HP Slate 7 price drop: competitive edge or staving off failure?

by: Joe HindyJuly 6, 2013

hp slate 7 The HP Slate 7 was built for a very specific purpose and that was to compete in the cheap Android tablet market. When it first came out, it was worth $169 and, according to our own Josh Vergara, you’re essentially getting what you pay for. Is it anything groundbreaking? Definitely not, but for $169 it’s hard not to call it one of the better options in the Android tablet market. Now, the deal has gotten even sweeter as the tablet drops in price to $140.

Finding the price drop is easy. Pretty much everywhere has already slashed the price to $140 from HP’s official site to Best Buy. That’s a fairly good price for a tablet with a 1.6GHz, dual core processor, 8GB of storage with an SD card option, and, unlike the Nexus 7, has a back facing camera.

Now here’s the question. Why is there a price drop? The HP Slate 7 was released just a few months ago so it’s hard to imagine why they’d already be dropping the price. There are a lot of reasons why an OEM would drop the price on a product. After all, a number of countries celebrated holidays over the last week. Including the United States’ Independence Day and Canada’s Canada Day. Holiday sales are always popular, right?

There’s every chance the product may not have been doing so well. We saw a dramatic price drop with the HTC First right before HTC threw in the towel on it. Similarly, we all remember HP’s last experiment in the tablet market, the HP Touchpad. A tablet that was killed not once, but twice for being unpopular and still managed to be the highest selling non-Apple tablet of 2011.

However, there is a third option. Maybe they’re just trying to be more competitive. HP did not release a tablet that could compete with the front runners. This is no Nexus 7 or even an Amazon Kindle Fire. For $200, there are far better options than the HP Slate 7. So why not undercut the competition by so much that it suddenly makes the tablet worth it? Let’s a take a quick look at the specs.

  • 1.6GHz Dual Core A9 processor
  • Mali-400MP4 GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB storage with SD card slot
  • Android 4.1
  • 3,500 mAh battery
  • Back and front facing cameras

So where does the HP Slate 7 fit into the tablet market now?

Now, admittedly, we can’t see anyone wanting to pay $200 for the HP Slate 7. Even at $170, it’s a little uncertain. However, at $140 this tablet suddenly starts looking like a much better option. When you get down in the cheapest tier of the Android tablet market, you get a lot of OEMs that people don’t really know (iView, Mach Speed, WilTronic). The HP Slate 7 is a little more expensive than all of those, but the difference is that people know HP. They’ve been a trusted electronics brand for a long time.

Many bloggers, like GigaOM’s Kevin Tofel believe that this is HP still trying to compete with the Nexus 7 and openly state they’d rather pay $60 more for a Nexus 7. We can’t disagree with that stance, but there’s another way to look at it. Sure everyone would pay an extra $60 more for a Nexus 7, but would you pay $40 more to upgrade to the HP Slate 7 from the iView-900TPCII? We know we would. So is the HP Slate 7 still in the same tier as the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire? Heavens no, but it’s now the king of the bottom rung and considering people want to spend less on Android tablets, that may still turn out well for HP.

So what do you guys think? Is this HP trying to make a few bucks off of a potentially failing tablet, or a clever marketing scheme to go after the super cheap, often terrible offerings at the bottom rung of the Android tablet market? We’d love to hear your opinion.

  • Brandon James Starcevic

    Clever. I am intrigued now, so clever. Off to Future Shop I go.

  • Raaj

    HP doing something right.. Finally!

  • dave

    Still a very shitty price.
    Who in their right mind would ever buy a hp slate 7 for 140 bucks, when you can get a asus memo pad hd 7, which is better in every single aspect, for 149?

  • Willie D

    How much did HP pay for this illogical rant trying to sell their obsolete device?

    • JosephHindy

      Lol oh HP pays big bucks to have a blogger repeatedly state that their product is worse than their competition. (just kidding) :)

  • Mike Bastable

    Nice piece Joe,seems to be a case of HP dumping a failed product into the Bargain bin, strange that such a huge OEM cannot make a decent product, at a decent price…unless it is subsidized by criminally expensive printer ink.

  • John Thompson

    The product is not selling, inventory is backed up at all major US retailers and HP and the retail community have no clue how to differentiate this from Galaxy or Nexus. It`s a dog product and HP`s aware of it. This is an action to make room for more irrelevant Android tablets coming from HP at holiday that will be overpriced and underperforming.

  • GeneralmotorsGravytrain

    OMG! An Android tablet isn’t worth $100. It’s just instant landfill. How long is HP going to stay in business. And the company wants to sell smartphones, too. As if the low-end Android smartphone business needs yet another smartphone manufacturer to add to the hundreds already out there.

    Please, not one more cheap Android tablet. Who on Earth wants to buy that crud in the U.S. Sell it in China or Brazil or Africa. Once they tried that HP, they’d probably wish they hadn’t spent their hard-earned money on barely usable junk. HP has no shame at all. They really think consumers are idiots. When a person buys a HP desktop, HP should just throw in the tablet as a freebie consolation prize. HP needs to be reported to the Better Business Bureau for trying to pass off junk for new products.

  • Mathew

    Reading this story with Slate 7 and feel bit funny how you try blame this product. I assume I am the first guy in this thread doing it and I can guarantee that for that price it is well worth it.

  • jayhh

    Haha I’m using it right now its pretty awesome for the price it goes good with my beats

  • Shawn Higgs

    its resoulution on videos isnt great but it uses jelly bean 4.1 wich is awsome simple and fun ..if your looking for a portable high definition tv/cpu with all the bells and whistles that you probally would get tired of lifting around all day for 500 bucks this isnt the tablet for you…however if your an average guy whos not a spoiled whiny little bitch who understands you dnt need all of that and needs a tblet thats portable and serves its purpose then you cant go wrong with the slate 7 ..terrific sound..3800ohm battery life 7” screen dual core with sd storage ..what can your tablet do that mine cant besides play hd video?? am i missing something here?