Hewlett-Packard Announces TouchPad Tablet with WebOS

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Hewlett-Packard announced a new tablet on Wednesday in San Francisco, the HP TouchPad. Its specs are similar to the Apple iPad and uses the newest version of the Palm developed webOS, v2.1. A Wi-Fi version will ship this summer with 3G and 4G versions to follow. No pricing has yet been announced.

HP TouchPad

HP TouchPad

The specs of the TouchPad include: 9.7-inch XGA display, 13.7 mm thick, 1.6 pounds, a 1024 x 768 display, a 1.3 megapixel inward facing webcam, 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth + EDR 2.1. Sensors include: light sensor, accelerometer, compass (magnetometer), and gyroscope It’s driven by a dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and will ship with 16 or 32 GB internal storage. GPS will be available only in the 3G/4G models. The screen size, resolution and weight are almost identical to the Apple iPad.

HP’s Jon Rubinstein, previously with Palm and Apple, provided a demo that showed some nice user interface touches, including swipe sideways to quit an app, a resizable virtual keyboard with a number row and an elegant interaction with the new smartphones, also announced, the Veer and the Pre 3. In addition, novel touches included the ability of the TouchPad to operate as a picture frame while it charges, resting on the “Touchstone” charger. Skype is installed out of the box.

Expected battery life and pricing were not announced at the event.

Hewlett-Packard spent a considerable amount of time demoing music and improving the music experience with 24-bit sound, videos and books, but that was just the demo. Some real tests remain: aggressive pricing, actual shipments this summer, the interest of the developer community and reaction by customers. This will take some time to play out as we learn more about the product, wireless carriers, and HP’s policies and plans.

Comments

Bryan Chaffin

This is exactly the kind of competition for iPad I was hoping would come from HP’s acquisition of Palm.  I don’t see this is a game-changing device, but it’s a solid offering that beats the pants off of anything I’ve seen in the Android camp.

HP’s ability to generate app development will be the lynchpin on whether or not this is a blip on the radar screen or a proper iPad competitor.

John Martellaro

I agree.  The TouchPad has lots of potential, but it’ll be interesting to see if it catches on with consumers.  And HP has to avoid screwing up the pricing and policies. And somehow generate a developer following.  But, yes, looks to be great start.

mhikl

Vapour ware until it lifts its skirt and steps out onto the dance floor but looks very interesting. But then, anything this close in kind to the iPad would have to look interesting.

Touch and Pad. Clever terms and combination. No confusion here.

Seriously, I hope it does well. I loved my old TX and waited patiently for an update to its OS. Finally happened.

A second killer platforms for Android to copy. Sweet.

FlipFriddle

I love how everyone gave Apple SO MUCH crap for naming their tablet “pad” but now that it’s successful others are doing the same with nary a comment. Pathetic.

This looks interesting, but the trick will be the pricing. The Xoom debuted to the sound of crickets because of it’s rumored price and data contracts.

Lee Dronick

Vapour ware until it lifts its skirt and steps out onto the dance floor but looks very interesting. But then, anything this close in kind to the iPad would have to look interesting.

Compares closely to the current iPad, but probably not the next version.

Tiger

You’d have at least thought they’d go with HP blue instead of black. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

John Martellaro

Tiger: Ever see a blue H-P calculator?  grin

mhikl

Compares closely to current iPad, prob not next v.

I know. But the competition is good for Apple. Apple fellows involved with Palm and HP gives the running chance that some actual thought and originality might be taking place. Is an alternative to Annoyds for the fruit challenged to choose. Apple still Queen but needs a good lady in waiting to comfort the Android disillusioned until they can get their minds around bald facts. I’m pumped. I think HP may be the only other enterprise that gets Apple’s strategy of user experience. I’m way over my head on all this but my instincts are sometimes right in the long term. Cheers to the cheerful.

Lee Dronick

I know. But the competition is good for Apple.

True that, but HP should have jumped ahead of the current iPad.

I think HP may be the only other enterprise that gets Apple?s strategy of user experience. I?m way over my head on all this but my instincts are sometimes right in the long term.

