MWC 2014: Hands-on preview with the HP Slate 6 and 7 VoiceTab

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HP has been steadily adding to its mobile portfolio, introducing a range of Android-powered tablets like last year's budget friendly Slate 7. At this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HP took the wraps off two new tweener devices.

HP is sticking with the Slate moniker, now adding VoiceTab to denote its new devices' phone capabilities. We had a quick hands-on opportunity with the Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab Android phablets here at the show.

The Slate 6 VoiceTab joins a growing list of plus-sized smartphones with a 6in 720p screen. It's big, but nothing completely outrageous in a world with phones like the 6.4in Sony Xperia Z Ultra.

However, the Slate 7 VoiceTab really pushes the boundaries in terms of what can still be considered a phone. Even the HP reps onsite paused for a moment when asked if the Slate 7 VoiceTab was a phone or tablet. It wasn't just the sheer size of the display either – the Slate 7 VoiceTab also has oversized bezels to go along with its 7in display, making it feel even more ludicrous to hold up to your face to make voice calls.

Both VoiceTabs run on the same quad-core Marvell platform with dual-SIM card slots for 2G and 3G data. The Slate 7 VoiceTab gets a slight bump in resolution, from 1,280 x 720 to 1,280 x 800 pixels. Both tablets come equipped with 2-megapixel front-facing and 5-megapixel rear-facing cameras.

The backplates on both are removable, and HP will be offering up a range of eye-catching colours, including neon purple, neon pink, and grass green.

HP is also bundling its DataPass service, which includes two years of mobile broadband service out of the box. DataPass is powered by Fogg Mobile and offers up to 3G speeds in the UK, Sweden, and Denmark. VoiceTab users will receive up to 250MB per month for no additional cost, and can upgrade data without any contractual obligation.

The Slate 6 VoiceTab will be available in France, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE starting in May for €249. The Slate 7 VoiceTab will be available on the HP store in France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and the UK for €229 (£188).

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