HP has officially announced it’s competitor in the tablet PC market, the HP TouchPad. The attractive device combines all the functionality of a media tablet with productivity applications which makes it a powerful business tool.
The TouchPad is a refined version of HP’s much-anticipated Slate. The Slate was expected to be HP’s answer to the Apple iPad, but it was never released. HP did not completely abandon the tablet idea though, and the TouchPad marks HP’s entry into this highly competative market.
The TouchPad runs on webOS 3.0, the newest version of the operating system developed by HP to run on the Palm devices. WebOS is an operating system acclaimed for its support of Web 2.0, open architecture, multitasking capabilities, and ease of use. The TouchPad features a 9.7 inch multi-touch screen, virtual keyboard, wireless printing capability, instant-on access, support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta and access to thousands of webOS applications.
It is designed to be a powerful multitasking machine and allows users to have multiple applications running at the same time. HP said that as users launch new activities, webOS will automatically group related cards in a card stack, so users can easily track all related items together. For example, if you open an e-mail and related web pages, the applications will be filed together in a single card stack.
To maximise the HP TouchPad’s image as a device to be used for productivity, it works with Quickoffice and includes the Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite. This allows users to view and edit documents, such as those created in Microsoft Word and Excel. It also comes with VPN support to connect to corporate networks, it is compatible with HP’s printing solutions, so you can wirelessly print documents, photos and emails to compatible wireless and networked HP printers.
Amazon.com has announced that it will launch a free Kindle app for HP webOS tailored for TouchPad that will give users access to more than 810 thousand titles from Amazon’s Kindle Store. Owners of TouchPad also can subscribe to popular magazine titles, such as Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and People, and download movies and TV shows through the HP Movie Store.
Should users decide to pair their TouchPad with one of HP’s compatible smartphones (such as the HP Pre or HP Veer), the HP Touchstone technology allows for some interesting features. By tapping the TouchPad and one of the compatible phones together, one can easily transfer website URL’s, messages and phone calls between the two devices.
“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. 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,” said Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager of Palm global business unit of HP.
By Angela Meadon