HP has taken the plunge in the rapidly evolving phablet segment with two new Android devices – Slate 6 and Slate 7. Both the devices will offer calling facility which means these can be used as a regular smartphone though HP has chosen to designate both the devices as Voice Tablets. This no doubt keeps things simple, instead of calling the 6 incher a phablet and its bigger cousin a tablet. What makes the latest launch all the more significant is the fact that this marks the return of the company to the smartphone segment which it had deserted back in 2011. That was an unceremonious exit though whether the new Slate range will mark a glorious re-entry remains to be seen.
Coming to its specs, HP has been a bit choosy when revealing all the details. For instance, while its known both the Slate 6 and 7 devices will sport quad core processors, it has held back on the clock speed or the make of the chipset used. No word on how much of RAM that the Voice Tablets will feature though there will be 16 GB of storage on-board, which can be complemented further with a micro SD card. Both the devices run Android 4.2 (strangely not the latest Android KitKat) and will come with 5 megapixel camera along the rear. As for the display, the Slate 6 comes with a 720p resolution while the bigger Slate 7 will offer 1280 X 800 pixel display.
HP has been having a tough time in making the transition to a maker of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Most of its past efforts in the tablet and smartphone segment had bombed though things do look different with the latest Slate incarnations. The new Voice Tablets look sleek and stylish what with their slim profile, and does look to be built for the course. However, pricing which is yet to be revealed will no doubt be the most crucial aspect that will determine the prospect of the device after it proves to be viable enough in the real world scenario. Both the Slate 6 and Slate 7 devices is slated to go on sale in India towards end January.
HP didn’t explain why it chose to launch the new Slate 6 and 7 version in India before anywhere else though the smartphone market in the country being among the fastest growing in the world could be one good reason. Samsung smartphone have a significant presence here but so has HP in the PC segment and commands a considerable brand loyalty. Maybe these could provide it with the headstart it needs to start a whole new innings in the tablet space.