updated 01:00 pm EDT, Mon June 20, 2011
HP TouchPad pre-orders start up
HP on Monday ramped up pre-orders for the TouchPad. The first ever webOS tablet is up for sale at Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, Staples, HP itself. Every store is so far selling at the official $500 price for a 16GB model and $600 for 32GB.
The tablet is rare among non-Apple tablets in having the same 9.7-inch, 1024x768 screen design as the iPad. HP is counting on webOS' nature to give it true, always-on multitasking as well as unique tricks such as special Exhibition apps that invoke only when the TouchPad is on a Touchstone wireless charging dock.
Inside, the TouchPad is competitive with a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor and Beats audio processing, although it has just a front camera and not a back camera like most of its peers.
The design is, more than other webOS devices, HP's attempt to claim its first real stake in the mobile world as a company running its own operating system rather than its previous dependence on Microsoft. It has now largely tossed out Windows Mobile and plans to make webOS pervasive across virtually its entire lineup, even extending to dual-booting PCs.