Updated from 11:39 a.m. EST to provide further context on WebOS deal in the eight and ninth paragraphs.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Hot on the heels of its better-than-expected fourth-quarter results last week, HP (HPQ - Get Report) had another surprise for consumers over the weekend; a Google (GOOG) Android tablet.
HP announced its return to the consumer tablet market on Sunday, unveiling the 7-inch Slate7. HP had previously offered a tablet running on the WebOS operating system it acquired from Palm. The HP TouchPad, however, was scrapped thanks to its inability to compete with Apple's (AAPL) iPad, although the device can still be found on sites such as eBay (EBAY) and Amazon (AMZN - Get Report).
The Slate7, which weighs 13 ounces, will offer Beats Audio and access to a multitude of Google's properties, including Google Now, Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive and Google+ Hangouts. It will also use the Google Play app store.HP Investors Heave Sigh of Relief, but Challenges Remain While HP already has the enterprise-focused ElitePad running Windows 8, the Slate7 is a sign that the tech giant's continuing to move away from Microsoft. HP recently unveiled its first Chromebook, a laptop running Google's Chrome operating system. Perhaps this is a direct result of Microsoft competing against its OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners, including HP, Dell (DELL) and others, with the launch of the Surface tablet. The HP Slate7 will run on an ARM Holdings (ARMH) Dual Core Cortex-A9 1.6-GHz processor, and offer integrated wireless right into the tablet. It will also come with a 3-megapixel camera on the back and a VGA camera for pictures and video. The HP Slate7 will be on shelves in April, starting at $169.
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