HP Rumoured To Launch 7-inch iPad 2 Rival

HP will apparently launch a smaller 7-inch model of its TouchPad tablet which is set to debut in the UK over the next few days.

The tablet according to news outlet Taiwan Economic News, will be manufactured by ODM giant Inventec and, combined with the 9.7-inch model, shipments may amount to about 450,000 tablets per month or roughly one eighth the expected monthly shipment level of the iPad 2.

An unquoted source claims that Inventec will produce around three million tablets by the end of the year, but they did not suggest what percentage of shipment units would be of the bigger size.

10-inch and 7-inch class tablets have emerged as the most common and popular form factors on the market. Amongst the big brands only LG has come out with an alternative 8.9-inch model.

A 7-inch HP TouchPad, we expect, would have exactly the same hardware configuration as its bigger brother down to the screen resolution (XGA), the system on chip, the onboard memory and even the lack of a rear camera.

It will be intriguing to see how HP positions that tablet compared to the existing 10-inch WebOS-based model. Will it be significantly cheaper? If so, by how much? Is HP going to add/remove features to differentiate between the two models?