HP starts shipping its $430 SlateBook 14, an Android-powered laptop

Can the market support a notebook computer that runs a mobile operating system? That’s the question HP(s hpq) is attempting to answer with its SlateBook, a 14-inch laptop powered by Google(s goog) Android software. The SlateBook 14 was announced in June with a July 20 launch but the computer is only shipping just now notes Android Headlines. The $430 cost gets you hardware similar to a less pricey Chromebook. There is an advantage to running Android instead of Google’s ChromeOS though: Hundreds of thousands of available apps. Is that enough to bring mass appeal? I don’t think so, but HP will surely find a niche audience with this product.