HP is thinking tablets once more after the unsuccessful release of iPad competitor – the TouchPad – in 2011. And the Slate 7 is just the beginning. HP is readying a full range of tablets powered by Android as well as some Windows-powered tablets.
Their attempt at the tablet market with the TouchPad was appreciated for its unique WebOS interface, the fact that it came with Flash support and it's Beats audio enhancements, but this were not good enough to eclipse its downsides. The TouchPad was too thick, had a bad design and didn't come with the big app variety that its competitors already offered. So the end result was that HP scrapped their tablet plans, continuing to focus on PCs.
This new try could very well be due to the statistics that Apple is now number 1 in terms of PC sales, but this considering tablets as personal computers when counting.
HP's SVP Alberto Torres (a former Nokia employee) states that their newly released HP Slate 7 is "targeting the consumer who really wants an entertainment solution" at an affordable price of $169 (or â‚¬128), at half the price at which other popular tablets such as the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD are sold at.
Torres also confirmed the fact that they will release another tablet, this time a work-related tablet that will go along with the Slate 7. The upcoming tablet range will also cover different price ranges. On this Toress said "On the tablet side, it's entirely our intent to have a broad set of products on the market… to cover more segments of the market we'll need more products, and you'll see us aggressively pursue that over the year."
But the announcement also came with a surprise, HP admitting they are also planning for us a number of smartphones, but they didn't say anything more about it.
The Slate 7 is only the beginning and it's the lower-end of the pack, it coming with a the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on top of a dual-core processor clocked at 1.6 GHz with a 1024 x 600 capacitive display.
So in terms of choice this year, Android will have a much broader selection available adding HP to the list of tablet and smart phone manufacturers.