"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.