Gadget blog Engadget published on Tuesday allegedly a pair of internal renders that have "somehow" managed to escape Hewlett-Packard's labs. The images show a pair of round-shaped devices that look like an oversized Pre smartphone.
Thought to be nicknamed Topaz and Opal, the devices are believed to be HP's inaugural webOS-driven tablets. The Topaz is a nine-inch tablet while Opal will compete in the seven-inch category made popular by Samsung's Galaxy Tab. Both slates should be available in WiFi, 3G and LTE variants.
The renders, included here for the sake of completeness, reveal the front-facing camera for videoconferencing, the micro USB port at the bottom and smooth, glossy plastic on the back. The images somewhat support past rumors which also mentioned an HDMI port and USB 3.0. It appears that neither device has the physical home button like the iPad, which is also said to drop the home button in an upcoming refresh.
Unfortunately, a leaked marketing memo would have you believe that neither tablet would ship until September 2011. If this is true, HP will lose the advantage because by September most big brands will have already shipped their tablets, including Apple, Research In Motion, Motorola and Samsung.
The memo also suggests HP will position the Topaz and Opal as "fun, mobile productivity" devices that "fits into your busy life and workflow" to "make life easier, more mobile" and provide "entertainment on the go."
HP on February 9 will host a broad public show in San Francisco to discuss a new webOS version and the devices that will run it - among them presumably these two tablets, the Opal and Topaz.