There she is, the HP TouchPad. It's the webOS slate we've been yearning for ever since probing (then) Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein on our first-ever Engadget Show, but sadly, it looks as if HP has yanked any and all Palm labeling from the final product. Introduced today in San Francisco as part of a newfangled webOS triumvirate, the TouchPad (previously known by Topaz) is shaped almost exactly like the iPad. It tips the scales at 1.6 pounds and measures 13.7mm thick, which is somewhat of a downer for those already put off by the heft found in Apple's slate. As we'd heard last month, HP's shipping this one with its own Beats audio engine, Touch-to-Share (a feature that lets users easily transfer a website, document, song, text or call from the phone to the tablet -- or vice versa -- simply by tapping the two devices together) and a huge reliance on the cloud. Also of note, Jon just mentioned that this is only the "first in the webOS TouchPad family," hinting that the Opal may be just around the bend.
Other specifications include webOS 3.0, "true multitasking," Touch-to-share, instant-on productivity, a 9.7-inch display (1024 x 768 screen resolution), a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon CPU (!), inbuilt gyroscope, accelerometer, compass and 16GB / 32GB of internal storage space. There's also a front-facing 1.3 megapixel webcam, support for video calling, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, A-GPS (3G model only), "twice the memory of a Pre 2" and a set of stereo speakers. Rubenstein claims that this here tablet is "screaming fast," and the software UI we're seeing looks downright luscious. There's a new paneled email application a Growl-like pop-up notification system, support for Skype calling, compatibility with Amazon's Kindle e-book store, plenty of cal / email integration courtesy of HP Synergy, a slick virtual keyboard, VPN support, wireless printing as well as Google Docs, QuickOffice, Dropbox and Box.net compatibility. One of the killer features that can't be found on a competing tablet right now is this one's ability to talk to the Pre 3 -- so long as there's a Touchstone involved, one can have their Pre 3 and TouchPad communicate, even piping over notifications and texts from the phone onto the slate. It's a brilliant idea, and we're obviously amped to see just how well it's implemented.
Over on the accessories front, there's a case / stand (which includes a handy flip-out kickstand for desk use), a wireless keyboard (yeah, this one!) and a new Touchstone dock that enables all of the wireless communication magic between webOS devices. If you're curious about specific models, the first out of the gate will be a WiFi only version, with 3G and 4G variants to follow suit in due time. As for the all-important pricing and availability? "Coming this summer," with pricing to be determined "at a later date." Bah, humbug!
Update: Video after the break, and have a look at our hands-on here!
For more on all of HP's webOS announcements today, click here!
Show full PR text
HP TouchPad Brings webOS to the Big Screen
First webOS tablet works the way you do, introduces fun, mobile productivity on larger scale
PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HP (NYSE: HPQ) today enlarged the HP webOS world with the first webOS slate – the HP TouchPad – the breakthrough webOS user interface fully realized in the tablet experience.(1)
"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"
With its vibrant 9.7-inch diagonal flush capacitive multitouch display, virtual keyboard, instant-on access, support for Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 beta in the browser and access to thousands of webOS applications,(2) TouchPad works the way you do and is designed not just for fun but for mobile productivity. It's ideal for anyone who wants the benefits of the amazing webOS platform on a much bigger scale.
TouchPad is one of the products HP announced today to introduce a unique experience for customers around connected mobility, offering a unified experience for the first time across a variety of devices. It's one of the building blocks in HP's vision to seamlessly connect all your worlds through the power of HP webOS.
"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."
Designed to be used alone or as a digital companion to your webOS phone, TouchPad connects you and your devices through the elegant webOS experience. Never miss an important call or SMS message – they can be answered and viewed right on your TouchPad.(3,4) Plus, HP's exclusive new touch-to-share feature will let you simply touch an enabled webOS phone to your TouchPad to share web URLs.(1,5)
With the HP Synergy feature, you simply have to sign in to your Facebook®, Google, Microsoft® Exchange, LinkedIn and Yahoo!® accounts and your contacts, calendar and email automatically populate your TouchPad.(6)
TouchPad works the way you do
The TouchPad user interface is a visual representation of your workspace, so you can manage your workflow in a naturally intuitive way that's easy and fun. The power of webOS true multitasking lets you have multiple applications running at the same time. webOS shows you your activities in the form of cards, not a sea of application icons on numerous home screens.
This helps you do all the things you want to do, all at once, so you can listen to music, update your status on Facebook, read email and chat on IM at the same time.(4,7) As you launch new activities, webOS will automatically group related cards – for example, an email and an associated web page – together in a card stack, so you can easily track all related items together.(6)
TouchPad also features a webOS communication suite powered by HP Synergy that keeps you connected and creative, making all of your communications simpler, richer and in your control. It's a complete solution, including email, instant messaging, contacts, calendar, videos and a front-facing camera for video calling.(6) Connected photo albums make it easy to share and view your pictures directly from popular services such as Facebook, Snapfish and Photobucket. It works seamlessly with TouchPad's user interface for a natural and efficient experience.
