HP Tablet Might Just Be A Small Piece Of A Palm-Infused Puzzle

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With the Great Tablet War of 2011 beginning to take shape, let’s take a closer look at what HP may have in store. Engadget seems to be the beneficiary of some relatively detailed insider information but, as always, nothing’s official until we hear it directly from HP. The company has planned a press conference for February 9th, so we should get some more details then.

You’ll recall that HP acquired Palm back in April of last year, not long after Palm’s completely overhauled mobile operating system, webOS, had made its debut on Palm’s line of “Pre” smartphones.

Now while Palm was mostly a mobile-focused company, HP has several consumer product lines—desktops, notebooks, netbooks, and printers—and it stands to reason that HP would leverage Palm’s mobile products to round out its offerings with mobile phones and tablets running webOS.

Engadget posits that not only will HP debut 7- and 10-inch tablets this year, but it sounds like these tablets may be part of a webOS ecosystem comprised of HP’s other consumer products too—all tied together and synchronized online.

For instance, there will apparently be a “tap to share” function that’ll allow you to sling files and documents around simply by tapping two HP devices together. There will also apparently be a big emphasis on cloud storage, with “tens of gigabytes” at each user’s disposal.

Apps may even be stored completely online; the idea being that you’d be able to start running an app on your home desktop computer and then seamlessly continue running it on your tablet, phone or laptop once you’ve left the house. And while not explicitly mentioned, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine HP’s wireless printers deeply integrated into the mix as well.

As for the actual tablets, the speculation is that the 7-incher may be called “Opal” and measure “a bit shorter and wider” than Samsung’s Galaxy Tab while the larger “Topaz” would size up equally with the current iPad.

Both tablets’ screens may sport 1024×768 resolutions, feature HP’s “Beats” audio, support Flash and true multitasking, and allow for inductive charging (no cables between the tablet and base station) similar to Palm Pre handsets.

Again, we’ll hear official details in February, so take this information with a grain of salt. If some or all of it turns out to be true, though, HP appears to be thinking well beyond the scope of a run-of-the-mill tablet offering.

More on TIME.com:

HP Officially Intros webOS 2.0, Palm Pre 2 Headed to Verizon

HP Confirms webOS Tablet and Printer

They Should Make It: HP Slate Dual Booting Win7 and WebOS

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