplies so they don't have to wait very long to use this new Nexus 7 challenger.
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