Do you want to Touch me?

The iPad might be about to finally get a proper rival. HP's TouchPad will be released in the UK in just a few days, on July 15.

Why is the TouchPad a potential contender? Well, there's been high praise for its WebOS software, the same system that runs on Palm phones like the Pre. 'The same basic building blocks which made webOS so attractive a few years ago are almost completely intact in the new version,' reckon This Is My Next.

The hardware itself hasn't been as universally praised. CrunchGear said that it attracts 'fingerprints like a crime scene' and adds that it's rather large: 'It is as thick as the [Motorola] Xoom and the original iPad but the bulbous shape makes it feel a bit bigger. It isn’t very heavy – 1.6 pounds compared to 1.3 pounds for the iPad 2 and 1.6 for the Xoom – but it “feels” heavier and heftier.'

Time will tell whether the public sees the TouchPad as a contender to the iPad - but at least it makes a change from the endless stream of identikit Android tablets. And at £399, the TouchPad will be competitive on price at least.

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