HP is offering its cheapest Android tablet yet. The HP Mesquite tablet is a 7 inch tablet with an Intel Atom processor and an $89 price tag.
There’s a catch: The tablet will be available exclusively from Walmart, and exclusively on Black Friday: November 29th, 2013.
At least that’s the plan for now — if the tablet sells well, I suspect we might see it again. And if it doesn’t sell, expect HP and Walmart to unload it as a bargain device soon.
But the tablet demonstrates a few things. First, tablets with Intel chips don’t have to cost more than models with ARM-based processors, (although there’s already been a fair amount of evidence of that). Second, it shows that cheap tablets in 2013 are a lot better than cheap tablets from a few years ago.
This model features a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2640 processor, a 1024 x 600 pixel display, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It supports 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1, has a front-facing VGA camera and microphone, a micro USB port and speaker, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software.
The tablet measures 0.4″ thick and weighs 13 ounces. It should get around 5 hours of battery life, which isn’t great — but did I mention that this tablet will sell for $89?