CNET First Look
Does the HP Slate 7 undercut the Nexus 7 enough to justify your interest?The HP Slate 7 costs less than the Nexus 7, but with a lack of features and a low-resolution screen, does it undercut Google's tablet enough to justify a purchase?
The HP Slate 7 is the company's first attempt to enter the small android tablet market. The Slate 7 has very Nexus 7-like physical dimensions. However, it features this kind of soft rubbery back and it feels a bit denser than the Nexus 7. There's a micro USB port, dual speakers, a headphone jack, a microSD port and low-quality front and back cameras. Software-wise, you're getting a fairly pure Android 4.1.1 experience. However, I definitely missed a few of the interface tweaks added to Android 4.2.2. There's also HP e-print, which allows you to print from the tablet to either a locally connected printer or one from the same network. Beats audio enhances the bass and diminishes the tininess of music. However, this is really only noticeable on bass heavy music and when you're using earbuds or headphones. The screen's resolution is a low 1024x600. So, most text looks jaggy. However, the HFFS panel provides wide view angles. Navigations feels fast and the screen usually responds quickly. However, large apps definitely take their time to load. Game performance was surprisingly good both 2D and 3D games. But the lack of the gyroscope hurts playability in some games. There's also no built-in GPS hardware, a bummer for those that like to use such things on the tablets. At $170, the Slate 7 doesn't cost much but given what the $200 Nexus 7 offers in comparison, you'd expect a bit more for your money. The Slate 7 has no GPS, bad cameras, slow uploads, only 8 gigabytes of storage, no gyroscope, a slightly but significantly older version of Android and a low resolution screen. So yes, a lower price would have gone a long way towards making the Slate 7 more desirable. Sure, microSD is a useful option if you're planning to stock your tablet with lots of apps or media. Also, the Beats audio feature is good if you listen to lots of bass-heavy music through your earbuds or headphones. However, neither is enough to make you forget that the Nexus 7 with more storage, faster uploads, GPS and latest version of Android is only $30 away. For more information, check out my full review. I'm Eric Franklin, and this has been the first look at the HP Slate 7.