As an OEM, how are you going to succeed in the Android tablet market? You can deliver some top-tier hardware, such that shoppers know they’re getting the best, you can aim to appeal to budget-minded shoppers looking for the best value for their dollar, or you can go after users who just want the cheapest tablet they can find, bells-and-whistles (and performance, and who know what else) be damned. So far, HP’s been floating somewhere between those latter two groups with its tablet offerings: they’re relatively low-priced, but spec-for-spec they can also come up seriously short of competitors like the Nexus 7 or Amazon’s Kindle Fire series. Today we wonder if HP has finally gotten the message that if it wants to compete with those killer value tablets, it really needs to slash prices, as we see the introduction of the company’s latest Android for a hair under $100.
The tablet in question is the HP 7 Plus, and this appears to be the very tablet we saw leak at the beginning of last week. The specs are nothing to write home about, with components like a seven-inch 1024 x 600 display, 1GHz quad-core SoC, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (though at least with microSD expansion), and a 2MP main camera with VGA front-facer.
All told, it doesn’t sound like a huge improvement over last year’s Slate 7, but the key being that while that one launched at $170, the 7 Plus is only $100. Is it worth saving up a little more and looking for a much more capable tablet in the $200 range? Arguably, but the 7 Plus is for a different kind of shopper, and we’re happy to see HP finally embracing the super-budget role its tablets feel like they were always meant to play.