HP hits tablet market with TouchPad

US computer powerhouse Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday unveiled a TouchPad tablet computer as its entry in a booming market dominated by Apple's iPad.

HP senior vice president Jon Rubinstein, who was part of the Apple team that brought the world the iPod, unveiled the TouchPad to applause in a pavilion on the San Francisco shoreline within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge.

"TouchPad is more than just a pretty face," Rubinstein said as he caressed one on stage. "The TouchPad is all about you; how you work, play, and connect with the things you value most."

TouchPad will be the first tablet in a family of products based on a webOS software platform Palm began building from the ground up about five years ago.

HP last year bought Palm in a $1.2-billion deal in what analysts believe was a move to get its hands on the platform that could make it a player in the fast-growing market for smartphones and tablet computers.

"No one has come close to replicating our webOS experience," said Rubinstein, who was chief executive of Palm when it was acquired by HP.

TouchPad weighs about 1.5 pounds (0.7 kilograms) and has a 9.7-inch (24.6 centimeter) display - the same weight and screen size as the iPad.

The tablet is built with a Qualcomm processor that is "screaming fast," according to Rubinstein.

HP did not disclose what TouchPads would be priced at when they debut in Europe and the United States in the middle of this year.

TouchPad software is crafted for easy multi-tasking and supports Adobe Flash software commonly used in online video. The tablet also features a camera for video calling.

The iPad does not run Flash or have a camera.

"This product has a chance to beat RIM (BlackBerry maker Research In Motion) and any individual Android tablet, but not Apple," Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said of the TouchPad. "Consumers will consider the TouchPad, and then buy an iPad."

The TouchPad is likely to win over application developers because it should be easy to convert software crafted for iPads and HP will allow freedom when it comes to making money from "apps," the analyst added.

HP's announcement is the latest sign that this is shaping up to be the "year of the tablet wars," according to Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg.

RIM is poised to launch a PlayBook tablet computer, while Google is putting finishing touches on free Android "Honeycomb" software crafted specially for that type of device.

A major Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month was rife with new tablets, and a Motorola Xoom model based on Honeycomb was crowned the hottest gadget at the event.

"The big shadow over all of this is what will Apple do next," Gartenberg said. "Consumers are certainly expecting an iPad 2 and we've seen reports that they are in production."

Forrester predicted that more than 24 million tablets, most of them iPads, will be sold in the United States this year.

TouchPad launch partners will include digital magazine publishers such as Time Inc. and electronic book giant Amazon.

"We are making this a great platform for reading books by partnering with Amazon on Kindle software," Rubinstein said.

WebOS strengths included multi-tasking capabilities that allow for someone to pause while reading an e-book to take a video call, search out a Web page and print wirelessly to an HP printer.

"All other tablets seem limited in what they can do and when they can do it, but with the TouchPad you can do it all at the same time," said DreamWorks film studio chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg.

DreamWorks has worked closely with HP on collaboration and animation systems and gear for a decade.

HP plans to use its global resources to back the TouchPad along with an entire webOS "ecosystem" consisting of soon-to-be-released Veer and Pre 3 smartphones and a line of personal computers built on the platform.

HP said that webOS software in personal computers would complement, not replace, Windows operating systems made by longtime partner Microsoft.

The California-based computer titan is putting "meaningful talent and significant resources" into webOS, according to Todd Bradley, executive vice president of the personal systems group at HP.

HP estimated that the market for gadgets linked to the Internet is $160 billion and "growing fast."

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Web Developer/Designer - WordPress, PHP, HTML, CSS, Adobe

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Web Developer/Designer - WordPress, PHP, HTML...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global 3D visualisation compa...

    Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - Derbyshire - £30,000 + £5,000 Car allowance

    £28000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - Derbyshire, commutab...

    Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - 12 Month Fixed Term Contract - Shrewsbury

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - 12 Month Fixed Term ...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum