It seems that mini-tablets are the product that tech manufacturers have decided they need to sell in 2013. While Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Apple’s iPad Mini dominate the category, the new flood of 7-inch to 8-inch tablets announced at this week’s Mobile World Congress will soon be lost to time as newer versions of popular tablets are announced.
The latest mini-tablet entry from the conference is the Slate 7 from HP. Instead of putting impressive components into their tablet, HP has cobbled together a low-cost entry that compares to Amazon’s original Kindle Fire, which was released in the fall of 2011.
The Slate 7 has a 1.6GHz dual core processor, a 7-inch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution, and only five hours of video playback before needing to be recharged. The tablet comes with 8GB of internal storage and has a microSD card slot. The back camera is 3MP and the front one is VGA. It will come running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The Slate 7 will come in one of two colors, silver or red, and will cost $169. Considering the older components in the tablet, $169 isn’t a terrible price, but it does raise the question of why HP didn’t go ahead and price the Slate 7 at $159, which is the price the original Kindle Fire, with similar specs, now sells for. If Amazon announces a Kindle Fire refresh soon and manages to drop the price of the Kindle Fire HD, the Slate 7 will look like a very poor offering in comparison.