I’m not exactly sure how this strange pairing was birthed, probably somewhere in a boardroom of extremely bored HP executives… but it looks like HP’s Tablet plus Printer combo is drawing closer to readiness for release. I thought one of the driving tenets of the tablet revolution was to obsolete printers, but obviously HP disagrees – hey, they’re the experts. The Zeen, as it’s appellated, is a 7-inch capacitive tablet which will be bundled in a $400 package with the C510 PhotoSmart eStation. While thankfully printing does not appear to be the Zeen’s sole raison d’être, it is certainly one of the devices included features, with a Printer and Coupon app appearing in the app drawer.
All Things Digital is reporting that HP’s planned Android Slate tablet has been delayed, possibly indefinitely. Given HP’s recent acquisition of Palm, it seems likely that HP is choosing to focus on development of their webOS tablet to compete with Apple’s iPad as quickly as possible. From a business standpoint, HP is probably making the right move. For Android and open source fans, though, this is indeed a sad day.
Despite HP’s less-than-perfect reputation for hardware quality, the Slate platform is definitely the slickest-looking tablet this side of the iPad, and Android would have benefited from a wide-release, US market tablet.