It looks like the rumors that HP was entering the Android tablet game are true, although it will be on the lower end of the spectrum and not the top tiered Tegra 4 device that they were thought to be producing. Just a few minutes ago at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the company made the official announcement of their very own budget 7 inch tablet, the Slate 7, thus entering a market that has been on a roll since the announcement of the Nexus 7 not even a year ago.
Only a short time has passed since HP's last tablet venture, the Touchpad. That device didn't take off until after it was discontinued and then sold at ridiculously low prices starting at $99. Even though it wasn't running Android natively, the ROMming community took the device under their wing and it's still alive today running Google's OS.
The spec sheet for the HP Slate 7 is as follows:
- 7-inch 1024 x 600 resolution display
- 1.6 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB of storage expandable via micro-SD
- 3 megapixel rear camera
- VGA front camera
- 10.7 mm thin
- 197mm x 116mm
- 13.05 ounces
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Along with promising five hours of video playback, HP has also added Beats Audio into the Slate 7 giving the tablet top notch sound. They also spared no expense on the body crafting the entire frame in stainless steel. Additionally HP announced that along with the tablet will come a printing application, the HP ePrint, which allows for "wireless printing on the go and more." The Slate 7 will be available in three colors, steel, black or red and will be available in April for $169.
With Mobile World Congress in full swing we should expect more tablets in this category to be dropping in the next few days and hours. So far this morning we've seen Lenovo unveil a pair of seven inchers, the A1000 and A3000, as well as the eight inch Galaxy Note by Samsung. Only time will tell if the Slate 7 will be able to compete, but even with such a low resolution display that small $169 price tag certainly makes it a contender. That's so long as the second version of the Nexus 7 doesn't blow everything out of the water when it comes out in a couple of months.