The new $99.99 HP 7 Plus, released this week in the U.S., may be the most inexpensive quad-core tablet on the market. Not designed to blow away the competition with performance, the tablet still has surprising features for its price.
The HP 7 Plus runs on a 1GHz A31 quad-core processor and comes with 8 GB of storage. The tablet’s 7-inch IPS display has a resolution of 1,024 x 600 and runs on the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system.
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HP is offering customers 25 GB of free lifetime cloud storage, courtesy of Box. The tablet also comes with Skype, Kingsoft Office, HP ePrint, HP File Manager and HP Connected Photo by Snapfish.
The HP 7 Plus, however, does not have Bluetooth technology. It also has a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera and peaks at 5.5 hours of battery life. In addition, the operating system is not the most recent version of Android.
David Felton, owner of Canaan Technology, an HP partner based in Norwalk, Conn., said he was surprised at the release of the HP 7 Plus.
“They are such a big company,” he said. “Why would they come out with a tablet at this cost? It’s retailing for only $99. How much could HP possibly be making on this?”
As to whether the new tablet would shake up the market, Felton said it depends on how well it performs.
“If the reviews are good on the $99 tablet then, yes, it’s a game-changer,” said Felton. “If it performs well, there is no doubt other vendors will have to drop their prices. This could be an attempt to get back in the market with a low cost. [HP's] Slates haven’t been selling well at $250 to $300, but I don’t see how a $99 tablet can possibly perform well.”
HP, Palo Alto, Calif., did not reply to a request for comment.
PUBLISHED MAY 23, 2014