webOS marches on: HP shows Touchpad tablet, two new phones

HP revealed new products this morning at a press event in San Francisco, including a highly anticipated tablet. The company has developed two new phones—the Veer and Pre 3—while the company’s TouchPad tablet brings webOS to a 9.7-inch screen and delivers an impressive user experience with full support for multitasking.

The diminutive Veer, which is smaller than a credit card, looks like a miniature Pre. It has a slide-out portrait keyboard and uses Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 7230 processor, clocked at 800MHz.

HP’s next-generation flagship smartphone, called the Pre 3, has the much faster 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor. There are GSM and CDMA versions, which suggests that it’s going to be available with several different mobile carriers. The Pre 3 is expected to launch this summer.

But the highlight of the event was the unveiling of HP’s TouchPad tablet. The device has a 9.7-inch 1024×768 pixel display, a front-facing 1.3MP camera for video calling, a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, and 1GB of RAM. The webOS operating system first developed by Palm has been tailored to the new form factor and brings a very slick user interface. A WiFi-only version of the TouchPad will launch during the summer, but 3G and 4G models will be available at a later date.

HP has continued to advance its inductive charging technology and offers a special Touchstone charger with a stand specifically for the tablet. During the presentation, HP demonstrated how multiple webOS devices can sync and communicate with each other and relay notifications when they are docked. Users can also share a URL from the tablet to the phone by simply tapping the devices together.

HP made an effort during the press event to highlight the tablet’s capabilities as both an entertainment device and a productivity platform. The company showed a number of games that were designed for the tablet, and it highlighted its gaming partnership with Dreamworks. Multimedia also got a nod during the event when HP discussed the tablet’s support for “Beats by Dre” audio technology. On the productivity front, tight integration with QuickOffice will bring mobile word-processing capabilities to the tablet, including support for syncing with cloud services like Google Docs.

HP appears to have produced a compelling product. The tablet brings together an impressive-looking user experience, great integration with Web services, and seamless communication between webOS devices. The summer launch date could prove problematic, however. Apple is likely preparing to announce its iPad 2.0 tablet and there will also be a wide variety of Android-based options available before HP’s Touchpad even reaches consumers.


One thought on “webOS marches on: HP shows Touchpad tablet, two new phones

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