I agree, they are not some small shop with a soldering iron and a copy of Android.

Tiger

John,
Why yes, I have!

HP Blue Calculator

Tiger
John Martellaro

Tiger:  Holy crap!  I stand corrected.

geoduck

This looks very interesting though as mentioned above it’s vapourware until it gets in people’s hands. Using WebOS is a strong choice. It differentiates it from all the Android clones and it’s certainly better than either Win7 or WinPh7 (I think I saw some companies talking about trying to use either of those on a tablet).

It’s all about the environment and we’ll see if HP can put together a total user experience on a par with iOS. If anyone can pull it off I’d bet on HP.


BTW am I the only one seeing this article far wider than usual? It’s like twice as wide as my (MacBook) screen and won’t shrink down. I have to slide back and fourth to read it.

popbunka

Wow. Introducing a third OS ... going to be a very tough climb.

BurmaYank

BTW am I the only one seeing this article far wider than usual? It?s like twice as wide as my (MacBook) screen and won?t shrink down. I have to slide back and fourth to read it.


Me too, on Safari (5.0.3/OSX 10.6.6).  The text on this page does not word-wrap.

mhikl

Thanks for mentioning the fat Emma thing. I thought it was just me. Also, I have/had been having probs with my screen blanking on till I refreshed the page. Thought all this was my machine out to get me.

I have a friend who hates HP and will give them no time. Closed minded is foolish. I even give M$ credit for something, but I forget what? I’m joking.

Apple needs a competitor, even though HP can only buy a round or two. It’s like sports. The best team in the league can just slide without challenge. Same in this industry. Look what happened to M$. (Not that luck and sculduggery didn’t have a lot to do with it. I watched Gates on Charlie Rose last night. What a dolt. The man is incoherent, all over the place. He’s almost as over the top as Ballmer. I can’t discuss a thing he said.)

Bryan Chaffin

The wide page was because of the tag Sir Harry used in a post. I changed it to be a

.

Also, note that we’re working on the blank page problem mentioned by mhikl.

geoduck

Much better. Thank you.

Lee Dronick

Bryan Chaffin said on February 9th, 2011 at 6:33 PM:
The wide page was because of the tag Sir Harry used in a post. I changed it to be a

Mea Culpa. I didn’t realize that the angle brackets would do that, I though that they had to be square brackets for BB Code.

Nemo

I am in accord that the TouchPad looks far better than anything wrought for Android.  The UI especially looks light, clean, intuitive, and uncluttered when compared to Android’s Honeycomb and appears in some respect to be on a par with the current version of iOS on the iPad.  But HP will have a tough time matching the efficiencies of Apple’s scalar economies for its mobile devices in order to keep prices down, so that may mean that HP will either have to offer the TouchPad and its Web OS phones at a significantly greater price, which will greatly diminish their prospects, or HP will have to absorb losses as it tries to build share and get to scale.

But the real bone in the throat is that there is nothing revolutionary in these Web OS devices; they are simply warmed over derivatives of Apple’s current iOS devices but hopefully with Jon Rubinstein’s fatal mistake of limiting the Web OS’s app IDE to Web technologies corrected in this version.  But even with that error corrected, the Web OS offer nothing revolutionary, and without that, it offers no reason why the ordinary rational customer should choose the TouchPad and Web OS phones over Apple’s iOS devices:  the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

qualitywte

Maybe just me (cause I read so much AAPL news) but I’m starting to get the feeling that all these tablets popping up are promoting the iPad even more.  I do admire HP for going it on their on and not jumping on the android bandwagon.  But after a while, unless one of these other tablets can demonstrate some magic, it just seems like an endless procession of copycats.  Great PR for Apple.

geoduck

Maybe just me (cause I read so much AAPL news) but I?m starting to get the feeling that all these tablets popping up are promoting the iPad even more

I saw more than a few people commenting online that they thought the Motorola tablet commercial at the SuperBowl was an ad for the iPad.

mhikl

But the real bone in the throat is that there is nothing revolutionary in these Web OS devices

