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HP Slate 7

hp-slate-7-newI did some looking around in the tablet department of the market and found some interesting devices. Among them was this one: the HP Slate 7. You may not think much about this tablet, but if you want a tablet for cheap and that can handle a tiny bit of stress, this would be a pretty good choice. HP has released quite a few interesting devices, come to think of it, yet not all of them got the deserved attention. Sure, they aren’t as strong as the top Android phones out there, but they don’t cost as much either ( they are actually WAY bellow the price rating of other devices ).

It’s important to note a few things before-hand about this device. The HP Slate 7 isn’t a tablet that supports GSM voice communication, SMS or MMS. Actually, it doesn’t support a SIM card at all ( but considering you have Wi-Fi as well on it, I don’t much see the use of a SIM card – but, of course, I am the kind of guy that only frequents places with Wi-Fi and has little need for an Internet connection to be running 24/7 ).


If you’re interested in this tablet, it’s good to mention that it can be bought for a really interesting price. In the worst case, you’d pay around 200 dollars for it, but in the best case scenario, the HP Slate 7 can be aquired for less than 150 dollars ( maybe around 130 in the best of days ). Of course, knowing the price range, your expectations should not be all that high. So it was for me, and thus I was pleasantly surprised to see the certain things that the HP Slate 7 has above other competitors. Fret not, for you shall get to see those unique features for yourself when the time is right ( in other words, keep on reading ).


There is not point in talking about the networking of this device, as the HP Slate 7 uses no SIM card ( it’s only on Wi-Fi mode ). You can currently go ahead and get this tablet since it is available as of April.


The HP Slate 7 isn’t all that big – actually, if you look closely at the name, it’s a 7 inch tablet and it has very few things that make it bigger than the standard. If you look closely at the picture, the edges are somewhat thick ( but not too thick as to make you say it has unnecessary plastic ). The exact specifications of the size and weight of this device are:197.1 x 116.1 x 10.7 mm ( or 7.76 x 4.57 x 0.42 in ) and it weighs around 372 g ( or 13.12 oz ). Also, it’s kind of worth pointing out that, aside from the somewhat thick plastic margins, the device looks and feels great to the touch. If you’re looking for a tasteful “less is more” kind of tablet, this one is quite simply brilliant.


The display of the HP Slate 7 isn’t the finest or the sharpest out there, but it’s not all that weak either. If you ask me, it’s more than a little bit decent, provided you don’t come with expectations that are too big. The type of screen on this device is FFS+ LCD capacitive with 16 million colors. The screen size is around 7.0 inches ( as the name would suggest ) and it uses a resolution of 600 x 1024 pixels. The pixel density of this device is somewhere around 170 pixels per inch, which isn’t all that bad. Sure, you will feel a slight difference between this tablet and other devices, but if you pay for cheap, you can’t get something much better than this. The screen also has a regular 2-touch multitouch on it.


Regarding the audio part, the HP Slate 7 really manages to turn some heads. It has enhancements both in the hardware side and in the software side. Hardware wise, it has a pair of stereo speakers instead of a single large loudspeaker. Software wise, it has something that should make a few fanboys happy – a sound enhancement that’s been widely thought of as great: Beats Audio. Personally I don’t care for the pricing of Beats, but the audio quality is quite high ( of course, you can always find equal or superior even alternatives for cheaper, but that’s a whole different thing ).


Memory wise, this isn’t the brightest tablet in the bunch. However, for the low price range that the HP Slate 7 was placed in, it’s worth pointng out that it’s doing more than okay. The storage space is limited at 8 GB, but you can expand that and overcome the limitation through the use a Micro-SD card of up to 32 GB. The RAM isn’t as much as the other device, being stuck at merely 1 GB, yet for the hardware strength and purposes that this device was designed for, it’s quite enough.


Naturally, since the HP Slate 7 has no SIM, a lot of things here are cut out from the start: like GPRS, EDGE or network speed. There’s not much to be said about this part, so I’ll keep it short: the HP Slate 7 has Bluetooth ( v2.1 with A2DP and EDR, to be precise ) and WLAN ( of Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with DLNA, to be specific ) and a standard Micro-USB v2.0 port without MHL support.


The camera of the HP Slate 7, while somewhat weak in quality, is still capable of quite a few things. We’re looking at a 3.15 MP main camera with no real features to it, but the only thing that makes it special and superior to many of the competitors is the fact that it can record in 720p HD at 30 frames per second. Also, the HP Slate 7 has a secondary VGA frontal camera, however, not much can actually be said about that one.


Despite being available and ready for purchase for some time, not much is known about the battery of the HP Slate 7. What we do know is that it has a non-removable battery that can sustain the tablet for ( reportedly ) around 5 hours of heavy media-usage. Therefore, it’s to be assumed that it’s a decent / slightly-above-average kind of battery.


All that is truly worth mentioning about the hardware of the HP Slate 7 is that it has a Dual-Core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9 processor. Other than that, no strong components out there worth mentioning. Here I should point out that again, your expectations should not be all that high considering that this device is a really low-budget one. Therefore, it’s hardware is somewhat sufficient for the price you are paying.


The Android OS installed on the HP Slate 7 is a pretty good one, come to think of it. This tablet has Android OS v4.1 Jelly Bean pre-installed on it. Not sure if it will ever support any official update, but you can always take to the internet and install yourself an unofficial one, at your own risk, of course.


The HP Slate 7, despite being a budget-tablet, still has two or three nice features worth mentioning. The only sensor that this tablet has installed on it is an Accelerometer. The browser for this tab uses HTML and has no visible support for Adobe Flash. This tablet has no GPS or Radio, so it will disappoint you there, but it does have Java through MIDP emulation. The messaging on this device is done via: E-Mail, Push Mail, IM and RSS. The HP Slate 7 is available in a few colors: Black or Silver and Red.

Here’s a short list of what this tablet is capable of:

  • SNS integration
  • MP4/DivX/Xvid/H.264/H.263/WMV player
  • MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA/AC3/Flac player
  • Organizer
  • Image/video editor
  • Document viewer
  • Google Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa
  • Predictive text input

This concludes our tiny review of the device. Hope it has answered a few questions you might have had about it or helped you understand it a bit better.

About Alexandru Becheru

He is a technology enthusiast and experienced writer.

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