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HP’s new WebOS devices: the highlights

[2011-02-09] hp, mobile, webos, computers
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Today, HP announced three new WebOS devices: The cell phones Pre 3 and Veer and the tablet TouchPad. This post summarizes the highlights.

The TouchPad’s virtual keyboard has a row of keys with numbers and function-key-activated symbols [picture by HP].
  • HP TouchPad [Engadget]:
    • Weight, dimensions, display: more or less the same as the iPad.
    • Dual-core 1.2 GHz processor (the two cores make it really fast).
    • Lots of RAM: 1GB. Well done. Compare to iPad (256MB) and iPhone (512MB).
    • Front-facing 1.3 megapixel webcam, support for video calling.
    • Phone integration: exchange notification and texts.
    • The virtual keyboard has an additional row with numbers where characters such as the @ symbol can by typed via a function key (see picture above). This has been a major peeve of mine on the iPad.
    • Accessory: Touchstone, a stand that charges the TouchPad via induction (no wire or connector).
    • Kindle and Skype apps will be available.
    • Available: summer 2011
  • HP Pre 3 [Engadget]:
    • Higher 800 x 480 resolution, same 3.6" display. (iPhone: 960 x 640, 3.5")
    • Fast 1.4GHz processor (single core)
    • HSPA+ and EVDO Rev A (world phone!)
    • Exhibition mode: Displays special apps when in a dock, for example “things like a clock, upcoming events, notifications and photo slideshows. It’s said webOS will include a feature to intelligently switch between what to show in Exhibition based on your physical location. ” [cocoia blog]
    • Available: summer 2011
  • HP Veer [Engadget]:
    • Cute mini version of the Pre 3 (see picture below)
    • 2.6" 320 x 400 display
    • Available: spring 2011
The Veer is a mini version of the Pre 3 [picture by HP]

Other observations:
  • WebOS versions:
    • TouchPad: WebOS 3.0 (new version)
    • Pre3, Veer: WebOS 2.2
  • The Palm brand is gone, it’s all HP now. The WebOS brand stays.
    • HP Pre is quite a bit harder to pronounce than Palm Pre. 
  • Phones and the TouchPad support Touch-to-Share “a feature that lets users easily transfer a website, document, song, text or call from the phone to the tablet – or vice versa – simply by tapping the two devices together.” [Engadget]
  • WebOS will come to PCs, printers and possibly other form factors later this year.
    • Update: It looks like this will be a cross-platform layer that allows one to run WebOS apps on many platforms. This is similar to a wish of mine that I mentioned in a post on Chrome OS (toward the end).
  • Planned availability: spring for the Veer, summer for TouchTab and Pre 3. That’s a long time to wait for the latter two! Especially the TouchTab will face stiff competition with Android Honeycomb tablets and the iPad 2 imminent (and thus probably preceding it by a few months).
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