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.
At a price point of $169, HP is not going after the high end of the tablet market, where the iPad dominates. Instead, it is going after lower-priced tablets, such as the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon ( AMZN) Kindle Fire HD, which both start at $199.In other HP news, the company sold its WebOS platform to LG, with the Korean conglomerate using the operating system to support its Smart TV technology. As part of the deal, LG will get licenses for HP's intellectual property to use webOS in its products. "This groundbreaking development demonstrates LG's commitment to investing in talent and research in Silicon Valley, one of the world's innovation hotbeds. It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices," Skott Ahn, LG Electronics' president and chief technology officer said in the press release. "The open and transparent webOS technology offers a compelling user experience that, when combined with our own technology, will pave the way for future innovations using the latest Web technologies." Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and both companies said the transaction will not materially impact their respective financial statements. Shares of HP were rising in Monday trading, up 0.21% to $19.24. --Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Commodity_Bull