HP is certainly showing a renewed interest in the Android market this year with first the Slatebook X2 and now four additional Android tablets that will come to market before the holidays. The original Slate 7 was notable mainly for its low price, but the Slatebook X2 offers a more premium experience and has actually been greeted by predominantly solid reviews. Hopefully these new entries continue that trend.
Slate 8 Pro
This represents the top end of the new entries, and as you no doubt guessed, it offers an 8-inch (well 7.98) display. Unlike most Android tablets, HP has opted to go with a 4:3 aspect ratio like that of the iPad mini. Your feelings on that will likely hinge on whether you use your tablet more for watching video or consuming web content/reading. The resolution should be more than adequate at 1,600 x 1,200. Like the Slatebook X2, the Slate 8 Pro will be running a Tegra 4 processor. Cameras are fairly standard for a high-end tablet with 8MP in the rear and 2MP up front. Finally the Slate 8 Pro has you micro lovers covered with microSD, micro-USB and micro-HDMI.
Slate 7 Extreme
I can only say that I’m glad they didn’t call it the Slate 7 Xtreme. Despite not being mentioned yesterday, this is the HP branded version of NVIDIA’s Tegra Note. Hopefully that means HP will keep it around that $199 suggested price point. So, as a quick refresher on the Tegra Note specs, this means a 7-inch 1,280 x 800 display IPS display at 16:9. It will have 16GB of memory with microSD for expansion. Tegra 4 inside, naturally, and the capacitive stylus that gives the Tegra Note its name. A 5MP rear camera and VGA front-facing camera and front-facing speakers round out the specs list. Again we will be seeing the Tegra Note from a number of brands this year, but you may prefer having that HP logo on your device.
Slate 7 HD and Slate 10 HD
If you have any enemies on your holiday shopping list then these two devices would make good candidates. Both offer 1,280 x 800 displays, which on the 10-inch screen do not hold up well. They ditch the Tegra 4 processor of the other two tablets in favor of a low-end Marvell processor. They do have front and rear facing cameras as well as a microSD slot. All in all they are far from the worst options we’ve seen, but honestly, whatever the cost difference is it would be worth it to spring for the Slate 7 Extreme or one of the other branded Tegra Notes.
HP hasn’t announced pricing on any of these tablets yet, but they are expected to ship sometime in November.
While the Slate 8 Pro is the powerhouse of the group and could be interesting depending on the pricing, I still find the Tegra Note platform to be intriguing. As long as HP doesn’t decide to overcharge for their name recognition the Slate 7 Extreme may actually top my list.
Do either of these devices catch your eye or is the new Nexus 7 all you need from a small Android tablet?