HP Touts Slate7 Tablet, Sells WebOS (Update 1)

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) 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).

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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