Feeds
HP Slate 7 Android tablet speakers and micro USB interface

Review: HP Slate 7 Android tablet

With added Beats to drum up sales

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The other day Vulture Central was visited by HP with a Google chap in tow. We were treated to a couple of HP products: the new Slate 7 Android tablet and the company’s latest Chromebook, which we’d already seen as it happens.

The smart-looking seven-inch, dual-processor-core tablet appeared to have little to distinguish it from other Jellybean offerings. However, the HP folks were keen to point out the HP ePrint app that’s bundled with it. Mmmh, this looks easy – hack takes picture, opens app and hey-printing-presto over the wireless network.

HP Slate 7 Android tablet app printing

Photo taken with the HP Slate 7 camera and printed over a Wi-Fi network using the ePrint app

“So what’s the Chromebook like for printing these days?” I asked, recalling my experiences of Cloud Print on a Samsung Chromebox a year earlier. This is where things took a dive. The setup on a Chromebook remains the same: in a word, frustrating. Cloud Print, which sends your documents to a printer via Google's central systems, is also the default printing method on Android tablets. No great surprise as the operating systems on both devices are in the hands of the same company: Google.

So how come a simple app from HP takes away the Cloud Print pain on a tablet and yet a Chromebook has to send your print task into cyberspace and back to do the same job? Alas, there’s no ePrint silver bullet on HP’s own Chromebook and what if you haven't got a Cloud-Print-ready printer? The Google guy sat there and said I could always hook up to another computer to print – er, what’s wrong with this picture? Meanwhile, the HP folk were looking rather pleased with themselves as the Slate 7 pic print job rolled out from one of our network printers on the very first try.

HP Slate 7 Android tablet back in Beat clothing

Dressed in Beats clothing: red or silver to suit your style

OK, so HP got lucky as we use some of its LaserJet printers. The big players in printing all have mobile apps these days, so most people can pull this trick on a tablet with the right app on board. HP is just making the most of its assets here and it does it again on the Slate 7 by including Beats Audio processing featured on its laptops that delivers a bass boost on playback. Yet for the Slate 7, the Beats beefing applies to headphones only. Still, the Android tablet market is so very crowded these days that any kind of differentiation is worth pushing to the front. And just to make the point, the Slate is available in red or silver, mimicking the Beats livery, and there are tablet-plus-headphone bundles on offer too.

Indeed, what we have here is a similar spec to a lot of seven-inch tablets. A 1.6GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 1GB of DDR3 RAM and 8GB of storage. The latter can be increased using the micro SD card slot, another differentiator that really is worth having. Yet what HP giveth it also taketh away, sort of. The micro SD card is a plus point over the Google Nexus 7, but the advertising giant's tablet has a 1280 x 800 resolution, while the Slate 7 makes do with 1024 x 600 pixels on its touchscreen display.

And while we’re comparing, the AnTuTu benchmark utility shows that the quad-core Nexus 7 turns out to be only marginally faster than the dual-core Slate 7 proved to be. All in all, you get a cheaper tablet with storage expansion but no HD screen.

HP Slate 7 Android tablet Beat options and AnTuTu scores

Beats sound output options and AnTuTu scores

In the hand, the HP Slate 7 feel robust, although at 197 x 116 x 10.7mm and 370g it’s not the slimmest nor the lightest. The FFS+ display is sharp enough for this size, but doesn’t fare too well in bright sunlight, but what tablet does? Even in a shady spot, it’s the reflections from the bright surroundings showing on the screen that hamper viewing the most, as I discovered whilst eBook reading during a sunny spell here in Blighty.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Sound thinking

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist
By the way, I have a really nice bridge you might like...
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.