Android this week: $99 HP 7 Plus Slate; LG G3 leaks; Dell Venue 8 refresh inbound

If you’re looking for a low-cost way to get the Android(s goog) tablet experience, HP(s hpq) has just the thing for you. This week, the company debuted the HP 7 Plus slate for $99. Don’t let the “Plus” name fool you though: This is a budget tablet with some specifications that harken back to 2010.

HP 7 Plus

Take the 7-inch display, for example. It has a meager 1024 x 600 resolution so HD movies won’t even play back in high-definition. There’s just 8 GB of internal storage as well, although there is a microSD card slot for up to another 32 GB. Tablets tend to be better content consumption devices than phones and that content can quickly eat up a ton of space. The device doesn’t have Bluetooth but does have Wi-Fi for connectivity and uses a quad-core 1 GHz processor from a AllWinner; a chip-maker I’d never heard of prior to this product launch.

Does that mean the HP 7 Plus slate isn’t worth a look? No, but seasoned tablet users will very likely pass. This Android device — which runs the older 4.2.2 software — is a play for the bottom of the market. HP hopes that its brand name alone will carry the 7 Pro against the likes of cheap tablets from Hisense, Coby, Polaroid and others. I’m doubtful though that the HP 7 Plus will make a big splash, even in that market. Brand alone isn’t a buying factor at $99 or less; it’s about what you get for the money and frankly, you don’t get much here.

On the other hand, I expect you’ll get quite a bit if you’ve waited for the LG G3 smartphone, the company’s response to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8. That handset is expected to launch next week at press events around the world but unless LG has held back some big surprise, nearly everything about the phone has been revealed.


This week, the company shared some official teaser videos of the G3 and confirmed the super high resolution display is 2560 x 1440. All of those pixels are packed into an expected 5.5-inch screen which should amount to a very crisp viewing experience for any activities. The videos suggest that the G3 will also be the first phone to use an laser autofocus system. That should decrease the time it takes for the camera to focus on objects, reducing the chances of snapping a blurry shot. Also helping will be optical image stabilization to further reduce blurriness due to camera shake.

Dell isn’t a name you typically equate with Android these days, but the company still has a product or two worth the look: The Dell Venue 8, for example is a $180 tablet with solid specs. It looks like those are going to get even better as Liliputing found benchmarks suggesting a revamp of the tablet with a new Intel(s intc) processor inside. Look for the updated tablet to have a 2.13 GHz Ghz processor paired with 1 GB of memory and running the latest version of Android if the benchmarks — which show a solid performance boost —  are to be believed.

Dell Venue 8 Android