HP TouchPad tablet coming July 1 for $499

@CNNMoneyTech June 9, 2011: 3:36 PM ET
The TouchPad's release date is July 1, and it starts at the same price as the iPad.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- HP's iPad rival now has a launch date: The HP TouchPad tablet will go on sale July 1 starting at $499, the same price as the iPad.

HP (HPQ, Fortune 500) said Thursday that the TouchPad will be sold through several retailers, including Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500), Staples, Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500), Office Depot, Walmart (WMT, Fortune 500), Sam's Club, and OfficeMax.

Pre-orders start June 19 on HP's site. A version with 3G Internet connectivity through AT&T (T, Fortune 500) will be announced later this summer, HP said.

The 16 gigabyte TouchPad will cost $499, and the 32 GB version is $599. That matches the cost for the Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) iPad, Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Research in Motion's (RIMM) PlayBook.

The TouchPad is the same size as the iPad, with a 9.7-inch screen. What makes the TouchPad stand out in the jam-packed tablet field is its operating system: It runs on webOS, a rare alternative to the duopoly forming around Apple's iOS and Google's (GOOG, Fortune 500) Android.

An HP executive forecast at a conference last month that the TouchPad tablet computer will be the "number one plus" product on the market.

HP is gunning for the market leader, Apple, which sold 14.8 million iPads in 2010. But other competitors are coming up fast -- dozens of tablets are slated for release this year.

Would-be rivals have struggled to match the iPad's sales. RIM's PlayBook debuted last month to lackluster reviews, while Motorola's (MMI) Xoom -- the first to run Google's tablet-optimized "Honeycomb" 3.0 version of Android -- has sold sluggishly.

The TouchPad will be available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Germany a few days after the U.S. launch. Later in the year, HP will ship the table to Italy, Spain, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore. To top of page

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