Mini Tablet Wars–HP Slate 7 vs. Kindle Fire HD

For those of you who travel for work or play, and don’t want to pack a whole library, HP Slate 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD have both reduced the prices of their 7-inch Android tablets just for you. Competition in the tablet market has gotten aggressive and is definitely working in favor of consumers.

Our editors were given both the Kindle Fire HD and HP’s Slate 7 to review. Although both are relatively the same size and price, there are a few differences.

HP Slate 7: $139.99

The look: The Slate 7 has a stainless-steel frame surrounding a glass display with a standard black bezel.  My primary complaint was the size of the font. Even once I increased font sizes in the settings section, I still found the tablet difficult to see.

The feel: The company has faced (and crashed into) its share of mobile device hurdles in recent years — most notably, with the ill-fated and expensive TouchPad. That said, I really liked the look and feel of the Slate. It’s got a great weight , 13.05,

Ease: Using the Slate 7 is an intensely vertical experience aka it doesn’t flip around with you like iPad or Kindle–something most consumers have gotten pretty used to.

Toys: The camera and video component were both adequate. The battery life was pretty decent and I liked how easy and quickly it charged.

Audio: While the Slate contains some bonuses, most prominently Beats Audio sound, the sound didn’t really make up for the display weaknesses and the various challenges of setting it up and getting it to download the desired apps.

Kindle Fire HD: $159.00

Lifespan: First off, the battery life is a whopping 11 hours, and let’s face it, if the thing dies on you, it’s nothing more than a frisbee. I do wish it had the capacity to simply charge on a regular outlet vs charging on the computer or having to buy a charger for it.

The look: The HD display (1280×800) resolution delivers great clear visuals, glare has been reduced, and the clarity isn’t at all affected by natural or even overhead lighting.

Usability: With high-end laptop quality WiFi access, the days of Kindle serving the function as a simple reader are long gone.

Ease: We liked that the device came fully pre-registered–nothing getting something that feels already customized for you.

Audio: The sound is superior with dual stereo speakers and Dolby audio–in other words you don’t need headphones while watching a movie…

General thoughts: The only downside for some to buying a Kindle is its attachment Amazon, while others may enjoy the One-Click” product purchasing functionally through the mega store. Overall, the Kindle Fire out performs the HP Slate 7 as a tablet.

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