Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) , the No. 1 computer maker, said it will ship the HP ElitePad 900 tablet for business and government clients in January. Price and availability will be announced later.
The new HP tablets fulfill a promise by CEO Margaret Whitman that HP would reenter the burgeoning market after last year’s flop of the HP TouchPad, introduced under her predecessor, Leo Apotheker.
The ElitePad will operate on the Windows 8 OS from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), the world's biggest software company, weigh 1.5 pounds, feature a 10.1-inch diagonal display and have a thickness of only 9.2mm, the company said.
Based on the Ultrabook processor from Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), the No. 1 chipmaker, the ElitePad will contain front and rear cameras, CyberLink YouCam software to create HD Web videos and HP ePrint software that allows for files to be transmitted wirelessly to printers. HP is also the No. 1 maker of printers.
From HP Labs, the ElitePads will be equipped with new technology dubbed HP PageLift, an application that replaces manual editing for images and handles their lighting, orientation and trimming.
Besides various other services from HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., the new tablets will come with security software from private LANDesk Software, of South Jordan, Utah.
The announcement comes two days before HP CEP Margaret Whitman is scheduled to brief investment analysts about the company’s plans, slightly more than a year since she took over as CEO. The company previously unveiled new ultralight notebooks that are touch-sensitive and a new line of PCs and laptops.
Still, the HP tablet may be late to the market, as sales for the iPad from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), the world's most valuable technology company, continue to soar, as well as Kindle Fires from Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), the No. 1 e-retailer, and Nooks from Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), which are partly designed by Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), the world's biggest software company, which also plans to ship its Surface this month.
Shares of HP rose 33 cents to $17.39 in late Monday trading. They’re down 22 percent over the past 52 weeks.