HP Slate 7 vs. Kindle Fire HD

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HP returns to the tablet scene with the Slate 7, an Android powered seven-inch slate sold at a favorable price. The last bit tells you that this device will be competing with the likes of the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD. But can this tablet make noise in a market that is already dominated by these two and the iPad Mini? Know which comes out on top in this Slate 7 vs. Kindle Fire HD comparison.


 

Design

The Kindle Fire HD showed that cost cutting should not be made in the looks department. Fortunately, HP believed the same. The Slate 7 doesn’t look cheap. The sides are made out of stainless steel and the back has the same matte finish as the Nexus 7 for that extra grip. Its red color (it also comes in silver) makes it unique among its peers.

hp-slate-7-vs-kindle-fire-hd

The Slate 7 is taller and narrower than the Kindle Fire HD. It’s almost as thin but it’s a hair lighter. On the bottom rests the Beats Audio speakers and the microUSB port and on top resides the headphone jack, power button and microSD slot. The chrome volume rockers are on the right side. The Slate 7, for now, only comes at 8 GB so the microSD slot is a welcome addition. The Kindle Fire HD has a 16 GB minimum but without storage expansion options except over the Cloud.
 

Display

While most tablets now use IPS technology for their displays, HP chose FFS for the Slate 7. This gives the screen great viewing angles as well as visibility even under bright lights. But the Slate 7′s screen resolution is far from the Kindle Fire HD, 600 x 1024 vs. 800 x 1280 pixels. Colors also look duller on the Slate compared to the Kindle Fire.
 

Performance and Battery Life

HP chose not to disclose what CPU is running inside the Slate 7 but we know that it’s dual-core cortex A9 with a speed of 1.6 GHz. Screen transitions and app loading speeds are almost the same as the dual-core Kindle Fire HD but lags and hiccups are rarer. The Jelly Bean running on the Slate 7 has something to do with that.

Battery life is one of the weaknesses of the Slate 7. When playing videos, the tablet would die after five hours only while the Kindle Fire HD could last to up to ten hours.
 

Software

As mentioned, the Slate 7 runs Jelly Bean which helps improve the performance of the tablet. The boost is provided by what Google calls Project Butter and you can hop on to our Jelly Bean vs. Ice Cream Sandwich comparison to learn more. HP decided not to use their own skin so you can enjoy stock Android on this device.
 

Price

The HP Slate 7 will be available in April 2013 for $169. 

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Summary of Specs

Specs HP Slate 7 Amazon Kindle Fire HD
OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Modified Android 4.0
CPU Dual-core 1.6 GHz Cortex A9 Dual-core 1.2 GHz TI OMAP 4460
Display 7" 600 x 1024 px FFS+LCD 7" 800 x 1280 px IPS LCD
Dimensions 7.76 x 4.57 x 0.42 in 7.60 x 5.39 x 0.41 in
Weight 13.12 oz. 13.93 oz.
Camera 3.15 MP rear/0.3 MP front 1.3 MP rear
Connectivity Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Dual-band Wi-Fi/Bluetooth

 

Conclusion

The strongest part of the HP Slate 7 is its design while its weakest has to be its battery life. Everything else is average, including the display and CPU. But at a price that is $30 cheaper than the Kindle Fire HD, is it a better buy? I’ll say yes because of the following point: you have full access to Android goodies as it is running stock Jelly Bean. Amazon offers tons of books and videos but the lack of apps and games is a killer. How about the Slate 7 against the Nexus 7?

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