HP hasn’t had much luck with its last tablet outing, the HP TouchPad, which was unceremoniously killed off not long after it limped its way to the market. Fast forward to the present, the leading PC manufacturer has provided one of the earliest surprises at Mobile World Congress 2013 with the HP Slate 7, the company’s first Android tablet.

Instead of going for the premium segment, HP is looking to steal some of Nexus 7’s thunder with the Slate 7, as it’s been priced lower than Google’s popular 7-inch tablet. It’s a tad early to tell whether consumers will lap HP’s budget slate up, but what’s clear is that it won’t be the last we hear from the company in 2013.

Talking to The Verge, HP’s Alberto Torres, who is leading the PC maker’s new Mobility business unit, said that the company isn’t quite satisfied being the “number one PC manufacturer in the world”, but it also wants to become the world’s “number one computer vendor”. Jumping back into the tablet space is one of the consequences.

While the $169 HP Slate 7 is intended for “consumers who really wants an entertainment solution” at a rock-bottom price, future HP tablets will cover more market segments, such as one that offers the best of both “work and play” worlds. HP isn’t willing to share more details of its new crop of tablets yet. But expect to see them come this year in both Android and Windows flavors, and priced somewhere between the Slate 7 and the $699 ElitePad 900.

Are you looking forward to the Slate 7 and HP’s future tablet offerings? Do you think the company will find more success in the market this time around?