The HP TouchPad release date has been leaked along with a potential price tag, indicating that a WebOS tablet may be cheaper than expected.
The HP TouchPad is the first of its kind, a WebOS tablet featuring a 9.7-inch capacitive multitouch display. It'll compete directly with upcoming Android 3.0 tablets, but it's so far been unclear when HP would release it. A release date may now have been leaked though, as the BGR says that a source told them it is scheduled for release by the end of June. The HP TouchPad is also said to cost $700, which sounds like a steal when taking its specs into account.
The next-generation WebOS experience provided by the HP TouchPad will be part of a versatile WebOS universe of devices. The HP Pre 3 high-end smartphone is expected to be released around the same time as the TouchPad. Utilizing Touch-to-Share functionality, a Pre 3 user could for instance instantly share a Web page by touching the Pre 3 to a TouchPad.
We wondered last year whether WebOS and Windows 8 was on a collision course, but HP said during the TouchPad event that the company would offer Windows 8 as well as WebOS devices. WebOS computers are indeed planned to be released as part of the WebOS universe, so what HP has announced so far is just the beginning.
The HP Pre 3 is in our opinion a promising smartphone for mobile professionals, and the HP TouchPad is quite a beginning for WebOS in the tablet arena. The TouchPad is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor of the brand new APQ8060 with integrated Adreno 220 GPU kind. Qualcomm pointed out during the presentation that they are among the ones building ARM-based application processors that beat ARM's own designs.
Of course, it remains to be seen how much juice WebOS is capable of squeezing out of the APQ8060, which is capable of performing tasks far more advanced than what's currently announced for WebOS (such as stereoscopic 3D). HP has added several hundred engineers to the WebOS team since the acquisition though, so we guess the WebOS experience will gradually become more advanced (we imagine there's a reason why WebOS computers are on the roadmap).
Right here and now though, HP Synergy is a recurring name when it comes to the WebOS experience. It lets you sign in to Facebook, Google, Microsoft Exchange, LinkedIn and Yahoo! accounts in order to integrate contacts, calendar and e-mail automatically on the TouchPad. The HP TouchPad also includes a WebOS communication suite powered by HP Synergy, which includes e-mail, instant messaging, contacts, calendar, videos and a front-facing camera for video calling.
It doesn't stop there, however, as the TouchPad also offers connected photo albums that make it easy to share and view pictures directly from popular services such as Facebook, Snapfish and Photobucket. It works seamlessly with the TouchPad's user interface for a natural and efficient experience. Furthermore, the TouchPad comes pre-loaded with Amazon's Kindle Store for eBooks and the HP Movie Store for movie and TV show downloads as well as magazine subscriptions.
If you're in need of productivity features, the HP TouchPad offers 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 coporate networks. It goes without saying that the TouchPad is also compatible with HP printers for wireless printing.
Music fans will receive their fair share of attention on the HP TouchPad too, as the WebOS tablet promises amazing sound quality courtesy of Beats Audio. The Amazon MP3 Store is part of the WebOS experience too. Another key part of WebOS is "Just Type", which lets you start an e-mail, create a message, update your social networking status, search the Web and more - all before you've opened an application (also a key feature on the upcoming Pre 2 and Veer).
Lastly, the HP TouchPad has built-in HP Touchstone technology for easy charging (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.
HP TouchPad Specs
1.2GHz Snapdragon Dual-Core (APQ8060)
9.7-inch multitouch screen with XGA (1024 by 768) resolution
16GB or 32GB internal storage
Full browser with Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta
Wi-Fi Wireless-N with WPA, WPA2, WEP, 802.1X authentication
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
3.5mm headphone jack
Internal speakers and Beats Audio
1.3-megapixel front-facing camera
Six-axis motion sensing (accelerometer and gyroscope)
Light sensor and compass (magnetometer)
6300 mAh battery
Micro-USB with USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
Dimensions: 7.48 by 9.53 by 0.54 inches (19 by 24.2 by 1.37 cm)
Weight: 1.6 pounds (740 g)