The predicted flood of tablets chasing after the success of Apple’s iPad has begun. Samsung’s Galaxy is already available, RIM announced its Playbook last fall and HP made the official TouchPad announcement last month.
The Galaxy and Playbook are smaller than the first-generation iPad but the TouchPad is a close match: They have the same screen dimensions and resolution, weigh approximately the same and are within a couple of millimetres of each other in outer dimensions. (The just-announced iPad 2 claims to be 33 percent thinner and 15 percent lighter than the original.)
For processing power the TouchPad uses a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-CPU processor and the spiffy webOS operating system developed by Palm (HP acquired Palm in 2010). The current iPad is available with 16, 32 or 64GB of storage, while the HP unit will give you 16 or 32 GB. Like the iPad, the TouchPad will be available with WiFi alone or WiFi+3G.
A couple of features the TouchPad has are a front-facing camera for video calling, and support of Adobe Flash. While the TouchPad will lack the vast ocean of apps that surround the iPad, webOS has solid base of apps to build on. When can you get one? HP says “this summer.”