Quad-core, $100 HP 7 Plus joins HP's growing army of budget Android tablets

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It's pretty easy to find a really cheap Android tablet, but what's not so easy is to find a really cheap Android slate from a company you've actually heard of. Hewlett-Packard wants to change that with the recent introduction of the company's latest bargain basement Android tablet, the $100 HP 7 Plus.

This Jelly Bean-powered device features a 7-inch display with 1024-by-600 resolution, 1GB RAM, 8GB onboard storage, a quad-core 1GHz Cortex A7 processor, and Android 4.2.2. HP is bundling the 7 Plus with 25GB of lifetime storage from Box as well.

You also get a microSD expansion slot (up to 32GB), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a claimed 5.5 hours of battery life, and one external speaker. For photos you get a 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera and a 2MP rear-facing sensor. That's good enough for video chat and snapping QR codes, but it's definitely not the device for capturing family memories. Then again, $100.

Overall, the HP 7 Plus is not terribly exciting and the fact that the device lacks Android 4.4 KitKat may make it a non-starter for many. But its price makes the 7 Plus potentially the best cheap-o Android tablet yet from HP.

New but not new

Budget Android tablets are something of a trend for HP over the past year. The company introduced the $169 Android-based Slate 7 in April 2013. That device undercut competing tablets like the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD, which were priced at $199 at the time. The Slate 7 had similar specs to the 7 Plus, but came with a dual-core processor and double the onboard storage capacity.

For Black Friday last November, HP prepped an $89 Android tablet for Walmart packed with a single-core Intel Atom Z2640 processor, which also packed similar specs to the 7 Plus, Intel processor aside. Walmart continues to sell the Intel-based tablet for $100.

The new HP 7 Plus, meanwhile, is available now to U.S. customers from HP's online store.

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