$99 Gets You an HP Android Tablet

There's a new addition to the low end of tablet choices. Hewlett-Packard is out with a 7-inch tablet featuring a price tag just under $100.

The Android-based HP 7 Plus, priced at $99.99, offers a 1-GHz quad-core processor, 7-inch diagonal IPS display with 1024x600 resolution, battery life of 5.5 hours, a gigabyte of memory and 8 GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, 2 megapixel rear camera, 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera, microUSB 2.0 and 25 GB lifetime cloud storage from Box.

It is available directly from HP, runs version 4.2.2 Jelly Bean of the open-source Android, and has Wi-Fi as well as an accelerometer. It also includes Kingsoft Office software and access to Google's Android marketplace, the Google Play Store.

'Started Cheap'

In short, it's the kind of specs you might expect for the bargain basement price, but, if the owner simply wants to surf the Web, check calendars, and use some undemanding apps, it might hit the sweet spot in the market.

HP has not been distinguishing itself in the tablet market, and this model certainly fits that bill, but its pricing does make it stand out. The company also offers a quad-core Slate 7 for $150, so it's actively competing against itself on pricing.

Avi Greengart, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, pointed out that, in tablets, "HP started cheap [with their $150 model] and is staying cheap."

He noted that there are several other big brands with very cheap Android tablets, like HiSense and e-Fun, although those names are not as well known to U.S. buyers as HP. "Instead of going with a brand you haven't heard of," Greengart told us, buyers might opt for a low-end model that "runs Android, and might find [this model] fairly versatile."

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