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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