HP Rolls Out the Tablet and Phones

HP goes Palms up

By Scott Budman
|  Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011  |  Updated 7:50 PM EDT
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San Jose's Cisco Field

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HP's new tablet in action.

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Lots of good news from Hewlett-Packard today.  First of all, if you're a consumer who loves the idea of getting a tablet computer, you now have another solid choice.  Secondly, if you love (and miss) the Palm Operating System, we now know what happened to it.  It's alive and well.

HP pulled the press into San Francisco this morning to show off its newest tablet, called TouchPad.  It's got a 10-inch screen (just like the iPad), weighs about 1 1/2 pounds, and runs on the Web OS.  Yes, we now know what HP was thinking when it snatched up Palm last year for $1.2 billion.

TouchPad comes in either 16 or 32 GB versions.  It's got Beats Audio (remember their collab with Dr. Dre?) inside.  Lots of downloading, storage, and multi-media capabilities, just like the iPad and Android versions we've seen recently.  Also, cameras, so you can take and make video phone calls.  TouchPad will available this summer.  HP says no pricing details available yet.

But the Palo Alto giant didn't stop there.  HP is also introducing a pair of smartphones -- one called called Veer "thinking beyond by thinking small" - and it is a small phone, 2.6 inches, with a 5 MP camera, the other, the Pre3, for business use, available this summer.

Give HP credit for throwing in some Apple-like hyperbole. 

"We're about creating amazing experiences for customers who want to be better connected," HP's Todd Bradley said. 

What they've really done for customers?  Given them more choice, while likely lowering prices. 

For HP, the new releases put the company squarely back into the consumer tech space, after efforts with Windows Tablets failed to even ripple the waters against the dominant Apple iPad. 

The smartphone space is, obviously, very crowded these days, but it's good to see the Palm OS back in the game.  Even before Android and iPhones, Palm was known -- and appreciated -- for its easy to use OS.  Is it too late to bring it back?  We'll see, but I have a feeling there are many Palm lovers out there who are ready to give the new HP models a try, at least for old times' sake.

Scott loves competition.  He's on Twitter:  @scottbudman

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