HP/Palm’s Unveiling

Yesterday HP/Palm unveiled their new WebOS product line. Needless to say after seeing it I’m feeling a bit underwhelmed but am certainly impressed with some of the announcements. First HP/Palm announced two new phones, the Veer and Pre 3.

The Veer is the new entry level WebOS device. It’s smaller than the Pre 2 which I find a bit perplexing as the Pre 2 is already a pretty small phone. Specs-wise the Veer is certainly not going to blow you away with a 2.6″ 320×400 screen, 800 MHz processor, 8GB of internal memory, and a goofy proprietary connector.

The second phone unveiled was the far more interesting Pre 3. This appears to be the new high end flagship phone for HP/Palm putting the Pre 2 between itself and the Veer. The main complain I have about the Pre 2 is the screen, it’s 3.1″ with 320×480 pixels of real estate. The Pre 3 on the other hand has a 3.58″ screen with 480×800 pixels of real estate (the same as the Evo 4G).

Likewise the Pre 3 has a 1.4 GHz processor which is pretty powerful for a phone. Since WebOS is known for its multi-tasking capabilities it makes sense to dump a decent amount of RAM in it, say, 512 MB. Sadly the internal storage is either 8GB or 16GB depending on the model you get. This is a rather pitiful maximum as the iPhone can go up to 32GB and any modern phone with a microSD card can be topped off with a 32GB card. HP/Palm really should have released a model of the Pre 3 with 32GB on board. I’m actually looking forward to this phone.

The third thing HP/Palm announced was the iPad TouchPad. This device looks rather familiar with it’s 9.7″ 1024×768 screen in a tablet format. With that said the TouchPad has some unique features such as 512MB of RAM on board and a far more pathetic choice in internal memory, either 16GB or 32GB (the iPad can have up to 64GB). The processor clocks in at 1.2GHz which is very respectable.

HP/Palm did some nice things to integrate the phone and tablet. The coolest feature is probably the fact if you physically tap a WebOS phone to the tablet whatever web page you’re viewing on the tablet will automatically open on your phone. Taken a bit further this feature would be absolutely awesome. I often look up an address on my iPad and then have to retype the address into my phone when I leave. I’d love to be able to tap my phone to my tablet and have them communicate the address themselves. Likewise WebOS lends itself much better to multi-tasking than anything Apple has attempted in iOS.

HP/Palm also announced something very interesting, WebOS will be coming to PCs later this year. The idea of having a universal operating system between my phone, tablet, and computer does have a nice ring to it.

All in all I think HP/Palm had a good show and unveiled some interesting, if not overwhelming, products. I’m looking forward to seeing if they can carve out a piece of the market for themselves or if they’ll end up being a complete niche which almost nobody uses.