Hewlett-Packard has listed the Windows-based HP Slate 500 on its website, and also applied to trademark the term Palmpad, fueling speculation surrounding the company's tablet plans.
HP, the world's largest PC maker, earlier this year announced plans to offer a tablet called the HP Slate, with Microsoft's Windows 7 OS. However, HP later acquired Palm for $1.2 billion and said it would put Palm's WebOS mobile OS on a range of devices including tablets. This led to speculation about HP scuttling its Slate plans, as power-hungry Windows 7 is more suited for PCs. But current listings hint at the company launching tablets with both the Windows and WebOS operating systems.
HP has listed the one model of the HP Slate 500 on its website. The device includes an 8.9-inch touchscreen and runs on Windows 7 Premium. The device also has two cameras -- one video and one still -- for users to do "web conferencing," according to the listing.
According to a page from HP's website archived on Google, the tablet is listed in multiple models.
HP's plans to launch a WebOS tablet also may have taken a step forward with the company's application to trademark the term Palmpad with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The trademark is related to goods and services for a range of hardware including "handheld and mobile computers, PDAs, electronic notepads, mobile digital electronic devices," according to the USPTO document.
HP did not immediately return requests for comment on its HP Slate plans or PalmPad trademark request. HP in the past has only vaguely stated that it intends to retain its strategic partnership with Microsoft. HP already offers Windows netbooks, and also offers iPaq mobile devices based on Windows Mobile.
HP will be an entering an increasingly competitive tablet market led by Apple's iPad. iSuppli on Tuesday predicted that Apple will ship 12.9 million iPads in 2010.