Hands-On: HP Slate 7
HP’s long journey in the tablet space started with the WebOS it bought from Palm. Eventually, they settled with Android. The result is a quite basic HP Slate 7 Android tablet.
Exactly two years ago today, HP sold all its remaining WebOS-powered TouchPad for $99 and almost gave up in the tablet wars to focus on their PC market.
Two years have passed and they’ve not made any significant progress in the tablet front. Nothing fancy, the HP Slate 7 is practically a low-cost Android tablet and an attempt to rekindle its tablet offering.
The HP Slate 7 seemed a bit late in the game, especially when we’re used to product announcements that are cutting edge and packed with as many cores as you can count fingers in one hand.
Instead of a flagship device, the Slate 7 is an entry-level tablet.
Slap a decent hardware, add the HP logo with beats Audio, price it competitively and you have a decent-looking tablet offering.
And here’s what you get for Php7,990:
HP Slate 7 specs:
7-inch LCD display @ 1024×600 pixels
ARM A9 1.6GHz dual-core processor
Mali-400 MP Graphics
8GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 w/ EDR
3MP rear camera
VGA front-facing camera
Lithium-ion 2,000mAh battery
Android 4.1 Jellybean
Not bad for basic tablet. It’s well made, nice design and very solid construction. The red color variant looks cool on its back. It feels a bit heavy though at 370g. That’s 80 grams heavier than the new Nexus 7 but close to the Asus Memo Pad. It’s also a bit chunky.
The LCD display looks a bit washed-out and prone to glare. Viewing angles are okay but not that good as any other IPS panels we’ve seen before. The bezel is also thicker than usual, makes you think its a digital picture frame.
The 3MP rear camera is just decent and seems to sport a fixed-focus lens so we can’t do tap-to-focus. The VGA front-facing camera isn’t any better either.
While the internal storage is just 8GB (5.6GB usable), there is a microSD card slot at the top end that supports expandable storage of up to 32GB. The slot-loading port is exposed so the card can be easily popped out by a short press.
The power button is at the top end, along with the microphone, 3.5mm audio jack and the microSD card slot. The right side is the volume rocker and none on the left. The microUSB port for charging is found at the bottom end.
HP uses a 1.6 GHz Rockchip RK3066 ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor, MAli-400 MP with 1GB of RAM running Android 4.1 Jellybean. This is the first time we’ve encountered a Rockchip processor so we’re not sure what to expect.
Surprisingly, the benchmark scores showed very good numbers.
Quadrant scores top at 3,814 while Antutu benchmark score is 12,178. Nenamark 2 gave the Slate 7 a rating of 55.2fps. These results are actually slightly better than the 2012 Nexus 7 running an NVidia Tegra 3 chip (and that one sports a quad-core chip).
Actual performance is actually pretty good. Apps load quite fast, all games run smoothly and over-all experience with navigation, transition and multi-tasking is better than expected. Good thing they HP did not bother to add any custom theme and stuck with Vanilla UI.
Another plus is the inclusion of Beats Audio in the tablet. The last time we’ve had this good audio is with the TouchPad although the benefit seems to be limited when using an earphone with it.
For Php7,990, we’re still quite torn with the HP Slate 7. It’s a decent tablet, pretty capable really but some of the shortcomings are a little hard to ignore.