HP: TouchPad “will be better than number one”

Despite a wave of tablets hitting the market in recent months – with some, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab range, making quite an impact, and others, like the RIM PlayBook and Motorola’s Xoom, having so far apparently failed to impress buyers – there can be no doubt that the real leader on the tablet stage continues to be Apple’s iPad.

But Apple’s dominance of the market isn’t scaring HP, which is currently putting the final touches to its new TouchPad tablet device. The Daily Telegraph reports that Eric Cador, HP’s supremo for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has no doubt that the company will make quite a splash with the TouchPad.

At a recent press conference, Cador asserted that HP ascended to the top spot in the PC space despite, he claims, “fewer ways of differentiating HP’s products from our competitors.”  That may seem like a strange claim to some, given the vast range of form factors and designs that exist among desktop and mobile PCs, as well as software customisations that many manufacturers have applied to Windows 7, including HP itself with its own TouchSmart software layer – the extraordinary diversity that exists among PCs does seem to be at odds with his remark.

Still, Cador clearly believes that to be the case, and he added: “In the tablet world, we’re going to become better than number one. We call it 'number one plus'.”

He then went on to suggest that only HP “plays in the both the consumer and business world”, and implied that this would give the company an advantage with its TouchPad deployment: “The way the corporate is going to look at it is to say that its employees, who are also consumers, have got to like it and it’s got to be secure. We’re going to deliver that.”

The 10” TouchPad is expected to arrive in June, with pricing expected to start from around $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version; a 7” version (known internally as ‘Opal’) is expected to launch later in the year.

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