HP plans to give its employees a 20 percent discount on he company's first webOS tablet, the HP TouchPad. This is likely just one of many steps the OEM giant is taking to make sure the device is a success.

20 percent off will save you at least $100, but I don't think this is good enough. While some companies don't offer any discount, others give their employees new tablets for free, and HP certainly has deep enough pockets to do the same. Given how much HP is banking on webOS, I would have expected the company to give the device to its whole workforce early and nudge them to start writing apps.

Darren Armstrong works "in IT sales," apparently for HP, according to his Twitter profile (via PreCentral). He recently tweeted the following message: "#HP is offering #Touchpad to their employees at 20% discount. Good move to make us ambassadors for it. I will get one for the house. #webos".

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.

Preorders for the Wi-Fi version of the HP TouchPad in North America and Europe have already begun, and that the US release date is slated for 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. HP's 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.