HP is finally getting back into the consumer tablet race as their previously-announced Slate 7 will begin shipping in the next few days. The Slate 7 represents the company's first attempt at a consumer tablet since the ill-fated TouchPad hit the market for a brief time in mid-2011.

This time around, HP's tablet will utilize Google's Android operating system - version 4.1, specifically. If you recall, the TouchPad shipped with WebOS - an operating system that's seen multiple owners over the past few years. At last check, LG picked up the IP back in February for an undisclosed sum.

The Slate 7, as the name suggests, ships with a 7-inch capacitive HFFS wide view angle LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 1,024 x 600, dual-core ARM A9 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, a front facing VGA-quality camera and a 3-megapixel rear shooter.

The tablet weighs 13.05 ounces (370g) and measures 197mm x 116mm x 10.7mm thin and is available in red and silver although color options may vary by region. Pricing starts at $169.99 which means the tablet is cheaper than a slew of other 7-inch competitors like Amazon's Kindle Fire HD, Google's Nexus 7 and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 which all start at $199.

As HP learned during the fire sale of the TouchPad a couple of years ago, if you price something low enough it will fly off the shelves regardless of what it is.