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Summary:

You can finally buy an HP Slate 7 in the U.S. for $169.99, but will you? I think it’s a tough sell for HP when the Nexus 7 is priced just $30 more and has a better screen.

HP Slate 7 in red and gray

Months after it was introduced, HP’s Slate 7 is available in the U.S. for $169.99. That’s not a bad price for a 7-inch Android tablet with a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, but to keep costs down HP had to cut a corner here and there. And that makes it a difficult choice to choose the Slate 7 over Google’s own Nexus 7, even though the latter costs $30 more.

Nexus 7, tabletsHP is shipping the Slate 7 with Android 4.1. That’s close to current, but of course Google’s own product ships with the latest version: Android 4.2. It’s also very likely to get software updates faster. Both tablets include 1 GB of memory. HP’s Slate 7 has 8 GB of internal storage capacity with support for an additional 32 GB of micro SD expansion. The Nexus 7 with 16 GB of storage doesn’t have a micro SD card slot.

Both tablets have front-facing video cameras for chatting, but here the Slate 7 one-ups the Nexus: HP added a 3 megapixel camera to the rear of the tablet. HP also included support for Beats Audio sound.  There’s not much difference in the size and weight of the two tablets, which is not surprising given that both have 7-inch screens. The Nexus 7 wins out here, however, using a 1280 x 800 display. HP opted for a 1024 x 600 screen, which is the same low resolution on the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab I bought in 2010.

Unless you really need a rear camera or micro SD card slot on your 7-inch tablet — or just have to have Beats Audio support — I’d probably spend the extra $30 on the Nexus 7 if you can swing the money. And if you’re in the market for a small slate right now, I’d even consider waiting a few short weeks. Google’s I/O Developer event takes place in mid-May and it was at last year’s event that Google introduced its Nexus 7. A refresh could be in the works, meaning either more tablet for your dollar or last year’s model at a lower price could be coming.

It’s certainly good to see HP get into the mobile market with a new tablet, especially since the HP TouchPad was a billion-dollar bust. The company needs to step it up though when it comes to hardware. It’s 2013, not 2010 and people are starting to expect higher-resolution displays in their laptops and their tablets to help improve the experience.

  1. Also available is the X10 Pro Mini by Ramos Electronics – for $229 –offering the same size as the Mini iPad – with a 7.85 ” display – and also featuring Built-in 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, built-in GPS, HDMI, 16GB Memory, MicroSD, and Android 4.2.

    Both the Icoo and Ramos tablets are the first truly affordable 3G – HSPA+ tablets on the market as prior to their launch, tablets with 3G were in the $300+ price … Full size, 10 inch versions are also soon to follow and I imagine TabletSprint will carry these models as well.

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  2. A much better deal is the new Novo 7 Venus that launched last month… an Android tablet for $149 that’s available in the U.S. through a site called TabletSprint — and compares closely to the Nexus 7 — featuring a Quad Core processor and 1280×800 HD IPS Screen, while also offering a 2-Megapixel rear camera, a MicroSD memory card slot, 4000 Mah Battery, and HDMI 1080p; plus 3G internet connection through its USB port — all of which aren’t featured on the Nexus 7.

    Two other new Android tablets launch in May, 2013 are also worth looking at — One is the new 7GT – 3G — a 7″ Android tablet from Icoo Electronics that retails for $199 at TabletSprint — one of its best features is built-in 3G for Internet and phone connection — this tablet also matches all the high end specs of the Nexus 7 – 3G version, including a Quad Core processor, 16GB Memory, Android 4.2 O/S, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 1280×800 IPS HD Screen… and sells for $100 less than the Nexus; while also featuring a 5 Megapixel Rear Camera, HDMI with 4K output to stream movies to an HD TV, as well as MicroSD Card storage — all features the Nexus doesn’t offer. 3G makes internet access so much easier… simply slip in a SIM Card from any GSM Carrier such as AT&T and T-Mobile and your connected.

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  3. Dont’ forget $15 the shipping charges on Google.

    So let us see: microSD port, micro USB port, rear camera and $45 cheaper. Definitely swinging HP way.

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    1. Well, you *can* buy a Nexus 7 in retail stores; no shipping that way. ;) Both have a micro USB port as well. I could live without the camera for sure but it would be nice to have expandable storage.

      Still, the screen is the most looked at/used component, so I’d still opt for the N7, but that’s just me: To each, his or her own! :)

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      1. I like your “that’s just me” comment, because at least you recognize everyone isn’t the same (unlike some other members of the tech press). At another site I was just commenting how screen quality on devices might not be that important to many people, depending on their uses. If I could get a S4 with a lower quality screen for less money, or a lower quality screen that used significantly less power for the same money, I’d go with the lower quality screen.

        This is an interesting quandary for these two devices though, because you’re perhaps likely to want the microSD slot for movies, and for such uses you’re also likely to want the better screen. But if you wanted the microSD slot for music, the screen might be totally irrelevant.

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  4. Sub par screen….the most important part of a tablet….enjoy. :(

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  5. Just buy a NEC Medias tablet on ebay and enjoy current state of the art, not this crap

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  6. HP has no GPS radio. Nexus 7 and Galaxy Tab 2 7 inch models do.

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  7. TechVilli.com Sunday, April 28, 2013

    HP Slate 7 with better storage capacity as compare to Google Nexus 7 is a much better deal for Tablet users but fails to give display features with same low resolution as before.

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  8. The screen is 1024×600. Really? 600?
    Have an HP 500 Slate, Win7 Pro, BUT that 600 kills it, a real pain.
    And that idiotic 16×9 format, it is useless in portrait mode.
    However, I really like the fact that it has a Wacom digitizer, BUT 600 screen?
    Writing this on a great 4×3 screen, iPad Mini, use it in portrait a lot.
    Oh well, everybody has different needs.

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  9. I believe HP will get there

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  10. How come nobody is mentioning the fact that the Hp only has a dual core processor while the Nexus 7 has the Tegra 3 quad core processor. So for only $30 more you get a more powerful processor and a better screen. Plus, I am still haven’t forgiven HP for dumping the Touch Pad. What is to say HP doesn’t do it again with the Slate?

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