RIP Palm or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the HP Bomb

Today, HP had a huge conference unveiling 3 new products, all attempting to reinvigorate the WebOS operating system. The only thing absent from the conference was any mention of Palm, who made WebOS and the Pre, which ultimately failed to sell. It looks like HP, who bought Palm last year, is trying to erase the memory of Palm to bring WebOS back to the spotlight anew.

First off, we have the HP Veer, a very small phone that is the lower end of the WebOS line. It features a 2.6 inch touchscreen and slides up to reveal a small keyboard that will look and feel familiar to Palm Centro users. You also have a 5MP camera (no flash), 8GB of internal storage, and an 800MHz processor, which is all you need for the virtually lag-free WebOS.

Next, the flagship Pre 3. This one has an iPhone sized 3.5 inch touchscreen (just a bit bigger than the Pre 2), and slides up for the keyboard as well. One nice addition is the on-screen keyboard, which was missing on previous versions. The processor is a beastly 1.4GHz processor which will help out with recording in 720p on the 5MP camera. It will come in both 8 and 16GB increments, though which carriers and when weren't discussed for both the Veer and Pre 3.

The big news is the WebOS tablet, the HP TouchPad, that was announced to compete with the iPad and high end Android tablets coming out. It has a screen almost identical in size and clarity to the iPad, has a faster 1.2GHz dual-core processor than the iPad and upcoming Motorola Xoom's 1GHz, and has a front facing camera which will be used for Skype and other video conferencing services. It will come in 3G and 4G variants, but again no mention as to which carriers will have it. The first model launched will be WiFi only and it will have 16 and 32GB versions.

The biggest allure of these devices to me are the connectivity possibilities that HP included. If you connect the devices through Bluetooth, you can use what they call Touch to Share. By simply physically touching a Pre 3 to a TouchPad, whatever website was loaded on one device will be opened on the other.

The tablet wars are definitely heating up, and even if you don't want a WebOS phone, the TouchPad should be seriously considered by potential tablet buyers.


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