Posted by B. Johnson
I mean, if we look at cheap budget tablets like Google Nexus 7 (2012 edition), Amazon Kindle Fire 7 HD or Asus MemoPad 7 HD, there is just something about them that hold them back to being perfect budget tablets.
Take Google Nexus 7 (2013) for an example.
Okay, when it comes to performance, of course this Google’s tablet has the edge here in this department.
And then its design is also appealing for a budget tablet. Its stock Android UI is also pretty rich with features.
Its gaming performance? Well, you don't need to question it as Google Nexus 7 is more than capable to handle games like GTA Vice City, Modern Combat 4, NOVA 3 or even Asphalt 8: Airborne perfectly in highest graphics.
However, the absence of microSD card slot and rear-facing camera really hold this tablet to being a perfect budget tablet.
And it actually goes the same with other rivals like Kindle Fire HDX 7 and even the sequel model of Nexus 7 (the 2013 edition) that both also have no rear-facing camera and microSD card slot .
But that soon changed when I found one tablet from one of the largest laptop manufacturers in the world – HP.
One of its Slate7 series - HP Slate7 Plus, manages to capture my attention thanks to the overall quality that this device has to offer.
Well, if you’re currently looking for a really cheap budget tablet that has great set of hardware, then HP Slate7 Plus is probably the one for you.
And that’s because this HP’s tablet has almost all the elements of a great budget tablet.
It has fast performance (thanks to Tegra 3 processor), an HD display, a rear-facing camera, microSD card slot, stock Android UI and it only costs at $150 when it made its first debut (but definitely cheaper right now).
That’s the reason why today I’m really interested to bring up again this HP Slate7 Plus into my next comparison review.
And I believe one of the best challengers for this device is definitely Google Nexus 7, the second-gen model.
Well, if you want to know more deeply about how great these 2 tablets really are especially in terms of gaming performance, then you better check out my comparison between Google Nexus 7 (2013) and HP Slate7 Plus in this review.
In my opinion, I think the second-gen Google Nexus 7 is a bit reluctant or half-hearted to be the perfect version of its predecessor.
I mean, for a tablet priced at $229 (when it made it first debut), there is still something missing about this device.
And one of them is definitely the absence of microSD card slot.
Okay, Google Nexus 7 has a full HD display, fast powerful hardware, huge RAM and not to mention, it already comes with a 5MP camera on the back.
But its lack of expandable storage just cannot be tolerated here because most of today’s budget tablets already 'adapt' microSD card slot.
And then, let’s talk about its performance, or to be more precise, its processor and GPU.
So Google Nexus 7 (2013) features a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU along with the Adreno 320 GPU. And of course, 2GB of RAM gives a huge space in the memory for this tablet to execute many apps at once.
However, if we look at other $229 tablet from Amazon – Kindle Fire HDX 7 -, then we will realize that Google Nexus 7 is a slightly behind the race against this Amazon’s tablet.
And that can be seen perfectly when games like GTA San Andreas just doesn't run smoothly even in medium graphics.
Not to mention, the 5MP rear-facing camera of Google Nexus 7 (according to many reviews like theVerge and MKBHD) leaves a lot to be desired because the photos/videos taken with this tablet are nothing special to brag about.
So in the short conclusion, I think Google Nexus 7 is not really worth it for the price of $229, not because it’s too expensive, but it’s more because there are many other tablets that are just better overall in that price range.
But how about HP Slate7 Plus?
Well, if compared to Google Nexus 7 (2013), I think this HP’s tab really deserves for its cheap price tag ($150 or even cheaper right now).
As a matter of fact, I think that price tag is a steal because for only $150, you get many goodies like:
- an HD display,
- fast powerful performance with Tegra 3,
- microSD card slot,
- pretty good 5MP rear camera
- and don’t you forget about HP’s years of experience in making great quality laptops to the market.
which one between these 2 tablets that has what it takes to be the best gaming tablet in this comparison review?
Which one that is so much better tablet in the whole aspect?
Is it worth it to buy any of these tablets right now, especially for gaming?
Well, you’re about to find out more about the answers of these questions at the end of this review. So be sure to stick around!
One of the coolest things about Google Nexus 7 is, despite being made specifically for Nexus fans out there who mostly are tech-geeky users, for me personally, I think Google Nexus 7 still looks really sexy and appealing as a geeky tablet.
I know that Asus is the one that is responsible in manufacturing this device, including with its design.
But I believe Google also has tiny bit of involvement with the concept of this tablet.
So, kudos to Google and Asus for making this tablet powerful without compromising its design! It's a powerful tablet but it still looks great and appealing to buy.
Anyway, in terms of design, this second-gen Google Nexus 7 tablet is actually not a huge departure from its predecessor.
