Oh, hello. A trusted tipster just sent in these internal renders of HP / Palm's "Topaz" webOS tablet, which is one of two tablets currently being developed in Sunnyvale. That's right, two tablets: the 9-inch Topaz and a 7-inch model codnamed Opal -- a lineup that fits nicely into Palm's "Something big, Something small, Something beyond" tagline for its upcoming February 9th event. Looking at the render, we're seeing the no-button design we'd previously heard about (we're assuming the gesture area rotates with the display), a front-facing camera, a micro USB port on the bottom, and what appears to be a Vizio Tablet-style three speaker arrangement for stereo audio in both landscape and portrait modes -- that's two speakers along the left side and a third on the right. (That's just a guess, though.) We'd also note the back appears to be a glossy material, which might rule out a giant Touchstone for charging -- Touchstone backs have heretofore been soft-touch, but anything can change, we suppose.
We're told that units will start to arrive at Palm HQ in June as production ramps up for launch later this year -- a timeline backed up by an internal marketing slide we received that lists WiFi-only, AT&T 3G, and Verizon LTE versions of the Opal arriving in September 2011, and on AT&T LTE in July 2012. The slide also indicates the Opal will have a particular e-reading focus, which makes sense for a 7-inch device, and there's a mention of "premium audio," which nicely reinforces our speaker hypothesis. Unfortunately, we don't have any word on specs or pricing yet, but these things had better be packing some serious heat for cheap if Palm is really planning to wait until September to launch them -- they'll be going head-to-head with the Xoom, the PlayBook, and presumably the iPad 2. We're still digging for more, so keep an eye out -- things are going to get crazy leading up to February 9th.
Update: We're told that they both have unspecified 1.2GHz processors, and that Topaz may arrive before Opal. We'll let you know if we learn anything else.
Look, let's be real: our Palm tablet scoop today was awesome. For its part, though, HP wants to remind us all that it's got other news in the pipe for its event early next month, going so far as to tease invitees that they haven't seen the latest on Engadget.
Not to say that we won't be trying very, very hard to ensure that our readers do see the latest right here... but point taken, HP. See you in a couple weeks.
Engadget claims to have more details on the 9" Topaz webOS tablet and the 7" Opal webOS tablet. Let's see what the latest rumors are, eh? Rumored Hardware specs:
* Opal will measure 180 x 144 x 13 mm and have a 1024x768 WXGA resolution screen. It's still apparently slated for a September launch.
* Topaz will measure 241 x 190 x 13 mm, with "identical pixel resolution*, which would work out to around 1316 x 936, but we would prefer a bigger 1440 x 900 WSXGA on a larger tablet ourselves.
* Both are purported to support some form of wireless charging via a Touchstone-style dock and premium audio via HP's now-favorite Beats tech. It's supposed to launch "3 months sooner" but we're still holding out that HP will stick to their "early 2011" hints.
Rumored software features come both via tipsters and a survey that seems to hint at HP's plans:
* "tens of gigabytes" of cloud storage
* As we previously guessed, HP may be using those gigabytes of cloud storage to store app states and saved documents to easily switch and share apps and games between devices.
* Exhibition-style features that appear when docked
* "Tap-to-share," a feature that lets you transfer files by bumping the devices together
* Flash support (no surprise)
* Confirmation of our guess that you will be able to forward calls and texts from phone to tablet
* Cloud storage for music
Related but take it with a grain of salt: we've received and unverifiable but true-seeming tip that the tablets will feature tight Amazon integration - including unbox movies, music store, and, yes, Kindle. Perhaps Jon Rubinstein joining Amazon's board wasn't just a coincidence?
Edited by Draztik Rhymez, January 19, 2011 - 12:55 PM.