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Budget buster: HP’s new Android slate is $99

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Have you seen the “drugstore tablets” yet? These are the small slates that cost $99 or less, typically coming from companies you’ve never heard of. Hewlett Packard(s hpq) is a brand you’re likely familiar with, but it too has a $99 Android tablet: The HP 7 Plus. The slate might not appear in a drugstore but it is available directly from HP.

HP 7 Plus

What do you get for the money? A pretty basic tablet, as you’d expect. The 7-inch screen uses a paltry 1024 x 600 resolution, something that was close to cutting-edge in 2010. Battery life is relatively lacking as well, as the tablet will only run for 5.5 hours before needing a charge. The HP 7 Plus runs Android 4.2.2 — not the most recent version of Google’s(s goog) mobile software — on a 1 GHz quad-core chip, has 8 GB of internal storage and 1 GB of memory. You’ll get Wi-Fi but no Bluetooth, an accelerometer but no GPS.

In other words, HP’s new tablet is competing with the third-tier and no-name budget brands. The company has never really produced a high-end Android tablet, mainly because that market is owned by Samsung, Google and others — even Amazon(s amzn), to a point, with its Kindle Fire products. So instead, HP seems to be aiming at the lower end market in hopes that its brand carries some additional value over no-name brands.

Can it succeed? I’m dubious. At certain price bands, the product brand matters less than actual hardware: People want the most bang for buck in this range. Even at $99, HP may find more competition for its HP 7 Plus in the budget market than elsewhere.



3 Responses to “Budget buster: HP’s new Android slate is $99”

  1. tkboxer

    This like the Walmart HP7 last year are good tablets for kids.
    He saved his money and bought it himself. To him, its the best tablet in the world.
    Its all in your perspective. Sort of like for some a $250 Chromebook can be just as good as a $1000 laptop.