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At Mobile World Congress this morning, HP announced its first tablet since the Touchpad: the HP Slate 7. The Slate 7 is a 7-inch inch tablet with a somewhat disappointing 1,024-by-600 pixel display. You’ll be able to see those big pixels from a variety of angles and lighting conditions with HP’s so-called High-aperture-ratio Field Fringe Switching (HFFS) panel. The panel purports to offer “wide viewing angles that provide easy viewing of documents, games, photos and videos—even in outdoor lighting conditions”.

Last’s year’s tablet-type spec sheet also includes 1GB of RAM, a 1.6GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor and 8GB of onboard storage. It also boasts a microSD slot and BeatsAudio which are welcome editions to the closed storage options of both Amazon’s Kindle and the Nexus 7.

With a $169 price tag, it seems fairly obvious that this will be playing in the lower end market. With HP’s huge global footprint and long list of enterprise contracts, the Slate7 will open the door to many more potential Android customers. In a separate blog post, HP teased,

I’ve also heard that there’s a raft of exclusive productivity software and games that will be available for the Slate7. I just don’t know what that exactly entails. Yet.

HP hopes that dual-cameras and expandable storage can sway potential consumer customers.

According to The Verge, the Slate 7 is running an OS nearly identical to stock Android. And, while The Verge claimed the tablet’s build-quality feels sub-par, a low price-point may just be what HP needs to get entry-level tablet buyers. 

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