HP TouchPad with webOS


HP has finally taken the wrappings off its new webOS-powered tablet. The HP TouchPad was announced today at an event in San Francisco, along with two new HP smartphones.

The webOS operating system was designed by Palm, which HP purchased in April 2010. The mobile industry has been waiting to see how HP would use webOS in new devices. The HP TouchPad sports a 9.7-inch multitouch screen with a virtual keyboard. HP says the tablet is designed to be used along with webOS phones. For instance, users can view and answer calls and texts from the TouchPad.

HP also touts the TouchPad’s ability to provide “a visual representation of your workspace.” Users can run multiple applications at the same time, and programs are viewed in the form of “cards” instead of application icons. HP says the tablet will group together related cards—such as an email and an associated Web page—into a card stack for easy viewing.

The TouchPad is also striving to do business as a productivity tool. HP says it is working with Quickoffice to include the Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite, which allows users to view and edit documents, such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Not surprisingly, TouchPad will also be compatible with HP printers, so users can wirelessly print documents.

While HP says TouchPad will be available this summer, no pricing has yet been announced.

In addition to TouchPad, HP also announced two smartphones, the HP Veer and HP Pre3. It seems HP is striving to create an entire ecosystem of webOS products. The question is whether the operating system will be able to make significant inroads into a world increasingly dominated by the iPhone and Android devices.

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