Who doesn’t love a gadget price war? Companies trying to outbid each other for the consumers’ hard-earned cash can mean better products at lower prices. HP used to be a dominant player in these wars but not since the shift to mobile computing. With its latest entry, the Slate 7, HP hopes to get back on the front lines by adopting Android (finally!). Is this the start of the tech giant’s return to glory?
Powered by an ARM Dual Core Cortex-A9 1.6 GHz processor, the HP Slate7 is fast and responsive. Integrated wireless allows customers to access email, the internet and key applications, while the High-aperture-ratio Field Fringe Switching (HFFS) panel offers wide viewing angles that provide easy viewing of documents, games, photos and videos—even in outdoor lighting conditions. The HP Slate7 includes a 3-megapixel camera on the back and a VGA camera on the front for chatting, videos and photos.
Fire up the Slate 7 and the 1,024 x 600 screen with 169 ppi resolution. All that is fine for browsing or e-mail, but the screen resolution will leave you wanting more once you start watching movies. As for its media capabilities, it comes with the Beats Audio, for the best-sounding, richest audio experience available on a tablet. Sound is clear and loud for a tablet this size and definitely trumps that of the iPad Mini.
The screen is surrounded by an expansive bezel that makes the small device seem even smaller. And there are no hardware buttons, so you have to navigate the device using the on-screen, three-button configuration of the stock Android OS which means there’s a half-inch band at the bottom you can’t use for anything. The only benefit is you won’t make accidental clicks.
The HP Slate7 delivers the Google experience with services like Google Now, Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive and Google+ Hangouts for multiperson video chat as well as access to apps and digital content through Google Play.
The medium to low-end market isn’t much about specs as it is about standout features. The Slate 7 has some things right like the excellent build and great sound. As to performance, it trails most of its competitors, and the 7-inch territory it’s trying to penetrate has become more than just a race-to-the-bottom price war niche like it was the previous years.