eStation Zeen is HP Slate? Update: Or a Compaq Android tablet for printing?

Reach deep into the grey matter and try to recall a little post we did back on December 30th of 2009. That's the day we learned about HP's filing for the "Zeen" trademark on a "portable handheld device." Now here we are today, eight months and one major acquisition later, with an FCC filing for a very tablety device with 802.11b/g/n WiFi. The name? HP eStation Zeen. Unfortunately, that's all we know due to the short-term confidentiality request put in place until December 31st. Still, product CQ720A looks very much like the mythical HP Slate don't you think? It's definitely a tablet of some kind. Now if only we knew the chosen OS, price, ship date, consumer or business focus, and about a dozen or so other details. Baby steps, people, baby steps.

Update: This is crazy, but we've now gotten multiple tips claiming that the Zeen is actually an Android-based tablet with e-reader functionality that can also dock with an HP printer and become its interface. E-reading, Zeen, magazine -- get it? Based on HP's repeated previous statements about webOS hitting printers and tablets, we'd assume the Zeen has since been shifted over to Palm's OS, but we can't be sure, as that would undoubtedly add development time and we're told this thing has been kicking around for months.

Whatever this is, it appears HP still has some work to do: one of our sources described the Android-based prototype as feeling like a "brick" and being "extremely unpolished" with poor battery life. It's also been pointed out in comments that the CQ in the product number typically indicates a Compaq device, so that could eventually be the branding. We'll see what's real soon enough, we suppose.