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1/25/2011
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Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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First WebOS Tablet Revealed

The fruits of HP's acquisition of Palm are starting to show up. The HP Topaz tablet has been spotted and not surprisingly, the name "Palm" is nowhere to be seen.

The fruits of HP's acquisition of Palm are starting to show up. The HP Topaz tablet has been spotted and not surprisingly, the name "Palm" is nowhere to be seen.When HP purchased Palm in 2010, smartphones were apparently the furthest thing from their minds. They were looking for a modern embedded operating system that could be used in a wide variety of devices like printers and tablets.

WebOS 2.0 was released last fall for Palm's smartphone line and received all the fanfare and attention that a snow flurry in northern Canada would receive in late February.

HP is holding a press event next month though and will do everything it can to make sure webOS 2.0 receives all the attention it really deserves. The question is, for what devices?

Tablets are a given. The iPad showed the world how to do a tablet right and now companies are falling all over themselves to get one out the door. It is similar to the netbook revolution a few years ago, except tablets have the appeal of being profitable.

Boy Genius Report has the goods on the Topaz. It has a 9.7 inch screen, identical to the iPad's. 512MB of RAM is standard, along with Bluetooth, WiFi and a front facing camera for those video conference calls. HP claims 8 hours of battery life. They are reportedly working with carriers to support 3G and 4G connectivity as well.

The big question is will HP be able to revitalize developer's interest in the platform. Support was never really strong for webOS and it quickly waned as it became evident that the Pre and Pixi weren't setting the sales charts on fire.

The Topaz can certainly hold its own from a hardware standpoint. We'll have to see how well HP grew webOS 2.0 to work on large screen devices. There is no question that the app story for webOS will have to improve too to garner any sort of appeal from the general consumer.

Do you think HP can compete in this area?

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