HP Sneaks Out Eight-Inch Android Tablet


HP takes on the iPad Mini with the HP 8 1401, which appeared on its site with little fanfare

HP has quietly announced the HP 8 1401, a new tablet featuring a 7.85-inch diagonal IPS display on top of a plain white metallic body that is not too dissimilar to the iPad Mini.

It will run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on a quad-core ARM chip from Chinese company Allwinner and is powered by 1GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. The device also features stereo speakers for media capability on the move, and comes with a 3,800mAh battery that promises up to seven hours of use.

HP is offering free delivery with the $169.99 device, at least within the US, which comes with 25GB of online storage from Box.

hp tablet sideCompetitive

The release of the HP 8 1401 comes two months after the company announced it would be introducing two new phablet devices to the Indian market, the HP Slate6 and Slate7 VoiceTabs.

The unveiling of these two devices came amidst growing speculation that HP was considering a return to the smartphone market, which it exited in 2011 when it ditched plans for smartphones based on the webOS operating system used on the ill-fated TouchPad tablet.

HP CEO Meg Whitman said in an interview with Fox Business News in September 2012 that the release of the Indian phablets was particularly important because in many emerging markets, smartphones were the first computing devices many people would use.

“There will be countries around the world where people many never own a tablet or a PC or a desktop,” she said. “They’ll do everything on a smartphone. We’re a computing company. We have to take advantage of that form factor.”

The tablet is the latest in a series of moves by HP as it continues to move forward under Whitman. Despite recently announcing that two key executives were to leave the company as part of a management shake-up, HP has recorded healthy financial returns, revealing last month that net income in its most recent quarter was up 16 percent, far outperforming analyst expectations, with revenues of $28.2 billion (£16.9bn).

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