HP’s New Tablet Pushes the Envelope
Posted September 17, 2009on:
Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat has the scoop on HP’s just-launched DreamScreen, a small, Net-connected tablet that runs a stripped down OS and limited number of apps.
I saw the prototype for this device at the beginning of the summer, while visiting HP’s labs down in Cupertino. It started life as a digital picture frame, which is apparent when you see and use it. As it evolved, the device took on some of the characteristics of HP’s popular TouchSmart desktop computer, which attempts to meld a computer with a TV. While the current DreamScreen doesn’t do TV, it runs a variety of apps that sidescroll across the screen, a la the TouchSmart, for such utilities as Weather, Photos, Music, Movies, Facebook and so on. The version I saw did not have a Web browser, and I don’t believe these first models do either.
HP said at the time that the plan was to open up the apps platform to third-party developers, which is a smart move. The DreamScreen 100, which can be ordered online now, has a 10.1-inch (diagonal) screen and sells for $249. This is the cloest thing yet to what the great e-reader era is aiming for, but there’s still a long way to go. Among other things, the device is fine for in-home use, but you wouldn’t take it on the train or to work, I think. Still, well done HP. This is a promising start and shows that the e-reader category can indeed be sexy.