HP on Tuesday announced its first new Android phablets, including the HP Slate 6 Voice Tab and HP Slate 7 Voice Tab, which will launch in India at some point in February – pricing details for the handsets aren’t available yet, although it is believed they’ll be very affordable. The announcement wasn’t exactly a surprise considering that HP CEO Meg Whitman did confirm a few months ago that the company will be back in the smartphone business. Furthermore, HP has been rumored for a few weeks to launch affordable smartphones for emerging markets.
“We see a need in India that we can meet,” HP vice president for the consumer PC business Ron Coughlin told Re/code. “Consumers are looking for a way to consolidate devices. We think there’s an opportunity to enter a growing market where there’s an unmet need.”
The exec further explained that HP’s leading position in the Indian PC market, the test reception from local customers and the fact that carriers don’t control the mobile market like in the U.S. make India a perfect country to test out its mobile devices. It’s not clear yet whether the new phablets will hit other countries in the following months, but Coughlin said that “you can expect us to do more in the coming months,” when it comes to HP smartphones.
HP’s press release doesn’t reveal specs for these new budget devices, but re/code has learned more details about them. Both the Slate 6 Voice Tab and the Slate 7 Voice Tab will offer 1280 x 720 IPS displays, at 6-inch and 7-inch, respectively, an unspecified quad-core processor, 16GB of storage, microSD support for up to 32GB memory, 5-megapixel camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, front-facing stereo speakers and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean under the hood. Both phablets are supposedly “thin,” measuring 9mm and 9.5mm, respectively. HP already sells a variety of Android-based tablets in several markets, many of them affordable 7-inch devices part of the Slate family that don’t have cellular voice support.
The full press release follows below.
HP Launches Voice Tablets for Consumers in India
HP’s next generation of mobile devices help users multitask on the go
PALO ALTO, Calif. — HP today unveiled two new mobile devices, the 6-inch diagonal HP Slate6 VoiceTab and the 7-inch diagonal HP Slate7 VoiceTab, designed to help the next generation of mobile customers multitask on the go.
With the introduction of the Slate6 VoiceTab and Slate7 VoiceTab, HP is delivering on its promise to expand to additional mobile categories and form factors and offer differentiated value to our customers.
“Consumers are looking to consolidate their phones and tablets, which is propelling the voice tablet market,” said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president, Consumer Personal Systems Group, HP. “This is an exciting new category that represents a meaningful growth opportunity for HP. Our HP Slate VoiceTab provides consumers with a high-quality product at a great value.”
The new compact, full-featured tablets are powered by a quad-core processor, enabling users to multitask at everything from email and web surfing to gaming and streaming.(1) Also featuring voice-calling capability,(2) the new devices deliver quality, reliability and performance to help users take care of business.
Built on Android™ operating system, and featuring the powerful Quad Core processor, the HP Slate6 and HP Slate7 are engineered for the way people multitask, while offering access to entertainment. Both devices come equipped with a 3G(3) Dual SIM Dual Standby(2) feature, providing voice connectivity and performance that allows people to work and play on the go.
The HP Slate6 and HP Slate7 also offer front-firing stereo speakers for top-quality sound that delivers an immersive experience that spans social media and gaming to streaming movies, music and more. Plus, the innovative new IPS Panel delivers a better viewing angle, while offering vibrant colors and a responsive touch.
Both devices come equipped with an HD(4) front and rear camera for photos and video chats.
The stylish, compact design is slim enough to fit nicely in the pocket and features a premium pixilated, scratch-resistant back cover design.
The HP Slate6 VoiceTab and HP Slate7 VoiceTab are expected to be available in India in February.
Additional information about the new HP portfolio is available at http://www.hp.com.
(1) Wireless access point and internet service required and not included. Availability of public wireless access points limited.
(2) Voice capabilities require a separately purchased service contract. Check with service provider for coverage and availability in a specific area.
(3) Wireless Broadband use requires separately purchased service contract. Check with service provider for coverage and availability in a specific area. Connection speeds will vary due to carrier networks, location, environment, network conditions and other factors.
(4) High-definition content is required for high-definition images.
(5) Not all models available in all regions.