HP TouchPad tablet official

The long-awaited webOS slate revealed to the world

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UPDATE: Check out our Hands on: HP TouchPad review

HP has officially announced the HP TouchPad, the heavily-anticipated webOS tablet at a media event in San Francisco

Outed at HP's "Think Big. Think Small. Think Beyond" event, the TouchPad - originally thought to be called the PalmPad - is hoping to turn webOS into a world-beater when it's launched this summer.

The device has a 9.7-inch capacitive multi-touch screen (1024 x 768), weighs in at 1.5lbs and is just 13mm thick. Sound familiar? That's because they're the exact same specs as the Apple iPad.

Like the iPad the only button on the front of the device seems to be the home button, in exactly the same place.

The new TouchPad syncs perfectly with the new Palm Pre 3 phone allowing users to receive text messages and answer phonecalls using the tablet. It'll also print wirelessly from the gallery app, using a HP printer.

Well specced.

Other vital stats include a nifty Snapdragon dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor, 512MB of RAM, while it'll come in 16GB, 32GB models.

The HP TouchPad, which has rounded edges also boasts eight hours of battery life and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calling inside a rather thick bezel.

In terms of connectivity, is has 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a SIM-card slot for on mobile broadband and can be charged through Palm's wireless touchstone technology as well as through the now-standard microUSB port.

Some of the top line applications that will be available for the tablet include TIME magazine, Sports Illustrated, Angry Birds and Facebook as well as a webOS Amazon Kindle reader app.

The multi-tasking friendly webOS operating system already seems like a better fit on the larger scale device so we're eager to see this impressive-looking gadget in action.

Let's hope HP learns from Palm's mistakes and gets the TouchPad in the hands of users sooner rather than later.