New HP Slate 7 spotlights company’s lack of vision

“Let’s take a brief journey through history. In early 2011, HP tried to gain a foothold in the nascent tablet market with the TouchPad, using the WebOS acquired from Palm,” Gene Steinberg writes for TechNightOwl. “In those days, there wasn’t much competition beyond the iPad, so some industry pundits expected HP to make a big splash.”

“Only it didn’t happen, and, within weeks, HP decided to cut their losses, and dump the remaining stock for $99 each,” Steinberg writes. “Now HP is trying yet again to become a contender in the tablet market with the forthcoming Slate 7 tablet, which uses the Android OS. At $169, it may even be competitive with existing low-end gear, particularly the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire series. But it’s also clear that HP doesn’t really have anything special to bring to the table.”

Steinberg writes, “Aside from the usual meaningless specs using generic hardware, in this case an ARM Dual-Core Cortex-A9 1.6 GHz processor, HP boasts the use of Beats Audio to enhance the sound from the small tablet. As with existing Android competition, the Slate 7 has a widescreen display, which doesn’t deliver a credible amount of screen real estate when viewed horizontally. But you have to wonder why HP is even bothering, since there doesn’t appear to be much, if anything, that’s new and different with the HP tablet.”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. It’s going to sell well. Whether it will be profitable or whether they cannibalize the industry in the same way they did the PC market is another story. At this pace, I say they have perfected the art of self exploitation and cannibalization.

    1. Seamus,

      Indeed. Innovation is the result of identifying a need and providing a feasible solution. Competition PUSH innovation, by making companies push the solution forward.

      Two products which are the same can compete only in one arena: Price. Between two apples (the fruit, not the brand), you’ll buy the cheapest one.

      Regarding technology, an iPad and an Android tablet are -in my opinion- not in the same league. One of the biggest strenghts the iPad has is the ecosystem. The iTunes market beats the Google Play market by far. I don’t see much where Apple needs to improve to beat Android. It’s cheap and less powerful vs. elegant and powerful. It’s like a cheap chinese car vs. a nice german car.

      Same with computers.

      I’ve claimed before I’d like to see competition to iOS. I don’t see Android as competition, because it’s an inferior product. It’s an industrial design desaster. But I’d love to see a product as ellaborated, usable and solid as iOS, pushing the boundaries of innovation. It can be done, but it will be not easy.

  2. Why do they bother?

    Because companies run by Men in Suits™ (and Meg is one) are so drunk on power and hubris they think they can dominate a market merely by deciding to enter it.

    From the Press Release: “HP is the number one PC manufacturer in the world, and we want to be the number one computer vendor in the world. That means we need to be in the tablet space.”

    Doesn’t mean the tablet space needs you.

    1. Typical manager speek. “Bla bla bla means we need to be in the tablet space” as opposed to we have a great vision as to how to make a great product.

      As a consumer, which would you like to buy?

  3. It’s amazing how far HP has fallen. I remember using the HP iPAQ PDA and HP smartphone running Windows Mobile 6. What a piece of crap that was.

    HP’s hardware was terrible and the Windows software was even worse. Nothing like the solidity and reliability of Apple hardware, not to mention the superior iOS software.

    I foresee this as being another Android tablet in a sea of Android tablets, a mediocrity in a sea of nonentities. Another failed tablet project by HP.

    1. HP iPaq, that was 12 years ago, 2001. Lets not get too cocky, I hope that iPad and iPhone are remembered as crap 12 years from now because they were replaced by newer better more awesome Apple products, not because they went the way of HP.

      1. Those products were crap! By design! Microsoft pushed out an OS and applications (think Office Mobile) that were deliberately handicapped to the point of being unusable junk. Third party products like QuickOffice or Documents to Go put Microsoft’s offerings to shame in every respect. And as far as the hardware, it was hard to say where the hardware and the software intersection created a “fail”. Was it Windows Mobile OS or the hardware that created a slow, clunky user experience? Probably some of both. What was ironic was I had a four year old Handspring that would run rings around any iPaq on the market at the time, in almost any application type.

  4. It does not run Windows 8. *Interesting* considering HP PC’s have always run Windows.
    They are desperate not to deal with that devil again. Desperate enough that they bought WebOS. Now their back with the herd, but still no MS in sight. Interesting.

      1. I agree with Dresden Sparrow. If there is another tablet operating system out there, the two will compete and both will get better. Originally I was hoping that Droid would push iOS to get better, but that isn’t happening. It terrifies me that we may now have to depend on M$ to push the iOS to be better.

      1. Because true, real competition moves things forward at a faster pace.

        Yes, Android tablets really are no competition for the iPad and iPad mini.
        Yes, this HP offering is no real competition.
        Yes, Apple will move the technology forward.

        However, Apple would move forward more quickly IF it had any real competition.

        How about real, true screen independent resolution?
        How about hyper dense displays where you could use pixel offset to do 3D representations that don’t need glasses?
        How about a Thunderbolt connection so you could drive a high density display from you tablet? Or better yet, do a minimum of a wireless HDMI connection to run a large majority of monitors out there?

  5. It’s hard to see a sweet spot in the pricing range that they can sit within. They are not competing with iPads on quality and they’re not competing on price with Android tablets which get sold for near cost price.

    The tablet market as is it at the moment is a trap for unwary participants. HP have already had their fingers burned and now they are setting themselves up for a second burning.

  6. hp launching the slate has nothing to do with selling except to investors.

    they sold WebOS. To cover that startling failure (buying, misusing and then selling after all the initial expectations and hype) they HAD to launch a tablet to say to investors: “we are doing FINE in mobile”.

    if they sold WebOS with NO mobile offering the new CEO will be gone like the LAST TWO.

    selling at the crazy low price means they won’t make much or anything (they don’t even have the eco system that Amazon has to profit from Kindle) BUT the big bucks they got from selling off Web OS will (hopefully) hide the low Slate profits from Wallstreet ‘analysts’ (you know the cluessless dudes who think Apple is ‘failing’)

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