HP webOS Tablet Leaks, Looks Like An HP-ifed iPad

Sorry, HP. The ruthless Internet just ruined your February 9th event with a set of webOS tablet pics and a whole bunch of info. But you know what? It might be for the best. I’m at least interested now.

It’s kind of hard to write this up without drawing the iPad comparison. Not only do the renders physically look like the current iPad — sans the home button at least — but the specs line up with what most assume are going to be on the next iPad build. There’s a set of speakers, front-facing camera, and a micro-USB port, which will no doubt handle the charging and file transfer duties. But the one place where this tablet sets itself apart is where it counts most: The OS.

We’ve said all along that webOS just feels like a tablet OS, so it’s a bit comforting to see the operating system alive and well on the renders. There’s a new, sorry, iOS-like dock at the bottom, but the cards seem unchanged. Presumably multiple cards can still be dragged together to make the clever Stacks, too.

Engadget reports that there will be two models of the upcoming tablet, a 9-inch codenamed Topaz and a 7-inch going by the name Opal. At least the Opel will have multiple variations including a WiFi-only model, then at launch, one for both AT&T 3G and Verizon LTE networks, with an AT&T LTE version scheduled for July 2012.

Prices weren’t mentioned, but the slates are apparently on tap for later this year as production will not start until June. Too late? Perhaps, but HP is the type of company that could pull off a sort of coup months after the iPad 2 and Honeycomb tablets launch. Now, about that February event. Where does the line start?