HP announces 7-inch, $169 Android tablet

Everyone was expecting HP to unveil an Android tablet. Well, here it is. This isn't the Tegra 4-powered contraption we were told about, though. Rather, HP's newly unveiled Slate 7 is a cheap, seven-inch Android 4.1 device meant to compete with the likes of the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire.

HP doesn't go into much detail about the device's specs—not yet, anyhow. However, it does say the Slate 7 has dual, 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A9 cores, which rules out the Cortex-A15-derived Tegra 4 chip. The Slate 7 also features a three-megapixel rear camera, a VGA front camera, a micro USB port, and a display based on High-aperture ratio Field Fringe Switching (HFFS) technology. According to IHS GlobalSpec, HFFS tech offers "high pixel density, extreme all-around viewing angles, high light transmittance (30-40% higher aperture ratio), high brightness, and lower power consumption, compared to conventional TFT displays." I'd expect the screen to be decent, then, even if it's not based on IPS panel tech.

Oh, and the Slate 7 has Beats Audio. On the Slate 7 teaser page, HP claims Beats Audio endows the device with "the best sounding, richest audio available on a tablet. Small size. Big sound." I guess we'll have to see about that.

The Slate 7 will cost $169 when it arrives in the U.S. this April. In Apple style, HP will allow customers to purchase a two-year extended warranty with accidental damage protection for a one-time, $49 fee. Those who don't want accidental damage protection will be able to buy a cheaper, $29 extended warranty.

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