As we discussed in February, HP is re-entering the Android tablet game after a little 4-year WebOS hiatus. Their first effort, the HP Slate 7 goes on sale today for a very reasonable $169. On the plus side, HP offers SD Card espansion, built-in printing and Beats Audio to the package when compared to the $199 Nexus 7. Like the Nexus 7, the Slate is almost entirely Stock Android (Here Here!). Unlike the Nexus 7, however, the screen is the same 1024×600 resolution as the two year old base model Kindle which currently sells for $159.
The real news here for Android is that HP’s expansive network of international customers now have easy access to an inexpensive tablet. I expect this to be a big deal. Read more
We don’t normally see Google Chromebooks on sale but today at Staples, HP’s version is a whopping $75 off putting it near the price of the much smaller ARM Samsung 550s.
Not only is the HP Pavilion 14-c01us Chromebook more expensive, it’s also heavier than Samsung’s offering at 4lbs compared to 2.5lbs. Battery life is unfortunately the same story with an approximate 4.25 hours quoted compared to the 6.5 hours Samsung’s Chromebook offers. If you can get past that, the new HP device packs in a 14-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit (1,366-by-768-pixel), 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SATA SSD, HDMI, USB 2.0, as well as an Ethernet port.
We posted a leaked spec sheet late last month that showed off what appeared to be an upcoming 14-inch Chromebook from HP. HP has officially announced the new Chromebook today. While it might have a 14-inch display two inches wider than any other Chromebook, it also happens to be more expensive than Samsung’s latest offering at $329. That’s significantly more than Samsung’s latest $249 model.
HP offered up full specs on the device that is available to order through the company’s website now. Not only is the HP Pavilion 14-c01us Chromebook more expensive, it’s also heavier than Samsung’s offering at 4lbs compared to 2.5lbs. Battery life is unfortunately the same story with an approximate 4.25 hours quoted compared to the 6.5 hours Samsung’s Chromebook offers. If you can get past that, the new HP device packs in a 14-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit (1,366-by-768-pixel), 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SATA SSD, HDMI, USB 2.0, as well as an Ethernet port.
The Samsung Chromebook has been the top-selling laptop on Amazon since it launched; Acer reported that Chromebooks make up 5-10% of US shipments; and in the first two months of 2013 Google announced two new devices from two new partners, Lenovo and HP. In the Enterprise, Google just announced 2,000schools have deployed Chromebooks and businesses like Kaplan, Dillard’s and Quality Distribution are using Chrome devices as well.
HP’s hoping consumers will opt for the larger display, keyboard, and additional ports for the extra $80, but we’re not too excited about the battery life.
Other new additions to Google Cloud Print– those using the latest release of Chrome on Mac, Windows, or Linux can print any webpage, and Chromebook users will now have access to print preview. Google also notes they look forward to rolling out the service across products and platforms.
As you can see from the internal email sent to HP employees by CEO Meg Whitman below (via TechCrunch), webOS is officially alive and well and on its way to open source land. Last we heard HP was soon going to come to a solid decision on the fate of webOS and rumors started flying about the company even being open to Android. However, today’s confirmation from Whitman most likely means the company hopes webOS will be picked up by vendors looking for an alternative to Google’s OS. There’s no mention of new hardware in the letter, but The Verge sat down with Whitman and board member Marc Andreessen who say there will indeed be new HP webOS tablets by 2013:
Will HP be creating any new webOS hardware?
The answer to that is yes but what I can’t tell you is whether that will be in 2012 or not. But we will use webOS in new hardware, but it’s just going to take us a little longer to reorganize the team in a quite different direction than we’ve been taking it in the past.
Are we talking printers? Or tablets and phones?
In the near term what I would imagine – and this could change, in full disclosure – is I would think tablets, I do not believe we will be in the smartphone business again.
HP’s now deceased TouchPad tablet, powered by the webOS software.
In addition to whispers of a possible take over of Hewlett-Packard’s personal computer business worth forty million PC units in 2011, Samsung is said to be considering purchasing the webOS operating system HP got through the last year’s Palm acquisition.
This comes via a DigiTimesreport this morning, citing “sources from notebook players”. In fact, that may be the reason alone behind Samsung’s rumored interest in HP’s PC making biz, the sources suspect. Samsung, of course, already makes PC notebooks but with only ten million units in this year they aren’t exactly in the big league.
Of course, the rumor-mill has been speculating about such a move since Hewlett-Packard shot down webOS and announced intentions to exit the low-margin personal computer business earlier this month. While we have to take those stories with a few pinches of salt, it’s easy to see webOS flourish under Samsung.
The company would further reduce its dependence on Android software as Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola has left the search giant’s commitment to Android backers dwindling in the air.
Samsung, which also develops Bada, its own operating system for feature phones, could make, promote and sell webOS smartphones and tablets on a global scale. And if HP’s TouchPad fire-sale is an indication, the industry and consumers yearn for a third mobile platform in order to avoid the Android-iOS duopoly. Think about it: The webOS software running on Samsung’s beautifully designed hardware rocking cutting-edge processors and graphics – and priced aggressively – could let Samsung compete with iPad more effectively than with its current crop of Android-driven tablets.
Let’s not forget Palm’s intellectual property portfolio that would no doubt enable the company to avoid future lawsuits from rivals. As a matter of fact, the webOS licensing would enable Samsung to gain a much-needed patent leverage against Apple in the mobile space.