This is the iPod story, all over ago.Or as As Vonnegut says, “So it goes.” or Yogi Berra said, “This is like deja vu all over again.” or as Gates says “It is what it is.” or as Bosco says, “Damn, wrong again.” or, as Nelson says, “ha ha.”

nealg

the Web OS offer nothing revolutionary, and without that, it offers no reason why the ordinary rational customer should choose the TouchPad and Web OS phones over Apple?s iOS devices:? the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Nemo,

The revolutionary thing that webos could bring to the table is an Apple like iPad experience without having to buy an Apple product. Although it has dwindled in the recent past, there is still a large contingent of people/consumers out there that, for whatever reason, don’t want to buy an Apple product. Anything that seems halfway decent will have an instant following, and whether it is actually better than the iPad or not, will be claimed to be the best thing since sliced bread.

Interesting to me that I haven’t seen the feminine hygiene product jokes about the TouchPad that I saw when the iPad was introduced.

Neal

John Martellaro

Nemo: one thing to consider is that the TouchPad doesn’t have to be revolutionary in design.  It could be ‘revolutionary’ in how it handles apps and content.  For example, what if H-P were to charge 5% instead of 30% for apps and books, newspapers.  Or zero percent?  Also, the HP brand will appeal to a lot of technical people, government, military, who already have contracts with HP and see HP as a more enterprise friendly company.  Of course, that’s not enough to sustain a tablet in a consumer environment where tens of millions must be sold.  But it might give HP a toehold.

geoduck

Also, the HP brand will appeal to a lot of technical people, government, military, who already have contracts with HP and see HP as a more enterprise friendly company.?

Very good point. I see HP replacing Dell desktops and servers in my company and several others. To many people I know in my business HP means Enterprise.

Of course, that?s not enough to sustain a tablet in a consumer environment where tens of millions must be sold.? But it might give HP a toehold.

Even if it’s only moderately successful I’d see it stomp out the RIM PlayBook very decisively. BlackBerries don’t have to do much in the way of interacting with a companies systems. A tablet likely would and if you’re running HP servers and desktops an HP tablet would be a far easier sell than a Playbook.

mhikl

what if H-P were to charge 5% instead of 30% for apps and books, newspapers.

John, I have a question. Am I correct in my understanding that Apple has contracts with the Music industry and Book publishers on pricing that makes pricing the same amongst all carrier? If not, then some of my arguments regarding newspaper publishers sink.

John Martellaro

My understanding is that, generally, Apple takes a 30 percent cut on iTunes, the App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store sales. While there may be negotiated exceptions, I can’t recall any specific stories about that. The Daily may be an exception, but it’s only a rumor.

I am curious about publisher claims that Apple’s 30% steals all their profits.  If a publisher had to set up its own e-commerce site and market the product amidst all the Internet noise, how much would that cost as a percentage?  Perhaps some publishers expect Apple to provide all the infrastructure while they rake in the profits. 

That fact is, most already do have their own ecommerce site and pay for it out of overhead anyway.  It probably annoys them that they can’t pick up some bonus profit at no cost on the popular iPad.

This is both a strength and a weakness of Apple. HP could sell a lot of TouchPads by letting developers & publishers take 95 or even 100% of the sales price. I am eager to see if HP has the wit and the courage to do that.

Ethan

I think HP has an angle with WebOS in that to develop for it has minimal impact in resources. The PDK lets devs write against the iron if that’s how the shop is staffed. The SDK has already has Mojo and the new Enyo continues the shift with JS hardware accelerated frameworks, along with the online Ares IDE to simplify development. With node.js baked into the OS itself background services can be written in javascript vs paying a c programmer to do it. The boot time shown at the developer conference was impressive in Enyo. The framework supports dynamic resizing and formating based on the screen to help cover phone, netbook, tablet and printers in one code base.

If HP keeps their cut low they’ll get devlopers on board as they have reduced the cost of entry to play on the WebOS field. They’ve given as many avenues as possible to the developer to bring the software to the platform.

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