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HP unveils TouchPad tablet, 2 smart phones

Hewlett-Packard Co. entered the crowded market for tablet computers Wednesday, unveiling the TouchPad, a device that would compete directly with the popular iPad from Apple Inc.

The world’s largest computer company also rolled out two smart phones, the Veer and the Pre3, that run on a mobile operating system it picked up when it acquired the handheld device maker Palm for $1.2 billion last year.

The three products mark a shift in branding for Palm under HP’s ownership. None of the new gadgets have the Palm branding included in their names, nor is the Palm logo to be found anywhere on the phones and tablet.

The TouchPad is similar to that of Apple’s iPad with 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, a 9.7-inch touch screen and weighing 1.6 pounds — the same as the 3G iPad.

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And for good reason, said Sarah Rotman Epps, a tech analyst at Forrester Research.

“What HP has to overcome is that the only apps out there built for tablets right now are really built for the iPad,” Rotman Epps said. “If your tablet is going to succeed, it needs apps, and making the screen on the TouchPad the same size as the iPad should make it easier for developers to port apps over” to it.

It will have some features not available on the iPad. The TouchPad has a 1.3-megapixel camera for video chatting.

The Pre3 smart phone, with a 3.58-inch touch screen, also has a forward-facing camera for video calls, a first for a Pre model phone.

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The smaller Veer is about size of a credit card at 3.25 inches tall, with a 2.6-inch touch screen and slide-out keyboard.

All three devices are slated to hit store shelves this summer. HP did not disclose how they would be priced.

nathan.olivarezgiles@latimes.com


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