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HP today finally announced that preorders for the Wi-Fi version of the HP TouchPad in North America and Europe will begin June 19, 2011, and that the US release date is July 1, 2011. The device will be available from US retailers, commercial resellers, and direct from HP with the option of either 16GB ($500.00) or 32GB ($600.00) of internal storage.
US retailers and commercial resellers for the HP TouchPad will include Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Walmart, Sam's Club, OfficeMax, Amazon.com, Fry's, Microcenter, as well as other leading local and regional retailers, plus HP's online stores. HP also announced it will be partnering with AT&T to introduce a connected version of HP TouchPad later this summer – more information will be available closer to availability.
Last but not least, HP shared that its first webOS tablet will be available in the UK, Ireland, France, and Germany a few days later and in Canada in mid-July, with availability scheduled to follow later this year in Italy and Spain, as well as in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore. Specific pricing and availability for HP TouchPad in these countries will be announced at a later date.
The HP TouchPad is a 9.7-inch slate (1024 x 768 resolution), powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 processor, 16GB or 32GB of built-in storage, 1GB of RAM, HP's Beats audio, a micro-USB 2.0 port, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a front-mounted 1.3MP camera, as well as a light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, and GPS (3G model only). It measures 242 x 190 x 13.7mm and weighs around 740g. The device is running a WebOS 3.0 with true multitasking, Flash 10.1, a paneled e-mail application, a pop-up notification system like Growl, Skype support, wireless printing, calendar and e-mail integration via HP Synergy, as well as compatibility with Amazon's Kindle ebook store, Google Docs, QuickOffice, and more.
Optional accessories (sold separately) for the HP TouchPad include the HP Touchstone Charging Dock, the HP TouchPad Wireless Keyboard, and the HP TouchPad Case. These are expected to be priced at $80, $70, and $50, respectively.
"What makes HP TouchPad a compelling alternative to competing products is webOS," Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager of Palm Global Business Unit at HP, said in a statement. "The platform's unmatched features and flexibility will continue to differentiate HP products from the rest of the market for both personal and professional use. This is only the beginning of what HP's scale can do with webOS."
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