Hewlett-Packard (HP) is making a tablet comeback, and it seems that it's learned a few lessons from the failure of the TouchPad. Not only is the new HP Slate 7 powered by Android, it costs a mere US$169. It's the first in a planned line of tablets using different operating systems, with plans for HP smartphones too.
Taking on the iPad with the TouchPad didn't work back in 2011, so HP now has the smaller, cheaper Google Nexus 7 in its sights instead. The TouchPad used HP's own software, but the Slate 7 switches to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with minimal of tweaks. More Android tablets will follow, with HP hinting that Windows tablets could be on the cards, too.
HP already makes the ElitePad tablet for business use, so a consumer tablet powered by Windows 8 isn't too much of a leap. Previous HP Slates have been powered by Windows as well.
The company is keeping mum on details of the promised smartphones, but it's a safe bet that they'll be Android-powered too.
The new Slate 7 sports a stainless steel frame and "soft touch" back, with a 3-megapixel camera and second camera for video calling. It's powered by a dual-core ARM A9 processor. HP has added some of its own features and apps, including the ePrint app to print from your tablet over Wi-Fi and Beats audio software to boost your music.
The Slate 7 will be released in the US in April, landing in Europe and the rest of the world soon after. Prices for the rest of the world have yet to be confirmed. It's being currently unveiled at the phone trade show Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, so look out for our first take, as well as hands-on photos and video.