HP to launch two Palm WebOS tablets this year, one of them will be out in September

HP is hosting an event on February 9, and basically the entire world already knows that they’re going to announce something tablet-related, Palm-related, and WebOS-related. But until today no one knew any hard details about what’s going to be unveiled.

Everyone assumed that there will be at least one HP Palm WebOS-based tablet, but it looks like there will be two. Engadget got this information, along with pictures of the HP Palm Topaz tablet, the bigger of the two. The other tablet will be called Opal.

The Topaz will have a 9-inch screen, and look like this:

As is obvious from the pictures, there will be no physical buttons on the front of the tablet. What is to be found is a front-facing camera, and a micro USB port on the bottom. Also, it looks like the Topaz will have three speakers, which will either be active all at once, or two by two so you can have good quality stereo sound no matter how you hold the device. The back of the Topaz looks like it’s glossy, so either there won’t be any Touchstone inductive charging here, or the technology has advanced enough that it doesn’t require a soft-touch back anymore.

Units will arrive at HP HQ in June, and and the actual launch will come even later than that. In fact, the Opal, which will have a 7-inch screen, will come in many versions, none of which are set to be released before September, if a leaked marketing slide is to be believed. The Opal will have a Wi-Fi only version, an AT&T 3G version, a Verizon LTE version, all supposedly arriving in September, and, in July 2012, an AT&T 4G version.

The Opal will be focused on e-reading, and will feature ‘premium audio’ – what that means is unclear as of yet. No other details are known, and unfortunately neither are the tech specs for either tablet.

What is clear though is that if HP wants to make a big splash in the tablet world, these need to be very good indeed, since they’ll be launching in a market where the iPad 2, the Motorola Xoom, and countless other Android 3.0 tablets will have already been available for months.

Hopefully, we’ll get to fill in all the gaps in information on February 9. Stay tuned.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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