HP launches $170, 8-inch Android tablet, but forgets to give it a proper name

Hewlett Packard announced a set of new tablets at Mobile World Congress, both of which ran Windows 8.1 and were more suited to doing work than having fun. That’s not the case with the company’s latest tablet, which it clearly forgot to bring along to MWC. Giving it a proper name has also slipped HP’s mind, as it’s the drearily titled HP 8 1401 Tablet. Yawn.

With little fanfare, the slate popped up inside HP’s own webstore this week, and stands out thanks to a very reasonable price, just $170. However, before wallets everywhere start flying open and spilling cash in HP’s direction, it’s worth taking a look at why it’s priced so competitively.

HP 8 1401 TabletThe good news is the screen measures 7.85-inches, getting close to that 8-inch sweet spot for small tablets. However, the resolution can’t match the iPad Mini Retina, or the LG G Pad 8.3. It struggles to match many 7-inch Kindle Fire tablets too, as it’s a lowly 1024 x 768 pixels.

It’s mostly downhill from here. The operating system is Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which is several versions behind the latest, while there’s a 2-megapixel camera on the rear, and a VGA lens above the screen. Things pick up slightly when we get to its power. The tablet is notable for using an Allwinner A31 quad-core processor. Allwinner chips are popular options in China, but have yet to make an impact in America or the UK. Perhaps this will be the first of many tablets using the newcomer’s processors.

The spec continues to improve slightly with the presence of a MicroSD card slot to boost the 16GB of internal memory, plus a set of stereo speakers. HP knows how to put a tablet together, so the 7.95mm thick chassis should feel sturdy in the hands. The HP 8 1401 is in stock at HP, so should ship soon after ordering.

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