The rumor mill is kicking into high gear as details for a new portable device from HP was discovered on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s web site. The newly discovered FCC filing from Hewlett-Packard appeared on Thursday, August 5.
The name of this device is the HP eStation Zeen. Sources are now saying that the Zeen is in fact a tablet device in the same vein as the iPad. What’s more is that the Zeen tablet allegedly runs Android 2.1 with a custom HP skin. This is a bit of an oddity considering that HP had acquired webOS earlier, when it bought Palm for US$1.2 Billion. You would think that HP would use webOS as the base software for future portable devices. However, these are all just rumors, so the final product may vary greatly from these initial speculations.
Rumored hardware specs have also been popping up. The Zeen is to host a capacitive touchscreen, an SD card slot, video support, and some prototypes even have cameras with a special webcam app installed. The FCC filing also specifies the inclusion of 802.11b/g/n WiFi.
One of the main features of the Zeen is its focus on e-reading and is said to connect to Barnes and Noble’s Nook network. Given that the Nook also uses Android.
A big differentiator though is that the Zeen has the capability to wirelessly connect to an HP printer, nicknamed Zeus. The Zeen/Zeus bundle is certainly a game changer when it comes to tablet PCs. By integrating the printer with the tablet, HP could offer stronger printing capabilities. This would be particularly useful in printing out e-books, or digital magazines. It could also be useful for printing out drawings and other user created content from HPs tablet.
The Zeus has its own basic control set-up, but once the Zeen is docked, it provides a richer interface for its printing functions. Presumably, this interface would directly connect to the net given the tablet’s WiFi capabilities and HPs inclination towards web compatibility.
So what of this new printer, will it be capable of wirelessly connecting to other future HP devices? Will it be backwards compatible with ordinary PCs and notebooks? Or is it exclusively for the Zeen tablet?
Well given that all of these are purely speculative, we might get to find out any time soon. However they do raise some interesting questions regarding the direction HP is taking with its portable devices. I guess we’ll have to keep an eye out for any new details.
This Article is written by John C Arkin, contributor of PrintCountry News Articles.