HP TouchPad launch looms in Australia


Global technology giant HP has given a strong indication that it will shortly launch its flagship TouchPad tablet in Australia, inviting local media to a briefing next week regarding the device.

The TouchPad line of tablets are based on technology acquired with the company’s buyout of handset specialist Palm last year, and represent HP’s attempt to take on Apple’s iPad, utilising Palm’s rival webOS operating system. When HP unveiled the devices, it also launched several new phones in the Pre range — the Pre 3 and the Veer, neither of which are available in Australia.

Palm never launched the Pre in Australia, preferring instead to focus throughout 2009 on countries in the Americas and Europe, such as the US, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Canada and Mexico. Despite this, some users in Australia had imported the handset due to what was seen as its innovative and open operating system.

Previously, HP has only said that Australia would get the TouchPad later this year. The Wi-Fi version of the tablet launched in the US earlier this month.

“What works like nothing else? What rocks like nothing else? What plays like nothing else? What thinks like nothing else? Come experience the HP TouchPad,” the company’s invitation sent to journalists late yesterday states. The briefing will be hosted in Sydney by HP’s vice president of its webOS platform for the Asia-Pacific and Japan region, Anthony McMahon.

The timing will make HP one of the last major manufacturers to launch a tablet in Australia, with Apple’s iPad having dominated the local market since launch in mid-2010, and rivals such as Motorola, Samsung, Acer and others having launched primarily Android-based devices locally. In addition, Research in Motion has already launched its BlackBerry PlayBook device in Australia over the past month.

In the US, HP sells the TouchPad directly, as well as through retailers and resellers, in two models featuring 16GB or 32GB of internal storage for US$499.99 and US$599.99 respectively. No Australian pricing or availability details have yet been announced.

Image credit: HP


    • There’s already an OTA update due for the end of the month that’s reportedly going to fix a lot of issues.
      You have to give them some credit, when HP bought Palm Palm had no plans for a tablet.
      So in 12 months they have rebuild their OS from the ground up and released a device that’s a pretty big effort.
      I am far more interested in the possibility of them announcing phones although I’m not holding my breath.
      I’m not sure how long my dinged up European Pre- is going to last.

  1. First of all I’m not a fan boy of any company, I like good devices that makes life more productive. I’ve owned and vigorously used many of the latest tablets such as the iPad2, Galaxy 7″ and the HP Touchpad. For Australians this is good news and I see many people adopting WebOs as an alternative. For everyone that is reading this comment, a lot the reviews from blogs and online feeds are misleading. It seems to me that too many writers need to earned the merit to be judgmental on a device and operating system that is still considered new to the market. To see the real value of the HP Touchpad you would need to actually use it frequently for about two weeks. I used my iPad2 for 7 weeks and now have 3 weeks usage on my Touchpad. My results? I sold my iPad2. The biggest complain on the Touchpad is the sluggishness and that is somewhat true when compared to the iPad2 however sluggishness statement is so over-rated. There are times when the Touchpad opens apps very quick and it flows extremely fast. The bottom line is I rather deal with a little bit of occasional sluggishness and have a tablet that is very dynamic, loaded with features and increases my productivity rather than having a tablet that is limited in features.

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