HP Slate 7: Super-Cheap Tablet Computer

Dennis Faas's picture

Prominent hardware manufacturer Hewlett-Packard (HP) is looking to put the TouchPad disaster behind it with the new, $169 Slate 7.

You may recall that the TouchPad, which ran a unique operating system called WebOS, was first released in 2011. After consumers showed little interest in the device, HP slashed its price to a paltry $99.

That kicked off a consumer frenzy at electronics retailers like Best Buy.

Slate 7 Cheaper Than Google Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Tab

Back in 2011 $99 was considered insanely cheap for a tablet computer. But HP's new Slate 7 isn't that much more expensive. It will cost just $169 when it goes on sale in the coming days.

The device comes equipped with a 7-inch display, 1.4 GHz processor, 1 GB DDR3 RAM, 3-megapixel camera, and WiFi. It runs on Google's Android 4.1 mobile operating system (popularly known as 'Jelly Bean'), making this HP's very first Android tablet.

The price tag will inevitably draw consumers to the Slate 7, which is about $30 cheaper than the popular Google Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

Consumers should note that, to compensate for that lower price point, HP has included a lower-resolution display. At just 1,024 x 600 pixels, it's not as brilliant as the 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution display seen on the Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HD. (Source: cnet.com)

Lower Price Point Should Drive Sales

Although its first foray into the tablet universe didn't go so well, Hewlett-Packard's name power should also help drive sales.

According to David Daoud, research director at analyst firm IDC, there's still plenty of room in the ultra-cheap segment of the growing tablet market.

"Consumers generally respond to lower price points," Daoud said. "HP's challenge will be to market this product." (Source: pcworld.com)

The problem: HP has become associated with the Microsoft Windows platform after years of building Windows-based laptop and desktop computers.

"When you think of a tablet in the Android world, you think of a [Samsung] Galaxy and start from there," Daoud said. "How do you compete when you are not at the top of mind?"

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