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12/22/2010
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HP To Unveil Palm Tablets at CES

The three versions are expected to be updated editions of the less than successful Slate tablet.

Among the hordes of tablets expected to debut at CES next month will be one from Hewlett-Packard Co. that is running a new version of Palm’s WebOS platform, according to FoxNews.com.

HP will introduce three PalmPad models at CES with minor hardware differences, but all will run WebOS version 2.5.1, and are spin-offs of its Windows-based HP Slate tablet, which had a less than successful debut, FoxNews is reporting. A fourth model that may not be unveiled at CES will be geared at college students, the news channel said.

The hardware specs of the PalmPad consumer version are nearly identical to the Apple iPad, but will run on Sprint’s new 4G network, the news channel said. One of the minor differences is that while the iPad requires a special dongle for video output, the PalmPad will have a mini HDMI port, and the devices will have a 1.3 megapixel front and a 3 megapixel rear-facing camera, both with LED flashes, FoxNews said.

The 1.25 pound PalmPad is “slightly thinner than the iPad with rounded edges” resembling the Amazon Kindle, the news station said. It has a USB 3.0 port and multi-switch like the one found on the Palm Pre. The college version comes with an 8.9-inch screen and will be able to access a school’s internal education software, FoxNews said. It will reportedly be available for the Fall 2011 semester.

While the three tablet versions that will be unveiled at CES aren’t yet finalized they may have a larger screen than the college version. Few other details have been released. Some reports predict they will run on Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chipset and the screen will be comparable to the iPad’s 9.7 inch display.

There has been a lot of speculation that HP has been planning a consumer-centric WebOS tablet for early 2011 on the heels of its more enterprise-oriented $799 Slate 500 tablet PC released in October. Only around 9,000 Slates had been ordered as of November, Engadget reported.

Palm was acquired by HP in mid 2010 for $1.2 billion, giving it the Palm Pre and Pixi smartphones in addition to the WebOS operating system.

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