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HP takes on iPad with TouchPad: dual-core, real multitasking

updated 02:25 pm EST, Wed February 9, 2011

HP TouchPad webOS tablet finally official

HP today raised the stakes in tablet competition today by launching the TouchPad. The 9.7-inch tablet is its direct challenger to the iPad and relies on a new version of webOS designed to use the larger screen size. It now has app tabs, pop-overs and split views that take advantage of the OS regardless of the orientation; users can even customize the onscreen keyboard to one of four sizes. Synergy is also now more aggressive and can pass text messages on to the device, users can now post to Twitter directly, and the notification system now has a triage method to filter alerts and even answer them directly.

Flash support is now a core feature and should see at least a beta of Flash 10.1 along with full HTML5 support. As webOS is a true multitasking OS, users can run multiple apps in the background

The device is also a showcase for the second generation Touchstone technology also found in the Pre3 and Veer. Along with the Exhibition mode that can cue up clocks, GPS and other apps when touching the wireless charger, devices can also now talk to each other. A user can share a web link from another webOS phone just by bringing it close.

Content is getting more important with not just an Amazon Kindle app enroute but an HP Movie Store to download both movies and TV.

The hardware is a major leap from both old and new phones alike with a dual-core, 1.2GHz Snapdragon and much faster Adreno 220 graphics. Although there's no back camera, a 1.3-megapixel front camera provides both photos and videos as well as two-way video calls. Beats audio is lifted from HP's computers to provide a wider audio response and better than usual output, even over speakers; HP bundles Beats headphones in the box.

The device is roughly as light (1.6 pounds) and as thin (0.54 inches) as an iPad despite having a large 6,300mAh battery, although HP hasn't said how long it should last on a charge.

Despite HP's claims of a near term release for announcements today, versions of the TouchPad aren't due until the summer. The company will start modestly with 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi versions but plans to move to 3G and 4G in the future. Prices haven't come about but are expected to be competitive. Accessories are already being named and should include a unique easel-style Touchstone dock, a Bluetooth keyboard and a hybrid case and stand.

by MacNN Staff



  1. vintagegeek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still not in Stores

    Long way to go. No tablet to sell until summer, which will turn into fall. By then where will the iPad and Galaxy be.

  1. malax

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Competition is good. I look forward to the iPad 2 coming out before this though.

  1. Parky

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It all looks very familiar (read iPad rip off).
    It is going to be available AFTER the iPad 2 is released - not a good move.
    No price, no battery life stated, App Store?
    Not sure this is the right start for a device playing catchup.

  1. OS2Guy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bottom Line: DOA

    Seriously. Isn't Apple about to announce the new iPad 2 today? Rumor has it the new iPad 2 would be announced on February 9. Is Engadget and MacNN wrong?

    Nothing beats an iPad. Apps alone overshadow anything any other maker can offer.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I am too heavily invested with Apple and iTunes (Japan's iTunes store is still mostly DRM-infested) to switch. We have 2 Mac Minis (desk and TV) 4 iphones, and an new, refurbished, iPad. I just cannot see switching a this point.....UNLESS...UNLESS.....the competition add true Wacom stylus support and handwriting recognition as good as that found in Windows 7. I wouldn't jump ship from Apple, but I would buy it DAY ONE...I miss the luxury of inputing Japanese kanji via handwriting on my old Lenovo Thinkpad. To be able to use a modern, slate tablet running iOS (or something else) as a TRUE notepad in my classes would fill me with joy. But, Steve's dream doesn't include this option....and so everybody who copies the iPad will also leave out this feature.. /sigh

  1. mjtomlin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Real Multitasking


    I love the emphasis on "real multitasking," as if it makes a difference or even matters to the user how multitasking is implemented in the system. Sorry, but whether you are using a process method or a service method, as long as things continue to happen in the background while a user is busy doing something else ... it is multitasking.

    And answer this, once an application is opened, what's to stop someone from telling it is NOT an iPad? This applies to Android 3.0 as well. Apparently only Apple knows how to design practical user interfaces.

  1. aSevie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPad Killer...

    Let me guess, they called it an iPad killer...

  1. bazaarsoft

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Huge mistake by HP

    HP allowed themselves to fall into the big company "pre-announce to slow the competition" pit that has dug Microsoft into a hole. They shouldn't have announced anything now since none of it is shipping. Better to wait until the Veer ships and focus on getting some developers on-board with great webOS only titles to demo.

    Better to get their App Store story together. Better to get an idea for what their battery life will be (it's too far out to estimate now - at least that's my guess). Better to give customers an idea of how much they'll cost. There are too many unknowns for this announcement to do much of anything for them.

    And, yeah, the emphasis on "real multitasking" and Flash just show how out of touch they really are - neither of these makes a huge difference to the average consumer. Apps, battery life, and cost are of much more concern to consumers.

    I really do want to see HP succeed - they have so much potential with webOS. But if they continue to execute like classic HP/Dell/ASUS, etc., they won't succeed. Along with a new industry (mobile) comes a new way of doing business. Apple and Google (in some respects anyway) have shown the way. Everyone else better learn that lesson or they'll always be seen as an also-ran.

  1. facebook_Aharon

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    Too little, too.....

    much of the same I've had for almost a year now in an iPad.

  1. facebook_Aharon

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    Too little, too.....

    much of the same I've had for almost a year now in an iPad.

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