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HP's launch of Slate 7 tablet pushed back to June

Those in the market for a cheap Android tablet will have to wait a few months longer for HP's Slate 7.

Those in the market for a cheap Android tablet will have to wait a few months longer for HP's Slate 7.

HP originally planned to launch the $169 tablet in April, but the company's website now lists June instead, as Engadget spotted. The reason for the delay is unclear.

The Slate 7's most noteworthy features are an aluminum chassis--an uncommon material for budget tablets--and Beats Audio integration. The tablet also features front and rear cameras and HP ePrint for wireless photo printing.

Other specs are typical for a cheap 7-inch tablet, including a display with a resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels, a dual-core Cortex A9 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and a microSD card slot. The Slate 7 runs a stock version of Android 4.1.

Outdated too soon?

By delaying the Slate 7, HP risks its first Android tablet becoming outdated before long. Google may announce a follow-up to its Nexus 7 tablet in May, and Amazon will likely refresh its Kindle Fire tablets later in the year.

here are also rumors of a $99 Amazon tablet with similar specs to the current Kindle Fire HD 7", though Amazon says it's "not happening."

At this point, HP's best chance is to reach the casual shopper who's just browsing for tablets at Best Buy or another retailer. Even if the specs don't stack up to other tablets, HP's brand recognition, along with the low price and slick chassis, could help the Slate 7 find a few impulse buyers.

Still, its chances of making a splash in the tablet market are shrinking by the day.

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