HP Intros Two New ‘Voice Tablets’

The boundary between smartphone and tablet has been crossed again, and this time itEUs by HP. The computer maker, trying to get back into the smartphone/tablet game, announced on Wednesday new 6-inch and a 7-inch EUphablets.EU

The HP Slate 6 VoiceTab and the Slate 7 VoiceTab are being described as EUvoice tablets,EU emphasizing that they are small tablets designed for phone calls. Ron Coughlin, senior vice president of the Consumer Personal Systems Group at HP, said in a statement that EUconsumers are looking to consolidate their phones and tablets, which is propelling the voice tablet market.EU

The Android 4.2.2-based phablets (or tablones, as we propose) feature a quad-core processor, voice-calling, and 3G Dual SIM support. The units also have front-facing speakers, a new IPS Panel display with an enhanced viewing angle, and HD cameras front and back.

Available in India

These models will be available in India in February and, although no launch dates for other markets have been made public, HP is clearly testing the waters for its return to mobile devices. Pricing has not yet been announced.

In the early 2000s, the company was big in Microsoft Pocket PC/Windows Mobile smartphones, and an early HP tablet was used by Microsoft to show the potential for Windows 7 on tablets.

In 2011, HP retreated from consumer devices after being burnt by its $1.2 billion acquisition, and then abandonment, of PalmEUs Web OS platform. About a year later, the company indicated it might be interested in getting back in, when it was ready.

Functional questions for devices in this in-between form factor include whether the screen is large enough to actually get any work done or to satisfactorily watch a video, and, at the same time, if the device is small enough to work as a phone and to fit into a pocket. It...

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