The tablet market is starting to get crowded now. While Dell’s Streak has met with a lukewarm reception, a lot of heavy hitters are on their way in 2011 – after a year defined entirely by the iPad, with only passing challenge from the Galaxy Tab, a host of devices, including RIM’s Playbook, Motorola’s Xoom and of course, the iPad 2 are set to hit the market. It’s worth noting that each of these high profile devices is going to run a different OS, and will have a different app environment from one other. Entering into the fray now, is HP, which had earlier bought over Palm, whose Pre had not been quite the success everyone had hoped for.
However, Palm’s greatest feat with the Pre was the development of WebOS, which is going to be the core of the TouchPad, and has many similar innovations, which should set it apart from the other tablets. WebOS in many ways inspired many of today’s successful smartphone platforms, and one can only hope that the tablet iteration will be similarly well thought out.
The new device also packs some fairly competitive hardware, and unlike the Pre launch, which generated a lot of buzz in the tech press but went largely unnoticed by the masses, this time around the company is after all HP, which has much more experience in marketing products to large audiences, though the disappearance of the Voodoo line might make people wonder if they are the right people to handle this launch.
At 9.7 inches, the device is clearly aimed at the Xoom and the iPad audience, and includes such innovative features as a touch to share connect with the Palm Pre, allowing you to literally bump the two devices together to share information like URLs, and WebOS is famous for their unique implementation of UI, which has historically been far more intuitive than the current standard of a sea of application icons.
The exact date and price for the TouchPad are not known as yet, but let’s hope it’s a little cheaper than Motorola’s Xoom!