Even with a $30 price cut, HP’s Slate 7 tablet faces stiff competition

Tablet price cuts continue to hit the market this day after the July 4 holiday: Earlier today, both Barnes & Noble(s bks) and Amazon(s amzn) dropped the price on their respective tablets and HP(s hpq) is doing the same. There’s one key difference though: HP isn’t likely going to significantly increase sales of its slate.

When the HP Slate 7 arrived to market in April, I figured it would see limited success at best. Why? For $169, I think the tablet is generally overpriced for what you’re getting. The device is a basic Android(s goog) tablet with a lowly 1024 x 600 display and meager 5 hour video playback time. It only has 8 GB of internal storage, although you can add more with a memory card. For $30 more, I posited, you can get a Google Nexus 7 with much better display, double the internal memory and faster software updates. You’d lose a rear camera — the Nexus 7 only has a front camera — but you’d also gain about 60 percent more battery life: the Nexus 7 plays video for 8 hours.

Now HP is selling the Slate 7 for $139 notes Android Community. That’s a bit more reasonable, but the market has already evolved. Consider a relative newcomer to the tablet market, HiSense, and it’s Sero 7 Pro tablet. It costs $149, or $10 more than the reduced price Slate 7. What’s the difference?

Hisense Sero 7 Pro

Again, you get a higher resolution 1280 x 800 IPS touchscreen, video playback of 7 hours, and a quad-core 1.3 GHz Nvidia(s nvda) Tegra 3 chip. The Slate 7 runs on a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor. HiSense boosted the rear camera to 5 megapixels as compared to the HP Slate 7’s 3 megapixel option. And the Sero 7 trumps both the Nexus 7 and Slate 7 with support for HD video output: Using an MHL adapter you can connect the tablet to an HDTV.

If HiSense can deliver that for just $10 more, I’m not sure why HP can’t match the product, let alone exceed it. We know that HP understands it needs to be a mobile player, but so far, its Android effort looks more like a half-hearted experiment than a serious attempt at challenging its peers.