HP’s webOS tablets leaks, looks like an iPad

First pictures and details are out

DETAILS OF HP’s upcoming webOS tablets are finally starting to leak out and the first pictures of what is said to be renders of the new tablet have turned up alongside with some initial specs. Alongside the pictures, information about HP’s plans for the new tablet also leaked which makes for some interesting reading.

There’s no easy way to say this, but the renders do look a lot like an iPad, but then again most tablets do. In fact, it sort of looks like an iPad and a Palm Pre had a baby, sorry, that was a really bad analogy, but it’s the truth. The overall design is similar to an iPad, but with the little silver button of a Palm Pre on the front and of course webOS rather than iOS. HP is said to be offering a 9-inch model codenamed Topaz and a smaller 7-inch model codenamed Opal, both of which should be announced on February 9th.

Some unusual features seems to include three speakers for stereo audio in both landscape and portrait mode and what appears to be a total lack of buttons apart from the silver sliver below the screen. A micro USB port is said to be included as well and there seems to be a webcam located just above the screen in the pictures. Apart from that there isn’t much else to be seen in the pictures posted on Engadget and it’s also about all the information they provide.

The new tablets aren’t set to launch early next month though, instead anyone looking at getting their hands on one appears to have to wait until September if the marketing slide holds true, although it only mentions the smaller 7-inch model. HP will offer three different SKUs, Wi-Fi only, 3G and LTE, although the LTE version appears to be exclusive to Verizon in the US until July 2012 when AT&T will also get it. The 3G version on the other hand is exclusive to AT&T in the US, Rogers and Bell in Canada and O2 in the UK, while in Germany it will be available both from O2 and Vodafone, while finally in France it’ll be available on SFR and Orange.

The marketing slide speaks of a “Fun, mobile productivity” positioning which includes entertainment on-the-go and as a complement to a smartphone, as the larger screen should lend itself to better web and media consumption. Apparently it can also be used for forwarding calls and text messages to a phone, although we’re not quite sure how this is supposed to work or with what phones this feature is compatible with. We should find out more details during the February 9th announcement.S|A

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