HP TouchPad Struts Its Stuff Before Launch, but Is It Enough?

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If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, HP would like to explain how its TouchPad distinguishes itself from other tablets.

A new series of videos touts the TouchPad’s key features, ahead of its launch on July 1 (starting at $499). They show off the TouchPad’s card-based multitasking that lets users run lots of apps at once, and the “Synergy” feature that combines multiple e-mail, contacts and calendar sources into a single view. They explain the “Just Type” feature, which lets users search the device and the web from the tablet’s home screen, and demonstrate how HP’s upcoming Pre 3 phone will be able to wirelessly transfer phone calls and websites to the tablet.

Of course, what HP doesn’t show in these videos are the TouchPad’s inherent weaknesses: The hardware, while comparable to other current tablets in raw power, measures closer to Apple’s first-generation iPad than the thinner and lighter iPad 2, so HP doesn’t spend much time talking about it. And if you want to see what apps are available, you’ll just have to wait; although the TouchPad’s WebOS already offers roughly 6,000 smartphone apps, it’s not clear how many will be optimized for tablets at launch.

Still, HP has a solid foundation in WebOS, and laying out exactly what makes the TouchPad unique is the best way to make tablet buyers think twice about an iPad or Android tablet. If this is how HP will market the TouchPad to mainstream consumers next month, it may actually have a chance.

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