They still share the same flat shape all around the sides, similar size of rounded corners, plus thick bezels on top and bottom as well as the thin bezels on left and right.
This is way different with the larger Google Nexus 10 that takes some design cues from Samsung GALAXY tablets given that this tablet is manufactured by Samsung itself.
Meanwhile, compared to Google's tablet, HP Slate7 Plus actually doesn’t have its own characteristics and looks really generic with any other budget tablets out there.
There’s nothing special about its design. The corners are rounded and the thick bezels around the side have the same size one to another.
But apart from that, I think that HP Slate7 Plus is still worth it to buy of course not for its design, but mostly for the specs that this tablet has to offer:
- like its HD display,
- 5MP rear camera,
- fast powerful performance,
- stock Android software,
- microSD card slot
- and obviously, its price tag that only costs at $150.
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|Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition)||HP Slate7 Plus|
|4G LTE |
Released 2013, July
Weight 290 g (Wi-Fi), 299 g (LTE) (10.55 oz)
7.0 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen,
1200 x 1920 pixels, (~323 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait Qualcomm Snapdragon S4Pro Chipset
Adreno 320 GPU
2 GB RAM
Android OS, v4.3 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to v5.0 (Lollipop)
5 MP rear-facing camera, 2592 ? 1944 pixels, autofocus
1.2 MP front-facing camera
No Memory Card slot
16/32 GB Internal storage
microUSB v2.0 (SlimPort)
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Sensors
Non-removable Li-Ion 3950 mAh battery
Up to 9 h (multimedia) Talk time
|No SIM |
Released December 2013
7.0 inch Capacitive touchscreen, 800 x 1280 pixels, (~216 ppi pixel density)
Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU
1 GB RAM
5 MP rear-facing camera, autofocus
VGA front-facing camera
microSD, up to 32 GB
8 GB Internal storage
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery
So… the second-gen Google Nexus 7 looks really prominent here if compared to HP Slate7 Plus.
- First it has a full HD display,
- its GPU is more powerful with Adreno 320,
- it’s equipped with 2GB of RAM,
- there’s also 5MP rear-facing camera on the back,
- its Android version is the newer Jelly Bean (4.3)
- and it also has speed-of-light LTE connectivity.
But this is acceptable given that HP Slate7 Plus only costs at $150 (even cheaper right now), compared to Google Nexus 7’s $229 price tag when it made its first debut in 2013.
Besides, HP Slate7 Plus offers an expandable storage via microSD card slot, while Google’s tablet don’t have it.
Not to mention, I also heard that the rear camera of Nexus 7 is really mediocre at best, when it comes to quality.
So I think, HP Slate7 Plus is still worth buying tablet just like Google Nexus 7, despite having some lower-grade hardware specs.
One of the things that makes this comparison review so weird is actually the release dates of both tablets.
So Google Nexus 7 came out FIRST in July 2013, followed by HP Slate7 Plus in December of 2013.
However, when it comes to spec sheet, it’s actually Google’s tablet that looks more prominent here compared with the newer-gen tablet, HP Slate7 Plus.
Take their displays for example.
Google Nexus 7 is sporting the full HD resolution on its 7-inch display, while HP Slate7 Plus comes second with 7-inch 720p display (or HD).
So we can see here that on paper, Google’s tablet definitely takes the crown from HP Slate7 Plus especially in terms of screen sharpness.
But it’s actually not only on paper, but also in the real world quality.
According to some video reviews I’ve already seen on YouTube, the full HD display of Google Nexus 7 not only has the sharpness, but it also looks really gorgeous and crisp with popping out and well saturated colors (not overly-saturated colors like on Super AMOLED screens on Samsung flagship devices).
But even so, despite sporting a lower resolution display, I think the screen of HP Slate7 Plus is still not too shabby for a $150 tablet.
It still looks pretty sharp (720p resolution on screen smaller than 14-inches already looks sharp for my taste) and everything looks nice on this display.
But of course, the pinch-to-zoom gesture will always be the necessity here to use especially when reading tiny texts in books on web pages.
As mentioned above, there is one thing that is pretty weird about these 2 tablets – their release dates.
So Google Nexus 7 was released 5 months away before HP Slate7 Plus made its first debut in December 2013. So this makes HP Slate7 a newer-gen tablet than Google Nexus 7.
However, it’s actually Google’s tablet that comes with the newer build of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean than HP Slate7 Plus with its older-gen Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
But that’s not shocking given that Google Nexus 7 is Google’s own tablet.
So it makes sense if Google has all the power to release the latest build of software first for its Nexus devices before any other manufacturers have it a few months later, including HP.
But even so, both Google Nexus 7 and HP Slate7 Plus come with the stock version of Android OS, so there are probably not many significant differences found between the UIs of both devices.
