Looks like we didn't have to wait until Feb. 9th after all to see HP's webOS tablet. Engadget has what are reportedly the first pictures of the dark horse tablets that may finally step up to the iPad. Details below:
As you can see from these renders, the 9-inch Topaz and 7-inch Opal tablets have no physical buttons, but do posses a front-facing camera and what looks like a microUSB port on the bottom and speakers on two sides.
The two tablets are expected to launch September (Wi-Fi, AT&T 3G, and Verizon LTE) of this year, with an AT&T LTE following in July 2012.
There's not much to be gleaned here from our glimpse of the OS in action, other than it makes a good (though vague) first impression.
What may be more interesting is the September release, which presumably puts Opal and Topaz in position of playing catchup with iPad 2 and the slew of Android Honeycomb tablets that are much closer to being coaxed out of the pipeline. Presumably they're going to be able to make up that difference with killer app offerings—the competition has too big of a head start—so don't be surprised if HP's paired some killer hardware with its Palm's crown jewel platform. [Engadget]