HP coughs up 7-inch Android tablet aimed at cheapskates

Just how much does $100 get you these days?

HP 7 Plus

How low can you go? That seems to be the question on Hewlett-Packard's mind this week as the beleaguered hardware maker debuts a new 7-inch Android tablet for the budget-minded consumer.

While not the cheapest slate the company has produced, HP announced availability for the HP 7 Plus, a modest 7-inch Android tablet that boldly proclaims to be "big on performance."

That would seem to be a dubious bit of marketing considering the $99.99 price tag, especially for a silver tablet capable of mustering up a 1024 x 600 display resolution and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, no longer the freshest flavor of Google's mobile platform.

The 7 Plus is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex A7 processor clocked at 1GHz, but the 2,800mAh battery is only capable of eking out a mere five and a half hours, according to HP's own specs.

Fair to middling

While HP may have skimped on some of the core details, the 7 Plus does offer a micro-SD expansion slot, and you'll likely need it given the meager 8GB of onboard storage. The tablet also comes with a generous 25GB of Box cloud storage.

Aside from the expansive bezel surrounding the display, the overall design of the HP 7 Plus certainly lives up the company's claims of looking "sharp with a suit and dynamite with denim," thanks to the silver-hued casing.

The most obvious compromises made to get the price just shy of $100 come into play with the cameras - the good news is there are indeed two of them, but buyers are only receiving 2MP around the back and a woefully inadequate 0.3MP fixed-focus lens up front.

Still, for many consumers, it's what they can afford that counts, and the HP 7 Plus delivers the goods for a modest price that won't ding the wallet too badly. Plus, it comes with free standard US shipping to boot.

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