HP unleashes webOS tablet – the TouchPad


10 Feb 2011

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HP revealed its first webOS tablet computer, the HP TouchPad, featuring a 1.2-GHz Snapdragon processor and a front-facing camera.

The tablet is designed to be used alone or as a companion to a webOS phone. Users can answer calls or SMS messages from the TouchPad.

They can also utilise a “touch-to-share” feature, where, if they touch an enabled webOS phone to the TouchPad, they can share URLs. For example, if a user starts reading a blog on the TouchPad, they can tap their webOS smartphone to take it with them.

The tablet has a 9.7-inch diagonal flush capacitive multitouch display, instant-on access and support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1. It offers Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth connectivity and also has sound quality by Beats Audio.

The tablet either comes with 16GB or 32GB storage and has a USB port, light sensor, accelerometer, compass and gyroscope.

HP Touchstone

The TouchPad can be charged by placing it on the HP Touchstone. Users can charge the tablet in either portrait or landscape mode without removing its case.

Setting the TouchPad on Touchstone lets Exhibition show anything from the agenda for the day to a slideshow of photos.

Apps and multitasking

HP TouchPad apps

The webOS platform will have “thousands of applications” available for the device, including apps for Amazon Kindle, Angry Birds, Time,Sports Illustrated, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

The TouchPad also has a webOS communication suite powered by HP Synergy which combines email, IM, contacts, calendar, videos and video calling. Connected photo albums can be shared directly to Facebook, Snapfish and Photobucket.

The device’s user interface (UI) allows users to manage their workflow with its multitasking capabilities. Users can listen to music, update their Facebook status and chat on IM at the same time.

The UI shows how many apps are open in the form of “cards” as opposed to application icons on home screens. When new apps are launched, webOS will group related cards in a stack to help users track them more easily.

Productivity

HP Touchstone keyboard

The TouchPad boasts fast typing capabilities. It has a virtual full QWERTY keyboard, including a number row to reduce keyboard switching.

The tablet also has Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite for viewing and editing Microsoft Word and Excel documents.

It has VPN support and can connect wirelessly to compatible printers.

The HP TouchPad will be released sometime during the summer, with pricing to be announced later.

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