HP TouchPad webOS tablet revealed

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Remember the HP Slate? The will-it-wont-it-ever-be-released tablet that looked like the first true iPad rival, apparently killed off last year? Well it’s been revised, revamped and renamed as the HP TouchPad, revealed today. Two flavours will be available; the larger Topaz (detailed here), with a smaller model to follow named the Opal.

The Topaz TouchPad is a 9.7 inch device with capacitive multi-touch screen running at 1024 x 768 resolution, it’s a similar weight and thickness to the iPad a 740g and 13mm thick. A Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 dual-core 1.2GHz processor powers the tablet, which also features 512MB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of memory depending on the option you cough up for.

A 1.3 MP front facing camera sits in the bezel for video calling alongside stereo speakers (powered by the same impressive Beats By Dre audio system we reviewed in the HP Envy 14 laptop), a gyroscope, and accelerometer. One iPad-style buttong also sits in the bezel, adding to the list of comparitive features. The 6300 mAh battery is said to be good for 8 hours of usage.

Palm’s webOS 2.1 software is the platform of choice, with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity, again depending on the model you grab. US readers will be able to pick up a 4G LTE version by 2012. 8,000 Palm legacy apps will be available to download from the off, though the will not be scaled to fill the larger screen real estate. The tablet will also sync with the newly revealed Palm Pre 3 handset, allowing you to receive and reply to calls and text messages from the TouchPad itself.

“Today we’re embarking on a new era of webOS with the goal of linking a wide family of HP products through the best mobile experience available,” said Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager, Palm Global Business Unit, HP. “The flexibility of the webOS platform makes it ideal for creating a range of innovative devices that work together to keep you better connected to your world.”

Be prepared for a bit of a wait for the TouchPad however; you’re looking at a September 2011 release at the earliest, while no pricing info has yet been revealed.

Gerald Lynch

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