Even though Apple is one of the most popular tablet companies, its devices are rarely made for budget-minded consumers, which is part of the reason why Android tablets have become so popular. Hewlett-Packard missed its November deadline for the release of its new line of tablets, but luckily, HP was able to meet impressive price points with its new devices.
Three of the tablets fall in the 7-8 inch range, which allows them to cost far less than some of the larger Android tablets but at the high end, they are still somewhat expensive, even though there are multiple cheap devices. The Slate7 Plus and Extreme cost $150 and $200 respectively, whereas the Slate8 Pro costs $330, which is more in line with the majority of the Western tablet market.
Lots of Nvidia
Out of the four new tablets, HP's Slate10 HD is the only device to launch without a Nvidia processor, while all of the others have Tegra 3 or Tegra 4 cores. The Slate7 Extreme and Slate8 Pro both feature an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, which is the company's newest and fastest Tegra processor on the market for these devices.
Despite being HP's largest tablet, the Slate10 HD features a 1.2-GHz Marvell SoC PXA986 dual-core chip. By including a slower, dual-core chip instead of the more expensive Tegra chips, the Slate10 is able to come in at a lower price point, as it is even cheaper than the Slate8 at just $300.
HP is likely unhappy with its inability to launch the tablets prior to the end of November, especially since the devices launched on Cyber Monday and the company did not even send out a press release regarding the launch. By launching on Cyber Monday, the Slate tablets (even with their budget price points) did not receive much attention from consumers.
HP's latest tablets are only available within the U.S., but they are part of a budget market that has been continuously growing, especially overseas. Budget tablets and smartphones are outpacing high-end devices in numerous Asian countries, and since some of those nations have billions of citizens, there is a lot of money to be made off cheaper devices.
In the U.S. and Europe, cheap tablets such as the Slate7 Pro are still performing quite well and some of the less expensive devices such as the Nexus 7 are selling at an incredibly fast rate. However, high-end devices such as the iPad Air and iPhone 5S sell particularly well in the U.S. but have not done as well in other nations.
If HP is able to reach these foreign markets, the new lineup of Slate tablets may end up reaching far more consumers than if they are only made available in the U.S. That being said, the budget market is also one of the most crowded ones, in which the vast majority of consumer electronics companies seem to have at least one player.