Gadget consumers expecting a Palm tablet from Hewlett-Packard today didn't get what they wanted -- but they did get something close.
At a San Francisco show today, HP revealed the HP TouchPad, a Snapdragon-equipped tablet running on Palm's webOS software. Absent from the announcement, however, was any mention of Palm, which HP acquired in April 2010.
With its 9.7-inch screen, built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, the HP TouchPad has the look, feel and weight of Apple's tablet. The tablet, however, is far from an HP-designed replica of the iPad. In fact, many of its new features relate to the pair of smartphones HP revealed today, the Palm Pre 3 and Palm Veere.
HP's Tap-to-Share software, for example, aims to simplify the process of exchanging information like websites and songs between HP devices simply by bumping them together.
The TouchPad, when linked with the Pre 3 can also be used to make phone calls. Likewise, video conferencing is a major component of the TouchPad.
HP is also pushing webOS's multitasking features. Multitasking was not an afterthought; it was a design principle from day one, said HP Product Management Director Sachin Kansal.
HP says that a WiFi version of the TouchPad would arrive this summer, with 3G and 4G versions following soon after.
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