HP Palm vs. iPad 2 with Topaz and Opal webOS tablets

Thinking of getting an iPad 2 soon? How about an HP/Palm slate? Two tablets touting webOS -- Topaz and Opal -- are rumored to be in the wings February 9. But don't ask about the release date.

Palm logo
By Richi Jennings. January 19, 2011.

Looks like the HP Palm team will be going head-to-head against Apple's iPad 2, RIM's PlayBook, and a plethora of Android tablets. Next month, the company will announce its 9" Topaz and 7" Opal webOS slates -- or so it's rumored. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ponder an embarrassment of finger-friendly choice.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention If Your Mom Wrote Movie Titles...


Nilay Patel claims an exclusive:

A trusted tipster just sent in these internal renders of HP / Palm's "Topaz" webOS tablet, which is one of two tablets currently being developed. ...  the 9-inch Topaz and a 7-inch model codnamed Opal.


Units will start to arrive at Palm HQ in June as production ramps up for launch later this year ... WiFi-only, AT&T 3G, and Verizon LTE versions of the Opal arriving in September 2011, and on AT&T LTE in July 2012. ... Opal will have a particular e-reading focus, which makes sense for a 7-inch device, and there's a mention of "premium audio."

Ryan Faas speculates:

HP ... is planning to announce two webOS tablets at its event on February 9th. ... HP's press initiation teased the world with "Something big. Something small. Something beyond." And this certainly fits with something big and small. A netbook could qualify as something beyond or that could refer to other products or a cloud-based service to accompany webOS.


HP has some serious plans for and investment in webOS. That ought to make February 9th an interesting day indeed.

Slobodan Simic says:

The device looks pretty good as it features a rather nice looking sleek and clean design with round edges. ... It has a micro USB port, front-facing camera, three speaker layout so you get a nice stereo in both portrait and landscape mode ... [and] will feature unspecified 1.2GHz processor.


HP/Palm will probably shed more details during its webOS press event on February 9th, so we might get more info.

Wait, not so fast, says Harry McCracken:

I got an invite to HP’s February 9th WebOS event–which I thought was a tad odd given that I’d already been invited and RSVPd. But this new invite has a purpose: It says that anyone who thinks that Engadget let the cat out of the bag is wrong.

Casey Johnston asks if HP/Palm can compete with Apple:

According to the internal document, HP's sales goals are fairly modest compared to the iPad's numbers—they're only looking to move between half a million and a million units in this fiscal year.

Devindra Hardawar adds:

Judging from what we saw at CES, 2011 is going to be a year full of compelling tablets. HP will be squaring off with Motorola’s Xoom, the iPad 2, and RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook.


Hopefully we’ll see the devices sooner than September. Otherwise, Palm may end up repeating its history with the Palm Pre by delivering a compelling product long after consumers actually want it.


And Finally...

If Your Mom Wrote Movie Titles

by Caldwell Tanner, Susanna Wolff, and Jesse Eisemann

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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