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.

Comments closed
    • Prototyped
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]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.[/quote<] FFS is a specialization of IPS -- and if I recall correctly, is offered by just one company (Hydis). The ThinkPad convertible tablets used to use FFS displays until a couple of years ago.

    • kellybboxo32
    • 7 years ago
    • Suspenders
    • 7 years ago

    Ugh, Beats audio. It really saddens me at how effective marketing can be at moving overpriced generic quality products. (or in this case making a Beats sticker a desirable selling point on your tablet).

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      Generic? But, but… Its beats by Dr. Dre!

      When I take the beats sticker off my HP laptop, it sounds so much worse. Put it back on, and people say “wow, that sounds pretty good”.

      The Apple logo works pretty well too.

    • CuttinHobo
    • 7 years ago

    I, for one, look forward to next week’s cancellation of this product and subsequent fire sale.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      Oooh, fire sale!

      I’d definitely buy one of these cheap, slow, low-resolution, low-quality slabs of tech with ‘mystery-display’ tech for $25!
      (I’m 100% certain that HFFS was picked because it was cheaper than IPS or OLED)

    • paulWTAMU
    • 7 years ago

    What was this about consolidation and cleaning up product lines and not producing so much random crap??

    • HTarlek
    • 7 years ago

    I find myself utterly Krogothed.

    • allreadydead
    • 7 years ago

    Any word of that H-FFS Tech Screen’s resolution ?
    is it 1024×600 ??

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      yes.

    • OU812
    • 7 years ago

    Probably good as an eBook reader, Skype’ing, taking low resolution photos and as a MP3 player but not for much else.

    How much screen resolution is left after the Soft Buttons that Android 4.1 use.
    Trying to read articles or browsing will require lots of scrolling.

    Crappy screen resolution (1024×600)
    Low end dual-core A9 (So 2011)

    If it doesn’t have a real GPS chip then forget using Google turn-by-turn Navigation.

    How about NFC (Android Beam)?
    or Bluetooth?
    or Accelerometer?
    or Gyroscope?
    or Magnetometer?

    Missing any of the above leaves lots of APPs from being able to run on the tablet.

    This should be priced closer to $99.

    • grantmeaname
    • 7 years ago

    February 26, [s<]2012[/s<] 2013. [b<]HP cancels 7-inch, $169 Android tablet[/b<]. Facepalm. Also: February 25, 2013. [b<]HP cancels WebOS[/b<].

      • danny e.
      • 7 years ago

      2012 ?

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      2013, right? 😉

      I seem to remember that early 2012 HP were busying themselves with the restructuring of Autonomy, something they acquired before Christmas for a staggering $10.2B, only to write it off $8.8B a few months later.

    • crsh1976
    • 7 years ago

    This makes my $99 TouchPad with CyanogenMod Android all the more satisfying to own and use.

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      they didnt even bother to improve on the SOC on this slate since the touchpad fiasco. i paid the extra 50 bux for the 32gb model just in case i needed to put android on there with a few thousand apps, lol.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Maybe there will be a firesale of these later when HP decides to exit the tablet business… again

      [Arnold]”Fifty bucks!”[/Arnold]

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      Yep, the $99 16GB Nook Tablet running CM10.1 seems pretty justified in light of this HP slate.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah…if you were one of 300k people that actually got one at that price. Also, the TP has only had a fully-working Android 4.1 build since mid-December, has a terrible front-facing camera, and no rear-facing camera at all. Yet even now the things are still selling for $150-160 used.

      If HP can actually have thing thing on B&M retail shelves at $169 it should do pretty well.

    • spigzone
    • 7 years ago

    I doubt there’ll be many products with Tegra 4. Tegra, Tegra 2, Tegra 3 = a plethora of ‘design wins’ that never materialized = Nvidia failed to deliver the promised specs/quantities = a trail of soured relationships with companies across the mobile spectrum. Implicit in failing to deliver on so many design wins are companies Nvidia strung along to a point they were essentially forced to used a Tegra that in the end didn’t meet specs because they needed a product on the market.

    Unhappy and gun shy customers are inherent to such a large percentage of design wins never making it to market – I doubt there are ANY happy satisfied Nvidia Tegra customers and several multiply burned that refuse to do further business with Nvidia.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      I’ve heard this said before–maybe it was by you–but, could you back up any of that? I look around and I see a lot of Tegra 3 based devices and I wonder which ones never made it to market. My Nexus 7 awaits your answer.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        He’s just repeating S|A party line; it’s almost a direct quote from Charlie.

          • brucethemoose
          • 7 years ago

          S|A’s other party line was that this tablet is essentially a nasty gesture from HP to MS.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            That’s at least funny, though. 🙂

      • BabelHuber
      • 7 years ago

      I know that Charlie at semiaccurate says this, but IMO the Tegra did not as bad – until now!

      The Tegra 2 was one of the first dual core SoCs and was used in the Motorola Xoom, some Samsung tablets, some Lenovo tablets etc.

      The problem was that all these devices failed in the market. They were too expensive compared to the iPads. Additionally, Android 3.X was not as refined back then as 4.X is now.

