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And now the tablet good news

It's not all bad news on the tablet PC front. Yes, it looks like the long-awaited influx of Android tablets might have to wait till next year. But it sounds like when 2011 does roll round (is it almost September already?!), we'll at least be spoiled for choice.

You see, PC giant HP has had a funny 2010, on the tablet front. Mere days after the iPad was launched by Apple, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage at giant tech expo CES to demonstrate the HP Slate, a forthcoming tablet PC running Windows 7.

But then the slate failed to materialise, amid rumours HP weren't happy with Windows as a basis for a touch-powered computer. Then in April, it became clear why: HP bought Palm, the venerable maker of smartphones and personal digital assistants, for a whopping $1.2 billion.

So what, you ask? Well, you see, Palm brought with it its latest, highly rated smartphone OS, WebOS. Equipped with multi-tasking, social network syncing and general sexiness, WebOS was raved about by tech types when launched in 2009, but the phone chosen to launch it - the Palm Pre - didn't do well. Now, though, it seems WebOS is set for a second life - as the operating system for a new range of HP tablets.

The HP Slate willbe released, it seems, but with WebOS as its operating system. (In fairness, HP are saying there'll be a 'Microsoft-powered product' out too, so it seems they've got Windows 7 to work the way they want). The first quarter of 2011 looks set to be the golden time.

So - patience, tablet types! The wait will be long, but the choice, once all these Windows/Android/WebOS/something else tablets become available, will be extensive.

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