They share the same Google Now Card, Google Voice Command, Project Butter and some other new features in Jelly Bean.
But of course, Google Nexus 7 certainly has some added features as well as new visual presentations all over the software.
So if you are a big fan of stock or the original version of Android UI with no added customizations whatsoever from manufacturers, then you will feel at home when using any of these tablets.
But it’s worth mentioning that HP tablets usually come with some HP’s pre-loaded apps like printer apps, HP solution app, etc. So you will see some of these new apps on HP Slate7 Plus.
But all of features of Android Jelly Bean certainly can be found on these 2 tablets, from the standard layout of homescreen, the standard widgets, the app drawer and some other things.
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One of the best things of having any of these 2 tablets is because they both come pre-installed with the stock vanilla Android UI, which is not really heavy in size and also efficient with the use of memory (RAM) and battery.
So this certainly helps a lot in making these 2 devices run faster in terms of performance, and of course, last much longer in battery life.
But as far as the gaming performance is concerned, it’s definitely Google Nexus 7 that comes out as the winner here in this review.
And that’s clearly because its quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU and especially its Adreno 320 GPU contribute to a more powerful graphical performance than what Tegra 3 has to offer on HP Slate7 Plus.
Not to mention, its huge 2GB RAM also really takes an integral part in providing a much broader memory space for many games or apps to load simultaneously at once.
So basically, with this hardware package, you can expect to see some graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4, NOVA 3, Need for Speed Most Wanted, GTA Vice City or Dead Trigger 2 to perform quite well even in full graphics.
Unfortunately, according to what I’ve seen on YouTube, GTA San Andreas run extremely laggy (probably below 20fps) when set in full graphics (highest resolution, maximum shadows, maximum draw distance, etc).
But the good news is, it’s playable in low graphics setting, although this would totally ruin the whole experience of playing this awesome game.
Meanwhile, as a less powerful gaming tablet, HP Slate7 Plus is actually not too shabby at all especially considering its cheap price tag ($150).
- Modern Combat 4,
- Asphalt 8: Airborne,
- NOVA 3,
- Dead Trigger 2,
- Need for Speed,
- GTA Vice City
- and ShadowGun Deadzone all in buttery smooth performance, even in full graphics.
It all can happen thanks to the quad-core Tegra 3 processor from Nvidia, which has been widely known for its powerful graphical performance.
So no wonder if this tablet performs really well for gaming.
Besides, HP Slate7 Plus comes pre-installed with stock Android UI, so its software is not very heavy to load and it contributes to a fast and smooth performance on this device.
Between the 2, of course I will side on Google Nexus 7 especially given how powerful it is in handling Asphalt 8: Airborne in full highest graphics.
However, I also like HP Slate7 Plus with its gaming performance because it’s also capable to run this arcade racing game in highest graphics, although not as smooth as on Google’s tablet.
Anyway guys, if you want to know more about their gaming performances, including what games that will run on these tablets, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)
Both Google Nexus 7 and HP Slate7 Plus are equipped with 5MP rear-facing cameras. So if you happen to really love photography, then you will not be left disappointed by any of these tablets.
However, it’s worth mentioning that according to many video reviews on YouTube, apparently, the 5MP camera of Nexus 7 has nothing special to write home about.
Its quality is mediocre at best and the photos/videos taken with its camera is not up to par with other flagship tablets out there.
Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to gather the information about photo/video quality of HP Slate7 Plus. So I don’t have anything to say here about this tablet.
But I think, for a $150 tablet, having a 5MP rear-facing camera must still be appreciated.
Besides, it might come in handy if you forgot to bring your digital cameras/smartphones at your disposal.
The second-gen Google Nexus 7 is powered by 3950mAh battery, while HP Slate7 Plus has a slightly larger 4000mAh battery inside.
But when it comes to battery life, I think it’s impressive how Google Nexus 7 (even with a higher resolution screen) manages to last longer in mixed usage (9 hours), compared to HP Slate7 Plus that’s only capable to survive around 7 hours and 30 minutes in moderate use.
I believe the newer build of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean found on Google Nexus 7 has anything to do with its stronger battery life. Maybe it’s more efficient with the use of energy than the older-gen Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on HP Slate7 Plus.
But of course, if you’re a heavy power user and will use any of these tablets for doing some heavy stuff like gaming or watching movies without resting the screen at all, then you can expect to see these devices to last shorter probably around 3 to 5 hours, maybe less maybe more.
My Personal Opinions
At the end of this review, I just want to say, both Google Nexus 7 and HP Slate7 Plus are actually good quality tablets, especially for their price points.
