HP releases Touchpad tablet in UK

Running on HP's webOS operating system, the tablet device starts at £399 and aims to take on the growing number of tablets available for consumers and business...

HP's Touchpad tablet device is now available to purchase in the UK.

Running on HP's webOS operating system, the tablet device can be bought for £399 for a 16GB device from HP or UK retailers, including PC World and Carphone Warehouse. A 32GB device retails at £479.

Touchpad features include Wi-Fi connectivity, 1.3-megapixel front-facing webcam with video calling capability, multi-tasking, Adobe Flash support as well as wireless printing to HP printers and one-touch synchronisation with HP's Pre 3 smartphone.

Paul Hunter, vice president at HP personal system group UK and Ireland, said the launch of the TouchPad is part of a larger strategy to roll out webOS on further devices.

"HP has an aggressive plan to bring the webOS operating system to millions of devices over the coming months and the HP TouchPad is an important first step," said Hunter.

Competition in the tablet market is hotting up, with more devices available for both consumers and corporate users.

Research in Motion (RIM)'s Blackberry Playbook tablet went on sale in the UK in June 2011, also priced at £399 for a 16GB model - the same price as an Apple iPad.

Analysts have voiced doubt over the Playbook's pricing, apps offering and lack of e-mail client.

Amazon is also rumoured to be launching a tablet, with suggestions that the company plans to release a device by October.

Amazon's tablet will have a 9in screen, will run on Google's Android platform, and will not have a camera, sources told the Wall Street Journal. Production of the devices will be outsourced to a manufacturer in Asia, the paper was told.

Global shipments of tablet devices have fallen 28% to 7.2 million units in the first quarter of 2011, according to analyst IDC.

Despite the decline, IDC expects 53.5 million tablets to be shipped in 2011, compared to its previous prediction of 50.4 million units by the end of the year.

Read more on Mobile hardware