Around the house or on the go
TouchPad offers a great internet experience around the house or on the go, so you can manage your busy life, be productive wherever you are and stay connected with work, friends, family and social networks. It keeps you connected anywhere there's Wi-Fi for easy access to the web and entertainment.(8)
At home, whether you're watching TV, relaxing on the sofa, at the kitchen table or in bed, you can check in with friends, surf the web, play games or read a book, magazine or newspaper.(2) Amazon.com today announced that it will launch a free Kindle app for HP webOS tailored for TouchPad that will give you access to more than 810,000 titles from Amazon's Kindle Store. You also can subscribe to popular magazine titles, such as Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and People, and download movies and TV shows through the HP Movie Store. The TouchPad music app lets you transfer and play all your favorites from your personal music collection,(9) with amazing sound quality by Beats Audio™. You can start an email, create a message, update your status, search your favorite websites – all before you've even opened an application. Whenever you want to do something on your TouchPad, Just Type.
Buy and sell on Amazon.com, do your banking, buy movie tickets from Fandango or check the news. Whether your thing is Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, IM, video calling or email, TouchPad brings it all together with thousands of available webOS applications and the convenience and power of HP Synergy for integrated contacts and calendar to keep your busy life on track.(6)
It's great for road trips, on a plane, while commuting, in public places, while visiting friends and on vacation. It's easy to pack, has a long-lasting battery and integrated GPS (3G only), and posting vacation photos is a snap.(1,10)
When productivity is key, TouchPad makes an excellent companion. You can read and write email, view your work and personal inboxes together, or easily toggle between them. Integrated messaging conveniently combines all your text messages, picture messages and IM conversations with one person into a single view, and you can connect through SMS, Google Talk, AIM and Yahoo! Messenger.(4)
TouchPad's virtual full QWERTY keyboard includes a number row, which reduces keyboard switching, making typing easy and fast. It powers on instantly and brings you back to exactly where you left off, whether you were in the middle of composing an email, playing a game or browsing a web page. With webOS true multitasking, it's like you never left.
For maximum productivity, HP is working with Quickoffice to include the Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite, which lets you view and edit documents, such as Microsoft Word and Excel. It also comes with VPN support to connect to corporate networks.
With its 1.3-megapixel front-facing webcam, TouchPad offers video calling capability.(11) It's also compatible with HP's industry-leading printing solutions, so you can wirelessly print documents, photos and emails to compatible wireless and networked HP printers.(12)
TouchPad has built-in HP Touchstone technology for easy charging, so it's compatible out of the box with the HP Touchstone for TouchPad (sold separately), and you can charge in either portrait or landscape mode, even without removing the TouchPad case (sold separately). The webOS Exhibition feature lets you run applications designed specifically for Touchstone. Set your TouchPad on Touchstone and Exhibition launches automatically, showing you anything from today's agenda to a slideshow of your photos.(13)
TouchPad is one of three webOS products announced today (see separate announcements for HP Veer and HP Pre3). Each product plays a distinct role in the growing webOS family, designed to meet the varying needs of customers in a rapidly evolving mobile landscape.
HP TouchPad is scheduled to be available in the summer. Exact pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.
HP TouchPad features and specs
* HP webOS
* High-speed connectivity(1)
* Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-CPU APQ8060 1.2-GHz processor
* 9.7-inch diagonal XGA capacitive, multitouch screen with a vibrant, 18-bit color, 1,024 x 768 resolution display
* The option of either 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage(14)
* High-performance browser with full access to the web, including support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta for access to rich, Flash-based web content(1)
* Wireless connectivity:
o Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n with WPA, WPA2, WEP, 802.1X authentication(1)
o A-GPS (3G only)(10)
o Bluetooth® wireless technology 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support
* Multimedia options, including music, photos, video recording and playback, and a 3.5 mm headset/headphone/microphone jack
o Internal stereo speakers and Beats Audio
o Front-facing 1.3-megapixel webcam for live video calling(11)
* Email, including EAS (for access to corporate Microsoft Exchange servers) and personal email support (Google Gmail push, Yahoo!, POP3, IMAP)(6)
* Robust messaging support(4)
* Light sensor, accelerometer, compass (magnetometer) and gyroscope
* Rechargeable 6,300 mAh (typical) battery
* Micro-USB (Charging and PC Connect) with USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
* Built-in HP Touchstone technology for easy charging (HP Touchstone for TouchPad sold separately) and HP touch-to-share to share web addresses between TouchPad and compatible webOS phones(5)
* Dimensions: 190 mm x 242 mm x 13.7 mm (7.48 inches x 9.53 inches x .54 inches)
* Weight: approximately 740 g (1.6 pounds)
More information about HP TouchPad is available at www.palm.com/TouchPad.