After the big HP/Palm shindig on Feb 9th, it seems that HP has been cooking up a few new devices for the masses. They announced a few new WebOS smartphones as well as the Touchpad device. Although the new smartphones still look like slight variations to the original Palm Pre phone, they do offer some interesting features. The HP Pre Veer is an incredibly tiny smartphone but seems to run very fast with a quicker processor and updated OS. The HP Pre 3 is the bigger cousin to the Palm Pre, with a larger screen and improved OS speed.
Finally, the Touchpad is HP/Palm’s entry into the growing world of tablet devices, and I think they have the best shot at competing with the Apple iPad. Sure, there’s numerous Android Honeycomb OS tablets about to be released, but I think the Touchpad running an improved WebOS (Enyo) is going to be a real winner. Of course, Apple isn’t sitting still and I’ve read rumors of the impending release of the iPad 2 and future developments on the iPad 3.
In my opinion, pricing is a big deciding factor in what devices a consumer purchases. A lot of the announced tablet devices are prices well over the current price of an Apple iPad, which I think is ridiculous. Are these competing devices better than the iPad? I can’t imagine that they are, so how are they going to get people to spend the extra money for them? In my view, the Apple iPad is a great product and the incumbent tablet to beat in this industry. So, it will be interesting to see what HP charges for their Pre and Touchpad devices.
HP hasn’t announced any firm release dates for any of these products, so we can assume they’ll be out sometime after the summer 2011. Also, I’m curious to the battery life of these smartphones and tablet device as that is a big factor in deciding what device to purchase. Apple has been really awesome with battery life for their MacBooks, iPhones, iPods, and iPads so they are stiff competition in this area. We’ll have to wait and see what HP can offer.