Engadget just got a very interesting scoop on HP’s upcoming tablet devices that will likely be announced at their event on February 9th. Codenamed Topaz and Opal, they are 9″ and 7″ webOS tablets with front-facing cameras and a buttonless front design. They also have a micro USB port and what appears to be 3 speakers so a user can have stereo sound in either portrait or landscape orientation. Supposed release plans are for September 2011 with WiFi, AT&T 3G and Verizon LTE versions showing up at that time and an AT&T LTE version appearing much later in July 2012. Other specs and pricing are yet unknown so they had better be very aggressive if HP and Palm are going to wait til this fall to release the devices. They are entering a market with very stiff competition with the Android 3.0 tablets such as the Motorola XOOM coming soon as well as the much-anticipated iPad 2. I know as a former (sometimes current) webOS user that I am looking forward to seeing what they can do with a tablet device but I am not sure I would want to wait for them to catch up to the competition with so many great choices on the market. Looks like we will have to wait til February 9th for more details. Until then, check out the images below and let us know what you think in the comments!
Oh, hello. A trusted tipster just sent in these internal renders of HP / Palm’s “Topaz” webOS tablet, which is one of two tablets currently being developed in Sunnyvale. That’s right, two tablets: the 9-inch Topaz and a 7-inch model codnamed Opal — a lineup that fits nicely into Palm’s “Something big, Something small, Something beyond” tagline for its upcoming February 9th event. Looking at the render, we’re seeing the no-button design we’d previously heard about (we’re assuming the gesture area rotates with the display), a front-facing camera, a micro USB port on the bottom, and what appears to be a Vizio Tablet-style three speaker arrangement for stereo audio in both landscape and portrait modes — that’s two speakers along the left side and a third on the right. (That’s just a guess, though.) We’d also note the back appears to be a glossy material, which might rule out a giant Touchstone for charging — Touchstone backs have heretofore been soft-touch, but anything can change, we suppose.
We’re told that units will start to arrive at Palm HQ in June as production ramps up for launch later this year — a timeline backed up by an internal marketing slide we received that lists WiFi-only, AT&T 3G, and Verizon LTE versions of the Opal arriving in September 2011, and on AT&T LTE in July 2012. The slide also indicates the Opal will have a particular e-reading focus, which makes sense for a 7-inch device, and there’s a mention of “premium audio,” which nicely reinforces our speaker hypothesis. Unfortunately, we don’t have any word on specs or pricing yet, but these things had better be packing some serious heat for cheap if Palm is really planning to wait until September to launch them — they’ll be going head-to-head with the Xoom, the PlayBook, and presumably the iPad 2. We’re still digging for more, so keep an eye out — things are going to get crazy leading up to February 9th.
Source: EngadgetShare on Facebook
Category: Tech News