I know that Google’s tablet offers more powerful performance especially for gaming than HP Slate7 Plus, but this HP’s tablet is also pretty good for a $150 tablet, mostly thanks to Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 12-core GPU found inside this device.
Google Nexus 7 is really good for playing games, and so does HP Slate7 Plus. And they both also have their own weaknesses.
Google’s tablet suffers a lot when playing GTA San Andreas, while HP Slate7 Plus doesn’t perform so smoothly when running Asphalt 8: Airborne in full graphics (although it’s still playable).
Overall, Google Nexus 7 is a worth buying tablet in the price range of $229, while HP Slate7 Plus is also a 'bang for the buck' tablet at $150.
Unfortunately, as a $229 tablet, Google Nexus 7 lacks an expandable storage, while HP Slate7 Plus has it for up to 32GB.
So this really puts these 2 tablets equal on the same level.
But at the end of the day, I believe the decision of buying any of these devices will come down to your personal preference and of course, your available budget.
So if you currently have around $230 at your disposal to buy a tablet, then Google Nexus 7 can be a pretty good choice for you.
However, if you ask me, you can actually switch to other options like Xiaomi MiPad or Nvidia Shield Tablet which both are my top recommendations for the best budget gaming tablets on the market right now.
Their Tegra K1 processor is just way too powerful if compared to the mediocre Snapdragon S4 Pro found inside Google Nexus 7.
On the other hand, HP Slate7 Plus with its $150 cost I think is really worth it for its price tag.
I mean, in low-end budget tablet category, I haven’t seen any Android tablet that has the same powerful performance and complete set of hardware (microSD card slot, 5MP camera, 720p display) that HP Slate7 Plus has to offer.
Besides, this tablet was released back then in 2013. And today we are in 2016, so I believe you can get this tablet at even lower cost (probably $100), which makes it even worth it to grab.
However, if you could add an extra $50 to your current budget, I strongly recommend you to pick up HP Slate7 Extreme or Nvidia Shield Tablet as both of these slates only costs at $199.
They offer much even more powerful performances than Google Nexus 7, thanks to their Tegra 4 and Tegra K1 processors (HP Slate7 Extreme and Nvidia Shield Tablet respectively).
Plus, you’ll get a plenty goodies like:
- awesome DirectStylus digital pen (stylus),
- good quality rear camera,
- good sound quality (with front-firing speaker grilles),
- stock Android UI,
- microSD card slot
- and some other more.
So to end this comparison review, I’ll try to answer some of the questions I’ve previously asked above. Here you go:
Which one between these 2 tablets that has what it takes to be the best gaming tablet in this comparison review?
Of course the answer is Google Nexus 7. It handles Asphalt 8: Airborne perfectly without any lag even in full graphics.
Meanwhile, on HP Slate7 Plus, this game performs a little bit laggy in full graphics, although it’s still playable.
But then again, HP Slate7 Plus is a $150 tablet, so you cannot complaint if this device is less powerful than Google’s tablet, which costs more.
Which one that is so much better tablet in the whole aspect?
Between the 2, I think they are both equal in the whole aspect. I mean, Google Nexus 7 may have a full HD display, 2GB of RAM, more powerful CPU and GPU and a newer Android version.
But this tablet costs at $229.
Meanwhile, for a $150 tablet, HP Slate7 Plus offers a powerful gaming performance, stock Android UI, 720p display, 1GB of RAM, 5MP rear-facing camera and it also has a microSD card slot, which Google Nexus 7 don’t have it.
So you'd get what you paid for.
Is it worth it to buy any of these tablets right now, especially for gaming?
Yes. Google Nexus 7 is a great gaming tablet for $229, while HP Slate7 Plus is also a good gaming tablet for $150. So they both are equally great for their price tags.
However, if you are a truly gamer, I strongly recommend you to switch to other options like HP Slate7 Extreme, Xiaomi MiPad, Nvidia Shield Tablet or HP Slate8 Pro. They are just way more powerful than the 2 tablets in this review.
Pros and Cons
Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition)
- Sharp and gorgeous full HD display
- Powerful gaming performance than HP Slate7 Plus
- Solid battery life
- It now has a rear-facing camera
- Smooth experience and great features from Android stock UI
- NO microSD card slot
- Its rear-facing camera is not that great, as told in many reviews
- Not as powerful for gaming as other mid-end rivals
HP Slate7 Plus
- Great gaming performance
- It has microSD card slot or up to 32GB
- It has rear and front-facing cameras
- Tegra 3 is powerful especially when coupled with stock Android UI
- Cheap to buy for a powerful tablet with complete set of features
- It's not as powerful as other mid-end tablets like HP Slate8 Pro, HP Slate7 Extreme, Nvidia Shield Tablet, Xiaomi MiPad or Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7
- It will suffer when playing GTA San Andreas
Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...