HP had promised a summer release of its TouchPad tablet with rumors pegging June as the target month for the tablet’s formal launch. However, in the absence of any specific launch date, rumor mongers certainly had a hot topic to play around with. Not any more, though, since HP has finally come up with the details.
The TouchPad will be hitting the retail scene in the US of A on July 1st. Price has been fixed at $499.99 and $599.99 for the 16 and 32 GB versions of the Wi-Fi only TouchPads. There will also be another model that will be compliant with AT&T’s mobile broadband network and would be launched later in summer. However, specific details of it, like price and availability, have been kept confidential as of now. Pre-orders start from June 19th, though those in countries like U.K., France, Ireland, and Germany will be getting the TouchPad within a few days after the tablet is launched in the US. Canadians will have to wait until mid July for the TouchPad, which again will be seen in Italy, Spain, and Australia later in the year. Prices will be higher in Europe as usual. The TouchPad will retail for 479 Euros for the 16 GB model while the same with 64 GB of storage will set one back by 579 Euros. This translates to $700 US and $840 US for the 16 and 32 GB models respectively.
In the US, the TouchPad can be picked up from the usual places such as Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Walmart, Sam’s Club, OfficeMax, and Amazon.com, along with a few other related sites, while HP will also be offering the tablet directly via its own retail network.
With the TouchPad, HP would be introducing the WebOS – an entirely new operating system in the tablet scene that until now has been dominated by the Apple iOS or the Google Android, with a sprinkling of Windows and MeeGo every now and then. Also, the TouchPad would be up against an army of tablets that is currently led by the Apple iPad with scores of Android based tablets filling the bulk of it. Of course, the iPad continues to be king in spite of all the best efforts on part of Motorola with its XOOM or BlackBerry with its PlayBook.
As for its specs, the TouchPad includes a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 processor. It comes with a 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 capacitive touchscreen, a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, along with a 6300mAh battery. Impressive as it is on paper, it remains to be seen if that translates to better sales reports than many of the iPad competitors.