      Tegra 3 was the best-performing SoC when it was released. The Asus TF Prime was the best Android tablet back then, too. It still sells a lot, especially in the Nexus 7.

      The problem with Tegra 4 is that it is too late to market. It should have been out now, then it would again be the best-performing SoC.

      But if will be released in Q2, there will already be competing products available from Qualcomm and Samsung which are playing in the same league or are even better.

      So Nvidia has to fix its execution problems for the Tegra 5, so this won’t happen again.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        I’m not too sure about that. Take a look at [url<]http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2415809,00.asp[/url<] They test a Qualcom Snapdragon 600 based phone there and it's half of an 800, roughly. But, its scores are less than half of the Tegra 4. Especially when it comes to graphics. The Tegra 4 is vsync limited in Taiji while the HTC One X+ gets 15.46 FPS.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]The problem with Tegra 4 is that it is too late to market. It should have been out now, then it would again be the best-performing SoC.[/quote<] It is the best-performing SoC, by a pretty wide margin: [url<]http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/02/tegra-4-benchmarks/[/url<] And I liked Tegra2 in the original Atrix, which is still a pretty decent phone.

          • BabelHuber
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]It is the best-performing SoC[/quote<] It [b<]is[/b<]? Can you buy it yet? 😉 Qualcomm will release their new Krait this year, and Samsung is releasing a big.LITTLE octacore with A7 and A15s. We'll see how Nvidias 4+1-architecture will fair against Samsung's big.LITTLE when both are released, and perhaps Samsung is even faster to market. Tegra 4 is a very fast SoC, no doubt about it. It could make a big impact now, but in Q2 the SoC landscape will already look different.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            The Snapdragon 600 is out and a known quality. The only expected chip from Qualcom for this year is the 800, right? What does that bring to the game? 2x the cores and a different GPU? Anything that can close the more than 2x gap between the 600 and the Tegra 4?

            Are you questioning the existance of the Tegra 4?

            I’d use a poker metaphor. I don’t know what cards (chips) the players are holding, but I do know what’s showing on the table.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 7 years ago

            The Snapdragon 800 is faster than the 600 at the same speed, but goes up to 2.3 GHz, and it’s the only HKMG chip with an integrated modem.

            It’s still the only game in town for high end parts with reduced manufacturing costs. That combination helped make the dual-core S4s so prolific.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            Ahh: [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snapdragon_%28system_on_chip%29#Snapdragon_600[/url<] The 800 has a different core than the 600, didn't know that. Thanks. Up to 2.3GHz from the 1.9 GHz of the 600 as well. Same memory and slightly different graphics which is an area where the Tegra 4 really seems to slaughter the 600. The integrated modem is good for phones, but is unneeded baggage for the common WiFi tablet, so that's a bit of a mixed blessing. Edited to add: Oh, wait, I'm way off. The 600 is a quad core and has the same CPU complex as the 800. The only difference I can seem to find is the manufacturing process. So, this isn't a dual core vs a quad core, this is dualing quads. So, I take back my "we'll have to wait and see if the 800 will close the gap" and replace it with a "The Snapdragon 800 is already beaten before it ships." The wikipedia article for the Krait core says the Krait core is slightly less efficient clock-for-clock than than the generic A15. Plus, the A15 looks to have a larger last level cache. The Snapdragon 600 and 800 might end up being less expensive than the Tegra 4, but probably not by enough (especially once the whole device BOM is considered) to matter.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Q2 is fine by me. Here’s hoping for a near-8″ thin bezel Nexus 7 update with Tegra 4. I guess that would be a Nexus 8. 🙂

    • willmore
    • 7 years ago

    So, it’s an off the shelf Chinese Android tablet with an HP logo ironed on? I can barely work up a half-hearted meh.

      • jaset
      • 7 years ago

      With only a 1024×600 screen, I find it hard to argue with your appraisal.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        When I first read about this I didn’t even think that would bug anyone. I went from a Kindle Fire to a Nexus 7 last summer and sure it was a huge step up, and then last night I picked up the Kindle Fire (which I had given to my wife, and which very closely mirrors this HP tablet) again. And then it was like “holy crap this is awful”

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      yup. HP, apple, Compaq, Lenovo, Dell, etc never made their own hardware. they are a service company, getting cheap chinese co. A to make things that work with cheap chinese co. B, then give it to cheap chinese co. C to put it together, with their shiny two letter logo.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        But, sometimes, the ‘brand’ company at least designs the device, right? So, there’s *some* role they play other than stamping on a label, right?

      • Suspenders
      • 7 years ago

      Even off the shelf Chinese Android tablets are better than this 😀

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        Humor requires a touch of truth to it, and the truth is that Rockchip RK3066 with Mali 400 graphics can’t keep up with even an OMAP 4430, and the 800×480 displays on your standard Chinese tablet are TN panels.

        This at least appears to have the look of a premium device, with an aluminum body.

    • LauRoman
    • 7 years ago

    Even if made of plastic, doesn’t look bad at all.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This