HP Hits Tablet Market with TouchPad

TouchPad will be the first tablet in a family of products based on a webOS software platform.

Hewlett-Packard on Feb. 9 unveiled a TouchPad tablet computer as its champion 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. "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 webOS 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 and has a 9.7-inch 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.

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.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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