Images of what appears to be the first webOS powered tablet posing for press shots have appeared online, showcasing the hotly awaited but not so secret ‘Topaz’ slate due to be unveiled at next month’s special HP Palm event.
The snaps, posted by Engadget, courtesy of a ‘trusted tipster’, show off a thin, black and rather slick-looking tablet that we are told is the larger, 9-inch model codenamed Topaz. Yes, there’s a smaller 7-inch version too to keep Steve Jobs feeling warm-and-fuzzy while he spends time convalescing. That one’s being dubbed ‘Opal’.
As far as we can make out from the shots, there’s not a single button in sight. They seem to have been deemed unnecessary thanks to the same ‘gesture area’ that features on the Palm Pre and Pixi range of smartphones.
There are three speakers on Topaz – two on the left side and one on the right, presumably for use in both landscape and vertical modes. A micro USB port is also visible on the bottom, as is a front-facing camera. However, there doesn’t seem to be a rear-mounted camera, which would be a strange and disappointing omission.
For now, we’re assuming it’s only a prototype version, because Engadget also grabbed hold of a release plan for the tablet, which, oddly enough, only reveals the launch window for the Opal and not the Topaz.
As expected, HP plans to release different models of the slate with Wi-Fi, 3G and LTE connectivity. The earliest release date is July for AT&T stateside for the LTE version, although it is greyed out, so it may not be a confirmed date just yet. Meanwhile, the UK can expect to find Wi-Fi and 3G versions of the Opal in store shelves in September.
Although there’s no concrete information on the tablet’s specs, Engadget has been told by its source that both tablets will feature 1.2 GHz processors. No information yet if the tablet will support Palm’s ‘Touchstone’ inductive charging accessory but we should hear more of that soon when HP is ready to officially announce the tablet(s) on the 9th of February.
What do you think of the Topaz? Will it be able to compete? Let us know in the comments box below.