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Rumored HP tablet could use Tegra 4 chip and Android as its OS

Touchpad RearA report published by ReadWrite says Hewlett Packard is working on a new, top-of-the-range tablet project, which will run Google Android as its operating system and use a new Nvidia Tegra 4 processor.

The information comes from two anonymous sources inside the company, who say the project has been running since late last year. Additionally, the adoption of Android for tablets could lead to an Android smartphone in the future, however according to CEO Meg Whitman, HP has no plans to introduce a new smartphone this year.

So what about the tablet? Aside from hybrid hardware like the Envy x2, HP’s tablet history is less than illustrious, as one instantly recalls the HP TouchPad. The 9.7-inch slate was supposed to showcase WebOS following HP’s purchase of Palm, but it didn’t quite succeed, and only caused a stir when its price dropped down into double figures.

As for Google, it’s always on the lookout for new partners, and has recently paired up with HP to release the Pavilion 14 Chromebook. Instead of keeping the laptop’s spec sheet simple and the cost low, HP’s Chromebook has a large 14-inch screen and a $330 price tag, making it look rather extravagant next to the competition. It certainly shows HP isn’t content to only use Android on cheap hardware.

However, Whitman has previously said the tablet market is, “quite well served by Apple;” hardly the words of someone planning to announce an expensive tablet sometime soon. But then we have HP’s recently formed Mobility division, which was rumored to be concentrating on consumer tablets, along with Gram, the secretive spin-off of Palm working on new software products. Could they both be connected, and this rumored product their first collaboration?

If they are all working together on a tablet, the rumored use of the Tegra 4 processor gives us an idea of when it may appear, as Nvidia expects the first tablets using the new processor to go on sale sometime after August this year. Hewlett Packard is going through a lengthy restructuring process at the moment, so anything is possible, but any solid information on this rumor looks to be a while away.

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