Sean Hollister for The Verge:
It’s officially true: Hewlett-Packard is back in the mobile race. Today, HP is announcing its first Android product: the HP Slate 7. But it looks like the company won’t be making a splash right away: Starting at $169.99, the new device will launch this April with a fairly unimpressive set of specs.
As you’d expect from the name, the Slate 7 is a seven-inch tablet which runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Under the handsome soft-touch rubber exterior, you’ll find a dual-core 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A9 chip of an undisclosed variety powering a 1024 x 600 resolution FFS+ LCD touchscreen display, which HP says will boast wide viewing angles and perform well in low light. There’s 1GB of RAM, 8GB of solid state storage (expandable via microSD), 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and a pair of cameras, with one front-facing VGA webcam and a 3-megapixel rear imager. There’s also a set of stereo speakers, with Beats Audio processing to give them a little extra oomph, and all of that fits in a stainless steel frame that’s 10.7mm thick and weighs about eight-tenths of a pound. HP says the battery is good for five hours of video playback.
For $169, you’d think that would stack up nicely against Google’s $199 Nexus 7, and we hope to find out soon, but at least on paper it’s not completely competitive. Google’s tablet may cost $30 more, have one fewer camera and no microSD slot, but it does have a quad-core Tegra 3 processor inside, boasts GPS, NFC, and more motion sensors, is a touch thinner and lighter, and comes with double the storage capacity at 16GB. Also, while we’re curious about the clarity of the FFS+ screen, the Kobo Vox showed us that FFS+ is no guarantee of quality.
Did the TouchPad teach HP nothing? Then again, I remember owning an iPaq years ago that worked well..