HP-Palm tablet rumors swirl for CES

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Technology giant Hewlett-Packard has previously says it plans to bring out a bunch of devices that leverage Palm’s webOS operating system—including tablets—but now Fox News has thrown its hat in the ring, claiming that HP plans to introduce a webOS-based tablet device this January at CES…and that the whole thing seems suspiciously like a rehash of the HP Slate.

According to the Fox report, HP’s forthcoming webOS based tablets (there will be three of them) will feature both front- and rear-facing cameras (1.3 megapixels and 3 megapixels, respectively), USB 3.0 connectivity, WiMax 4G capability from Sprint, and a mini-HDMI output for pushing content to a big screen HDTV. The devices will also feature rounded edged, be thinner than the Apple iPad, and will feature Palm’s webOS 2.5.1; Fox claims at least one of the devices will feature a 9.7-inch LCD display. The devices will also support an optional dock.

Industry watchers have generally reacted with skepticism to the report, noting that the specs are surprisingly in line with the HP Slate 500—the device that was supposed to be the “iPad killer” from last year’s CES show. (After much hand-wringing, HP finally shipped the device in October with prices starting at $799&mdsah;and pitched it to enterprise customers rather than consumers). The technology press has also noted that neither Palm nor HP has lined up any significant press events or keynotes for CES.

According to Fox, the tablets are scheduled to go on sale in March 2011, and no pricing information has been determined. Fox also claims HP is working on a fourth version with an 8.9-inch display aimed specifically at university students.

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