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Wednesday, February 09, 2011, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)

HP to take on Apple with webOS-based TouchPad, Pre 3

HP on Wednesday announced a trio of new webOS-based products, including the TouchPad, a touchscreen tablet with dimensions similar to the iPad, and the Pre 3, a new smartphone intended to compete with Apple's iPhone.

"Today we're embarking on a new era of webOS with the goal of linking a wide family of HP products through the best mobile experience available," said Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager for the Palm Global Business Unit at HP. "The flexibility of the webOS platform makes it ideal for creating a range of innovative devices that work together to keep you better connected to your world."

Rubinstein, a former Apple employee, is known as the "father of the iPod." He left Apple in 2005, and became CEO of Palm in 2009.

TouchPad

Rubsintein and HP on Wednesday unveiled the TouchPad, a 9.7-inch multi-touch tablet with a virtual keyboard, instant-on access and support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta in its browser. The device will run Palm's webOS and will have access to "thousands" of applications from the platform.

In April 2010, HP acquired Palm for $1.2 billion, after the struggling smartphone maker failed to find significant traction for its Pre smartphone. HP made it clear they were interested in Palm because of webOS, its mobile operating system, and the prospect of bringing it to tablet-style devices.

HP said the TouchPad is designed to be used alone or as a digital companion to a webOS phone, alerting users of missed phone calls or text messages. The device will launch "later in the summer," and pricing and availability are yet to be announced.

The virtual full QWERTY keyboard includes a number row for quicker typing, and the hardware includes a 1.3-megapixel front-facing webcam for video calling capabilities. The TouchPad has built-in HP Touchstone technology, which allows for charging in either portrait or landscape mode.

Palm 1


Features and specs of the TouchPad, according to HP:

  • HP webOS
  • High-speed connectivity
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-CPU APQ8060 1.2-GHz processor
  • 9.7-inch diagonal XGA capacitive, multitouch screen with a vibrant, 18-bit color, 1,024 x 768 resolution display
  • The option of either 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage
  • High-performance browser with full access to the web, including support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta for access to rich, Flash-based web content
  • Wireless connectivity:
    • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n with WPA, WPA2, WEP, 802.1X authentication
    • A-GPS (3G only)(10)
    • Bluetooth wireless technology 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support

  • Multimedia options, including music, photos, video recording and playback, and a 3.5 mm headset/headphone/microphone jack
  • Internal stereo speakers and Beats Audio
  • Front-facing 1.3-megapixel webcam for live video calling
  • Email, including EAS (for access to corporate Microsoft Exchange servers) and personal email support (Google Gmail push, Yahoo!, POP3, IMAP)
  • Robust messaging support
  • Light sensor, accelerometer, compass (magnetometer) and gyroscope
  • Rechargeable 6,300 mAh (typical) battery
  • Micro-USB (Charging and PC Connect) with USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
  • Built-in HP Touchstone technology for easy charging (HP Touchstone for TouchPad sold separately) and HP touch-to-share to share web addresses between TouchPad and compatible webOS phones
  • Dimensions: 190 mm x 242 mm x 13.7 mm (7.48 inches x 9.53 inches x .54 inches)
  • Weight: approximately 740 g (1.6 pounds)

Pre 3

The Pre 3 is a new smartphone from HP powered by webOS geared for professional users. It sports a 3.58-inch touchscreen and packs a 1.4GHz processor with full slide-out keyboard.

HP boasted that the new phone has a slim design and high-capacity battery that supports the "new look of business for the 24-hour life." Compared to its predecessor, the hardware maker said the new Pre has a bigger and better touchscreen, more processing power and an all-new keyboard.

Palm 2


The Pre 3 also has a forward-facing camera for video calling, access to HP Synergy for contacts through social networking services, and support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta. The full list of features and specs according to HP:
  • HP webOS
  • High-speed connectivity
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8x55 1.4-GHz processor
  • 3.58-inch multitouch screen with a vibrant, 24-bit color, 480 x 800 resolution display
  • Gesture area, which enables simple, intuitive gestures for navigation
  • Redesigned vertical slide-out QWERTY keyboard with backlight
  • 8 or 16 gigabytes (GB) of internal storage
  • High-performance browser with full access to the web, including support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta for access to rich, Flash-based web content
  • Wireless connectivity:
    • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n with WPA, WPA2, WEP, 802.1X authentication
    • Integrated GPS (and A-GPS)
    • Bluetooth wireless technology 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support
    • Wi-Fi router functionality for up to five devices using HP mobile hotspot

  • Multimedia options, including music, photos, video recording and playback, a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack
  • Rear-facing autofocus camera with flash, HD camcorder (capable up to 720p video recording)
  • Front-facing VGA fixed-focus camera for live video calling
  • Email, including EAS (for access to corporate Microsoft Exchange servers) and personal email support (Google Gmail push, Yahoo!, POP3, IMAP)
  • Robust messaging support (combining IM, SMS and MMS capabilities)
  • Proximity sensor, light sensor, accelerometer and compass
  • Removable, rechargeable 1,230 mAh battery
  • USB mass storage mode to transfer media and other files quickly between desktop and device
  • Dimensions: 111 mm x 64 mm x 16 mm (4.37 inches x 2.52 inches x .63 inches)
  • Weight: 156 grams (5.5 ounces)

Veer

HP's new webOS-based smartphone brand is noteworthy for its size. At just 54.5mm by 84mm by 15.1 mm and only 103 grams, the Veer has an 800 MHz processor and a 2.57-inch glass display complete wtih a full slide-out keyboard and 8GB of internal storage.

Like other WebOS devices, it also has integrated connectivity including 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS, as well as support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1. The Veer also has a 5-megapixel camera, and support for HP Synergy.

Palm 3


Features of the Palm Veer, according to HP, are:
  • HP webOS
  • High-speed connectivity
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7230 800-MHz processor
  • 2.57-inch multitouch screen with a vibrant, 18-bit color, 320 x 400 resolution display
  • Gesture area, which enables simple, intuitive gestures for navigation
  • Full slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • 8 GB of internal storage
  • High-performance browser with full access to the web, including support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta for access to rich, Flash-based web content
  • Wireless connectivity:
    • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n with WPA, WPA2, WEP, 802.1X authentication
    • Integrated GPS
    • Bluetooth wireless technology 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support
    • Wi-Fi router functionality for up to five devices using HP mobile hotspot

  • Multimedia options, including music, photos, video recording and playback, a 5-megapixel camera with geotagging and 3.5 mm stereo headphone adapter
  • Email, including EAS (for access to corporate Microsoft Exchange servers) and personal email support (Google Gmail push, Yahoo!, POP3, IMAP)
  • Robust messaging support (combining IM, SMS and MMS capabilities)
  • Proximity sensor, light sensor and accelerometer
  • Rechargeable 910 mAh battery
  • USB mass storage mode to transfer your media and other files quickly between desktop and device
  • Ringer switch, which easily silences the ringer with one touch
  • Compatible with HP Touchstone (sold separately)
  • Tri-band UMTS, quad-band GSM/EDGE world phone
  • Dimensions: 54.5 mm x 84.0 mm x 15.1 mm (2.1 inches x 3.3 inches x 0.6 inches)
  • Weight: 103 grams (3.6 ounces)