HP declares tablet price war, intros $99 Android tablet

At only $99 the HP 7 Plus Android-powered tablet could be the beginning of a new price war. As tablet sales slow, this could this be the new trend?


While we’ve seen cheap tablets before, we have yet to see them offered by top tier tech companies. With a new, ridiculously cheap $99 Android-powered tablet, HP could be changing the low-end tablet landscape as we know it. Interestingly, as HP goes low, others such as Microsoft–with the Surface 3 Pro making its debut this week–are going high (starting at $799), and large (featuring a 12-inch screen).

Dubbed the HP 7 Plus, the budget pleasing tablet is, as expected, slightly modest when it comes to specs and performance.

In the ARM Cortex, you do get quad-core for the price, albeit running at just 1GHz. Still, not bad. Don’t expect the latest and greatest version of Android – the 7 Plus ships with Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean). That means no advanced Google Now features, though who knows what the aftermarket ROM community will drum up. Other specs of note: 8GB Ram, 2800 mAh battery, microSD (always a plus in my books), .3MP front camera and 2MP on the rear (below average no question).

The display is 1024 x 600 – more akin to the tablet resolutions you’d find in 2011. But, again, did we mention the price?

Weight clocks in at .65 pounds; that compares favorably to the Apple iPad Mini at .73 pounds, though the latter features a slightly larger display (and far more impressive specs… with a price tag 4x larger).


Overall, for $99 this is a pretty good deal.

The HP 7 Plus would make a great throw around tablet for children. Or, maybe, an fun purchase for an Apple-ite not sure if they’re quite ready to make the Android leap. For others it could be just a fun testing and/or hacking device. Those with a need for speed, and a willingness to drop another C-note, will want to look at the 7-inch Android class leader, the Nexus 7 (made by Asus).

Maybe HP hasn’t literally declared a price war, but by quietly sneaking in this tablet into its broadening Android range, it certainly could be the first step in a series of moves by various tablet makers in the coming months to revive slowing tablet sales. As a rabid tech consumer, I have no complaints about that potential trend.

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