Microsoft and its hardware-making partners are sure in a charitable mood these days, even though the season to be jolly (and generous) is still a little ways down the road. Perhaps the best cheap Windows 8.1 tablet around, Toshiba’s Encore Mini, got better and cheaper as MS lowered its price tag to $99, and now the ultimate Chromebook “killer” is available at an all-time low as well.
We know, we know, it’s rarely wise to make a big PC purchase with mere weeks to go until the busiest shopping period of the year. But do you really want to go through all the Black Friday fuss, the Cyber Monday ruckus and Christmas hubbub again?
Before finalizing its long overdue enterprise – consumer split, the happy mammoth family at Hewlett-Packard continues to carry battle on all fronts of the mobile and PC wars. With the notable exception of smartphones, HP is knee-deep in each and every little market piece, though lately, the Palo Alto-based giant has mostly focused on the low-cost scenes.
Since we never really understood why the vast majority of Android tablet manufacturers focused their efforts on 7 and 8 inchers, almost entirely ignoring 10+ inch “laptop replacements”, we’re glad to see HP so dedicated to offering a full range of options to mobility fans.
Simply adding new computers to one’s business website and taking pre-orders with no fanfare and not even a heads-up is certainly a bizarre way of “unveiling” said new products. But perhaps it’s better to count on word-of-mouth rather than artificial hype-building via teasers, (un) intentional leaks and the works.
HP sure has a lot of wacky ideas and plans for how to get noticed in the crowded, volatile and challenging Android décor, starting with 14-inch Google-powered laptops and even 21-inch all-in-one PCs.
Did we or did we not “warn” you a spin-off of the dirt-cheap HP 7 Plus Android tablet was coming? We certainly did, although we never suspected several follow-ups were in the works. But as it turns out, the 3G-enabled 7 Plus G2 sighted at the FCC isn’t going to fly solo into the sunset, with a Wi-Fi-only 7 G2 also looming large on the horizon.
You get what you pay for with the sub-$100 HP 7 Plus, which is why HP is apparently looking to slightly up the ante. A 7 Plus G2 has been spotted paying a visit to the FCC, and the first glaring upgrade is 3G support.
We’re currently in the midst of a crazy packed IFA 2014 opening day in Berlin, Germany, as Samsung, Lenovo, Acer and Asus, to name a few, have been quick to announce and showcase all kinds of exciting new gear.
In addition to spearheading Microsoft’s Chromebooks-crushing actions with a $200 full Windows 8.1-running laptop called the Stream, HP continues to cross swords with Google in the low-cost tablet ring, where Android is substantially ahead of Windows as far as global sales are concerned.
Thus far, HP has kept a consistent distance between its two Chromebook lines performance-wise, fitting the smaller, lower-end 11-inch models with ARM-based Exynos chips, and the larger, beefed-up 14 inchers with Intel Celeron processing solutions.
If the recent exposé of the high-end Pro Slate 8 wasn’t enough to prove HP is gradually becoming serious about its Android prospects, newly harvested information on a Slate 6 VoiceTab Plus and Pro Slate 12 should once and for all clarify the PC maker’s growing mobile ambitions.