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HP TouchPad to hit stores on July 1, starting at $499.99

June 9, 2011 |  9:11 am

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Hewlett-Packard's tablet, the HP TouchPad, is hitting stores on July 1.

The new tablet will run HP's WebOS operating system -- which was developed by Palm before that company was taken over by HP -- and will feature an iPad-matching 9.7-inch touchscreen.

The HP TouchPad going on sale next month will be the Wi-Fi version of new device. HP will also sell a 3G model through AT&T "later this summer," HP said in a statement on Thursday.

The device, which is HP's first consumer tablet to make it to market, will also land at retailers in the U.K., Ireland, France and Germany a few days after its July 1 U.S. release, and go on sale in Canada in mid-July, HP said. Other parts of the world will have to wait until later this year.

While the gadget's screen size lines up evenly with Apple's iPad, the HP TouchPad's price will too -- set at $499.99 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model or $599.99 for a 32GB Wi-Fi model. HP said it will begin taking pre-orders in North America and Europe starting June 19.

HPTouchPad The HP TouchPad will feature a front-facing camera for video chats, or taking photos, but it won't have a camera on the back -- a spec that most competing tablets nowadays do have.

HP is pitching WebOS, which the company has said it will ship later this year on laptops as well, as the major reason a consumer would be interested in its tablet over the huge field of Google Android tablets or Apple's iPad.

"What makes HP TouchPad a compelling alternative to competing products is WebOS," Jon Rubinstein, the senior vice president and general manager of HP's Palm business unit, said in a statement. "The platform's unmatched features and flexibility will continue to differentiate HP products from the rest of the market for both personal and professional use."

HP is promising a "next-level multitasking experience," stereo speakers using the Dr. Dre-sponsored Beats Audio for "premium audio playback," and integration with HP's cloud services too.

Among those selling the HP TouchPad in the U.S. will be Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Walmart, Sam's Club, OfficeMax, Amazon.com, Fry's Electronics and of course, HP itself, online.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager of Hewlett-Packard's Palm business unit, holds the HP TouchPad tablet at the Uplinq conference in San Diego on June 1. Credit: David Maung/Bloomberg

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