Cheap tablets are nothing new, but low-cost slates that carry a reputable, top-tier technology company's name are extremely rare. However, the HP 7 Plus could change that.
Coming in at a very pocket-friendly $99, the 7-inch tablet isn't going to win any design or performance awards, but it could have just the right balance of specs and pricing to appeal to a host of consumers that want a tablet for use around the home or for the kids that can handle apps, streaming movies and a bit of web browsing.
The device uses a quad-core ARM Cortex processor and 1GB of RAM and runs Android Jelly Bean (version 4.2.2) rather than the latest version of the operating system. But clearly that decision has been made to optimize the internal components' performance.
In terms of storage, it only offers 8GB but there's also support for MicroSD Card for local expansion (up to 32GB) and HP will bundle in an extra 25GB of cloud storage for the life of the device for free, which is handy, especially if taking the tablet out and about.
The HP 7 Plus. Photo: AFP
And as it only weighs 295g, dropping it into a bag shouldn't be a strain. However, the battery is only good for five-and-a-half hours so it's probably best suited for a bit of light gaming or TV catch-up on the commute rather than for a long-haul flight.
Screen resolution isn't fantastic -- 1024 x 600 pixels -- but it isn't terrible either and will be more than fine for watching videos and furthermore, no one should expect a tablet with quantum dot technology or a Retina display in this price bracket, no matter which company's name adorns the device.
Likewise, these types of devices haven't been built to compete with standalone digital cameras. The rear-facing camera is a fixed focus 2-megapixel unit and the front-facing lens is just 0.3-megapixels. But that's fine for video calling.
The HP 7 Plus is available to buy now in the US direct from HP.