Just as when we met the HP Envy x2 in Paris last year, we now say hello to a new member of HP’s growing mobile line, this time at a similarly star-studded event in Shepherds Bush, London. Meet the HP Slate 7.
Amidst performances from the likes of Sons & Lovers and Ellie Goulding lurked the only HP Slate 7 in the country. The x2 was one of the first transforming tablet designs we’d seen from HP, but the Slate 7 now serves as HP’s first foray into the Android tablet space, opening up new doors for an Android based product line alongside their existing Windows 8 products.
The diminutive 7-inch tablet will come to market sporting a near stock version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but it’s the hardware versus price angle which HP are hoping will capture consumer’s imaginations. With a WSVGA (1024×600) 7-inch FFS+ LCD panel the visual experience is solid but won’t be too much of a concern for the likes of devices such as the Google Nexus 7. Internal hardware includes a 1.6GHz A9 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage with expandability via microSD available up to 32GB through the tablet’s exposed microSD slot. In addition there’s a VGA front facing camera and a 3-megapixel snapper on the back, both allegedly capable of 720p HD video (although we couldn’t test this out at the time).
All of these components come together in a solidly built tablet and indeed the feel is impressively premium. There’s a stainless steel frame which accommodates a power/lock key, volume rocker, headphone jack and dual-stereo speakers as well as a soft touch back (in red or grey). On the audio front the Slate 7 is also the first Android tablet to feature Beats Audio integration which looks to go a step further than HTC’s system with customised settings for the various types of beats headphones available and HP will also preinstall an ePrint app to work with their line of HP Envy connected printers.
With a price tag of just, wait for it, £129.99, we think HP might be able to entice many consumers looking for an affordable tablet when it does eventually launch in the second half of May.