Last Thursday, HP announced that it would "discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones." The surprise announcement came less than two months after the release of the TouchPad
and the company subsequently slashed its price, prompting a stampede of customers looking to snap up a tablet bargain. But just how much of a bargain is it considering there won't be any future updates to webOS from HP and developers aren't likely to produce many new apps for a discontinued device? Having spent some time with a TouchPad recently, I'd have to say, like most things, it depends.
In conjunction with the announcement of the Veer and Pre 3 webOS smartphones
, HP has revealed that users will soon be able to enjoy the webOS experience on a bigger screen. Its new TouchPad tablet is headed for a Q3 release and will run on a dual-core Snapdragon processor, offer genuine multi-tasking and feature a host of useful productivity tools like Synergy and touch-to-share. There's Wireless-N and Bluetooth connectivity, a webcam for online chat and cable-free charging via an optional touchstone charging dock.
As a way to shoehorn its way into the smartphone market, last April HP acquired Palm
along with its webOS mobile operating system. Obviously keen to see a return on its US$1.2 billion investment HP
today unveiled three new mobile devices running webOS – a 9.7-inch tablet called the TouchPad
and two new smartphones, the pint-sized HP Veer and the business-oriented HP Pre 3.
Tablets have become one of the hot topics of the 2010 on the back of Apple's all conquering iPad
, but HP's new entry into the space has come about with next to zero fanfare. The new Windows-based HP Slate 500 isn't positioned as a rival to the iPad (in contrast to Samsung's Android-driven Galaxy Tab
), instead it's aimed at "professionals who don’t usually work at a traditional desk, yet need to stay productive in a secure, familiar Windows environment."
Announced at CES 2009
, Palm's Pre is a 3G smartphone set to take on the iPhone
and the G1
. Read on to find out why we think it's got a fighting chance of becoming the next "must have" handset.