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Fondling again: HP slates new tablet for April

Seven-inch Jelly Bean with Google goodies

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HP has used Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as the stage to launch into the Android tablet market, with the new Slate7, a 7-inch unit based on Android Jelly Bean 4.1.

Shipping from the mobility unit headed by ex-Nokia executive Alberto Torres, who joined HP last year, the Slate7 will arrive in April (which previous experience hints means it’ll be cancelled in May and will cost $49 by June).

It’s HP’s first foray outside of the Windows tablet world since it created an accidental hit in the TouchPad, which became a cult classic after the company cancelled the product six weeks into its life and cut the price to $AUD99.

HP Slate 7 tablet

The middle-spec tablet ships at $US169, with a 1.6GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, 1G RAM, a 1024x600 pixel display, Bluetooth and WiFi, 8GB of onboard storage plus a microSD slot, and front-and-back cameras (VGA on the front, 3.1 MP on the back).

The only particular differentiators the company highlighted – apart from price – are its Beats Audio speakers, and a native HP ePrint application that the company says supports native printing from “most applications”.

At 7” this device is keeping firmly at a distance from the 10” market dominated by Apple. In HP’s announcement, Torres provided a slim hint that other form factors are on the drawing board. ®

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