HP announces TouchPad tablet, and Veer and Pre3 smartphones -- all running WebOS
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Hewlett-Packard unveiled the TouchPad tablet Wednesday in San Francisco, along with two new smartphones -- the Veer and Pre3.
The company touted the new devices as delivering the HP WebOS mobile operating system in ‘three new flavors: small, medium, and large.’
The three products also mark a shift in branding for Palm devices under HP’s ownership. The Palm name is being cut back to a product line under the larger HP umbrella -- a move foreshadowed by the renaming of Palm’s WebOS to HP WebOS in October.
HP bought the struggling Palm last April for $1.2 billion.
The first tablet from Palm, now a division of HP, is formally being called the HP TouchPad -- not the HP Palm TouchPad or Palm TouchPad or the Palm TouchPad from HP.
The device even sports a silver HP logo on its shiny-black plastic back with the Palm name nowhere to be found.
The TouchPad’s spec sheet is a similar to that of Apple’s iPad. The touch screen on the TouchPad is 9.7 inches diagonally and it weighs 1.6 pounds -- the same as the 3G iPad.
The TouchPad also is, for now, only going to be offered in a 3G flavor, either with 16GB or 32GB of memory. No Wi-Fi-only model was announced.
The HP tablet, however, will be capable of being used for video chatting -- a feature notoriously left off of the iPad but expected on the iPad 2 and found on many other tablets, including the slow-selling Samsung Galaxy Tab.
The TouchPad will feature a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera and 1.2-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
Unlike the Galaxy Tab, the TouchPad will have no camera on the back for shooting photos or video with.
HP is bringing over its Beats Audio technology, developed with Monster Audio and rap-producer Dr. Dre for HP laptops, to the TouchPad promising ‘great sound through the built-in stereo speakers.’
The TouchPad is set to release this summer and it could end up being HP’s first consumer tablet to make it to the market.
HP released its $800 HP 500 Slate last fall, running Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system, but has only sold the device to businesses through its website and has not released the tablet to electronics stores or mobile carriers. The Slate also was limited to Wi-Fi-only Internet connectivity.
The TouchPad is set to release ‘this summer,’ HP said, offering no details on price as of yet.
The HP Pre3 is the Palm division’s ‘medium'-sized smartphone, which is growing in size from its Palm Pre and Palm Pre2 forefathers.
The Pre3 will feature a 3.58-inch touchscreen with a 480 x 800 resolution, up from the previous two Pre’s 3.1-inch displays.
The new Pre smartphone will run on a 1.4-GHz Qualcomm processor and also have a forward-facing camera for video calls, a first for a Palm phone.
The third Pre will also come equipped with a 5-megapixel autofocus camera capable of shooting high-definition video, paired with an LED flash.
It and the ‘small’ HP Veer, both runing the HP WebOS, both are set to release this summer and haven’t been given a price yet.
Both phones, like the TouchPad, also are absent the Palm name and again are stamped with HP logos on back.
The HP Veer is about size of a credit card at 3.25 inches tall with a 2.6-inch touchscreen and slide-out keyboard. The Veer will come with 8 GB of storage -- the same as the Pre2.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Top Photo: Paul Jacobs (left), CEO of Qualcomm, Jon Rubinstein (middle), senior vice president and general manager for HP Palm, and Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP Palm’s personal systems group, stand onstage during an HP WebOS press conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. Jacobs is holding the HP Veer smart phone, Rubinstein is holding the HP Pre3 smart phone and Bradley is holding the HP TouchPad. Credit: Beck Diefenbach/Reuters
Images: HP Pre2, top, HP Veer, middle, and HP TouchPad, bottom. Credit: Hewlett-Packard