It’s an open secret that HP plans to release a seven-inch version of the TouchPad webOS tablet shortly after it launches the 9.7-inch device in July. More evidence has emerged in the form of contract manufacturer Inventec, which claims it will supply components for both the 9.7-inch TouchPad and a seven-inch version scheduled to launch in August.
Early leaks in February, prior to HP’s official 9.7-inch device announcement, pointed to two devices codenamed Topaz and Opal. Topaz turned out to be the device shipping in July, and Opal, the seven-inch version, later turned up a reference on the HP website. Users hovering their cursor over the “App Experience” or “Featured Apps” on the site’s tabs were greeted with a small pop-up listing the app’s price, minimum operating system requirements, and compatible devices, which included the names Topaz and Opal along with various webOS smartphones.
The HP TouchPad is the first tablet running webOS 3.0, an operating system developed by Palm that HP later acquired. HP has previously released Windows 7 slates and convertibles, including the Slate 500. The TouchPad scheduled to ship in July will feature a 9.7-inch display and sport a 1024 x 768 screen resolution. The size and resolution are the same as those found on both the Apple iPad and iPad 2.
HP has been plagued by leaks about the TouchPad, with Engadget scooping the HP announcement with full device details just prior to the official unveiling in February, various price and release date leaks from Walmart, and a video showcasing the entire OS at Computex last month.
TabletPCReview also received some hands-on time with the device back in February, and with webOS 3.0 last week. We will have a full preview of the operating system in the coming days and a full review of the tablet when it ships to consumers next month.