The gauntlet has been thrown: HP’s webOS TouchPad

tp.jpgYes­ter­day Earli­er today in San Fran­cisco, HP revealed a few new products; the new Veer, the Pre 3, and the new Touch­Pad — a dir­ect com­pet­it­or to the Apple iPad.

And the Touch­Pad is going to be a very cool device. My thoughts:

  • Same weight as an iPad — I was hop­ing for light­er
  • Cool induct­ive char­ging using the Touch­stone tech­no­logy
  • webOS — a very slick and intu­it­ively designed oper­at­ing sys­tem
  • True multi-task­ing (iPad uses task switch­ing or hot-switch­ing — the app is sus­pen­ded in back­ground so no data pro­cessing occurs when an app is not in forfront)
  • Cool Touch­stone tech­no­logy pairs your HP smart­phone with your Touch­Pad to share data, dis­play present­a­tions, etc (see below).

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Tim­ing will tell
So HP announced it today, but it won’t be avail­able until Sum­mer. Mean­while, Apple has a rumored iPad2 in the wings, with a rumored announce­ment com­ing later this month and avail­ab­il­ity in March ( accord­ing to some sources).

If that’s the case, some of the cool things in the Touch­Pad may seem less so when the final details of the iPad2 arrive.

But in the mean­time, check out these specs for HP’s con­tender:

Oper­at­ing sys­tem

  • HP webOS

Dis­play

  • 9.7‑inch XGA capa­cit­ive, mul­ti­t­ouch screen with a vibrant 18-bit col­or, 1024×768 res­ol­u­tion dis­play

Key­board

  • Vir­tu­al key­board

Email

  • Microsoft® Exchange email with Microsoft Dir­ect Push Tech­no­logy
  • POP3/IMAP (Yahoo!® Mail, Gmail™, AOL, Hot­mail®, etc.)

Mes­saging

  • Integ­rated IM and SMS

GPS3

  • A‑GPS (3G mod­els only)

Digit­al cam­era

  • Front-facing 1.3‑megapixel web­cam for live video calling4

Sensors

  • Light sensor, accel­er­o­met­er, com­pass (mag­ne­to­met­er), and gyro­scope

Media formats sup­por­ted

  • Audio formats: DRM-free MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR, QCELP, WAV
  • Video formats: MPEG‑4, H.263, H.264

Wire­less connectivity5

  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n with WPA, WPA2, WEP, 802.1X authen­tic­a­tion; Bluetooth® wire­less tech­no­logy 2.1 + EDR with A2DP ste­reo Bluetooth sup­port

Memory

  • Choose either 16GB or 32GB intern­al stor­age

Bat­tery

  • Rechargeable 6300 mAh (typ­ic­al) bat­tery

Con­nect­or

  • Charger/microUSB con­nect­or with USB 2.0 Hi-Speed

Head­phone jack

  • 3.5mm ste­reo headset/headphone/microphone jack

Speak­ers

  • Intern­al ste­reo speak­ers and Beats Audio™

HP Touch­stone for Touch­Pad

  • Com­pat­ible

Pro­cessor

  • Qual­comm Snap­dragon dual-CPU APQ8060 1.2GHz

Dimen­sions

  • Width: 240mm (9.45 inches)
  • Height: 190mm (7.48 inches)
  • Thick­ness: 13.7mm (0.54 inches)
  • Weight: Approx­im­ately 740 grams (1.6 pounds)

Obvi­ously more details will roll out, but I hope to have my hands on one later this spring to really give it a workout.

Noth­ing breeds innov­a­tion bet­ter than com­pet­i­tion — and it now looks like Apple has some ser­i­ous com­pet­i­tion in the iPad space. It’s going to be fun!
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Published by Brad Grier

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