HP has started hinting a while ago that they’re very serious about pushing Android and ChromeOS devices into the market, and these last few weeks they’ve begun showing just how committed they really are to both ChromeOS, and Android, with today’s announcement of the 4 new Android tablets.
The size of these tablets start from 7″, and go up to 10″. The first one is the Slate 8 Pro, which is as you might have guessed, an 8′ tablet with a 4:3 ratio and a 1,600 x 1,200 resolution, which doesn’t sound terrible, although it’s certainly not extremely high for this screen size. It is however higher resolution than the iPad Mini. It also comes with a Tegra 4 processor, 8MP and 2MP cameras, microSD slot, micro-HDMI output and a standard micro-USB socket for charging.
Then there are the Slate 7 HD and Slate 10 HD tablets, which both come with a 1280×800 resolution, a dual-core Marvell processor, Beats Audio and optional 4G connectivity. It doesn’t look like the Slate 7 HD will replace the original Slate 7, so these will either be priced higher, or will be priced the same, with the Slate 7 dropping its price (which would make more sense).
Finally, there’s the Slate 7 Extreme, which actually seems to be Nvidia’s “Tegra Note” tablet, but with a different name. I assume it’s HP that made both, and let Nvidia use it under their own brand name, while HP could still sell it under their brand, too. This one also comes with Tegra 4, 1,280 x 800 resolution, and its special sauce is the very precise stylus. However, unlike the Galaxy Note and its S-pen, this tablet doesn’t come with an active digitizer, so there’s no pressure sensitivity. It should be much accurate than your normal capacitive stylus, though, thanks to Nvidia’s DirectTouch/DirectStylus technology.
Out of all of these, the Slate 7 Extreme seems the most interesting to me, due to its high-accuracy stylus, but the resolution of the display is a let-down. Why would you want a tablet that is focused on drawing and manipulating images, to not have a high resolution, too? It should be one of its main features.
So far, HP hasn’t shown us anything to impressive that would make us thing that they’re entering the mobile space in a big way, so they’ll need to keep working on their products in the future, and come up with something really impressive to win mindshare and market share.