HP recently made four new tablets available for sale on its website. These Android-powered slates, first announced in September, include two low-end models and two mid-range models. For those seeking alternatives to today's Galaxy and Nexus tablets, these might be worth consideration.
All four tablets run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and include WiFi, Bluetooth, 25 GB of free Box cloud storage, and a standard set of headphone and micro-USB ports.
The HP Slate7 Plus starts at the low end of this range of tablets. It offers a 7-inch 1280 x 800 display and is powered by a 1.3-GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of onboard storage. It comes with a 5-megapixel main camera and a VGA camera facing the user for video chats. It packs a 4,000-mAh battery, but offers only 6.5 hours of battery life. The Tegra 3 processor is a fairly old chipset, which is probably why the Slate7 Plus has such poor battery life and costs only $150.
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The HP Slate7 Extreme is next in the lineup and makes several upgrades over the Plus. It has the same display, cameras, and RAM, but the processor is stepped up to a 1.8-GHz, quad-core Tegra 4. It also improves storage to 16 GB and the power supply to 4,100-mAh, which provides for more than 10 hours of battery life. The Tegra 4 processor, which has a 4+1 chip configuration, really helps improve the Extreme's battery life when compared to the Plus. The HP Slate7 Extreme costs $200.
The HP Slate8 Pro is the best spec'd of the four tablets, but also carries the highest price tag. The Slate8's 8-inch display includes 1600 x 1200 pixels and it is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The Slate8 has the Slate7 Extreme's 1.8-GHz, quad-core Tegra 4 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage, but improves the camera to 8 megapixels (with LED flash and HD video capture) and the battery to 5,680 mAh. It offers a whopping 11.5 hours of battery life. The Slate8 also includes Beats Audio and stereo speakers. It costs $330.
Last, the HP Slate10 HD is the largest of the four tablets, but not necessarily the best. The 10-inch screen includes 1280 x 800 pixels, which means its resolution is significantly less than that of the Slate8. It is powered by a 1.2-GHz dual-core Marvell PXA968 processor with 1 GB RAM and 16 GB of storage. The Slate10 includes a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera. It has a massive 7,000-mAh battery that provides 10 hours of life. The Slate10 HD costs $299.
The Slate8 may have a smaller screen and cost more than the Slate10, but it is clearly the best of these tablets from HP. All four can be purchased directly from HP through its website. The Slate8 is going head-to-head with the Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung, Amazon's new Kindle Fire HDX, and of course the Apple iPad Mini. That's a tough crowd, but the Slate8 has the specs to put up a fight.
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