Palm, HP Rumored to be Working on New Tablet

Palm and HP are working to launch a WebOS tablet next year, and it could be just a rehash of the sidelined HP Slate 500 tablet, if rumors from a Fox News report prove accurate.

Fox's report says the tablet, dubbed PalmPad, will be introduced in January and would have similar specifications to the HP Slate 500, but there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of this rumor.

According to the Fox report, HP will introduce three tablets based on WebOS (the OS on Palm smartphones) that are thinner than the iPad, with rounded edges and packing Sprint 4G connectivity.

MiniHDMi and USB 3.0 ports are also said to be on board, as well as a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera and a 3 megapixel rear-facing one. Pricing is yet unknown and availability is slated some time next summer.

If these specifications sound familiar is because they are (with a couple of exceptions like USB 3.0) the same as on the HP Slate 500 released two months ago. An alleged sketch of the PalmPad also accompanied the Fox report, which again, is very similar to the sketches of the HP Slate 500 we have seen before.

Further skepticism from the tech press mounted against the Fox News report because HP and Palm have not scheduled a major press event during CES 2011 (no press invitations were sent so far, which are usually sent at least a month in advance). According to the show's official schedule, HP has not planned any press conferences or keynotes, so will the company make a surprise announcement for such a big product introduction?

But the main question is why would HP launch a rehashed version of one its products that had only a very modest uptake (9,000 tablets ordered at the last count)?

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