HP touts Android-powered Slate 7 tablet

For a while, industry heavyweight HP was pushing tablets powered by the old webOS and newer Windows 8, with Google’s popular Android operating system conspicuously absent from the mix.

Well, HP has officially joined the Android club with its Slate 7, a 7-inch tablet powered by Android Jelly Bean.

The device is impressively lightweight at 13 ounces and uses a stainless-steel frame and soft black paint in green or red colors on the back. HP says that this is the first tablet in the industry to boast embedded Beats Audio for high-quality sound. As expected, the Slate 7 offers users a full integrated Google experience, supporting Google Now,  Search, Gmail, YouTube, Drive, and Google+.

“To address the growing interest in tablets among consumers and businesses alike, [we] will offer a range of form factors and leverage an array of operating systems,” said HP rep Alberto Torres.

The tablet is powered by an ARM dual-core Cortex-A9 1.6 GHz processor and features integrated Wi-Fi and a display based on high-aperture-ratio field fringe switching, allowing for wide viewing angles and images that are easy to look at no matter what lighting condition users are exposed to.

The tablet is also equipped with  a three-megapixel rear camera and a VGA resolution camera on the front.

HP says the tablet will be available starting in April for $169, although it’s unclear how much storage the device will be loaded with. The Slate 7 can be purchased with an optional two-year HP Care Pack warranty for $29, along with the ability to opt for a two-year HP Care Pack with Accidental Damage Protection warranty for an additional $49.