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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 (opens in new tab) 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?

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.