What We Thought of the HP Slate 7.
During our road trip through France recently, we were fortunate enough to be reviewing the HP Slate 7. Well – I say ‘we’ in the loosest possible terms. What I mean is, I saw it briefly before it was whisked out of my hands, only to be returned once we were back in the UK.
But actually – rather than resenting taking a screen with us as I thought I would, I was glad to have it along.
Here is the Slate 7 – a 7-inch tablet in the same market as the Kindle Fire and the Nexus. Need-to-know specs include:
- Android™ 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
- 169 pixels per inch
- ARM Cortex A9 processor
- Android Apps available on Google Play
It looks… great! We had the red version (it comes in silver too), and it feels really sturdy and well made – NOT like a cheap budget option at all. As you’d expect with this end of the market, the black border around the screen is wide, and the screen itself isn’t the greatest (that’s where the budget bit comes in) – but that’s not to say it’s rubbish. Not at all. The brightness is good, and it was perfectly adequate for all our family holiday needs. We browsed, we played, we emailed and tweeted and facebooked. ‘We‘ *cough* loaded more apps than I knew existed, and I didn’t hear any cries of lagging or freezing or poor performance – not once, even from the gamer pre-teens.
Being a 7″, it’s a handy size to be portable, slipping easily into bags and backpacks, and making holding it in hand light and easy even for smaller 6yr old hands.
The dual cameras are a bonus – neither is good enough to replace your holiday camera, but they’re certainly adequate for basic skyping/social media sharing. And the internal ‘Beats Audio’ meant that the tablet was fought over for music-listening, the quality is amazing for an entry level tablet.
The 8GB internal memory isn’t huge – but the inclusion of a microSD slot is a massive bonus, and makes the internal storage capacity a little irrelevant.
We did notice that booting up is quite slow – we tended to turn it on then wander off to make a drink and come back rather than watch the pretty whirls in impatient frustration. But once it’s up and running, it’s glitch free and really everything you need.
Obviously if you compare it to top-end higher budget tablets there will be marked differences in slickness of performance and screen clarity; but at this entry-level, if you’re looking for something you’re happy leaving with the children to play with, I don’t think you could get much better.
The best price we could find currently for the HP Slate 7″ was actually direct from HP for £99. Bargainous.