HP Not Done With Android After All: The Android-Running eStation Zeen


After HP acquired Palm and made an obvious shift in focus from Android to webOS for their next round of tablets, we figured Android wouldn’t return to their scene for quite some time. It seems that time has come sooner rather than later as latest reports regarding recent FCC filings suggest HP is bringing out an eReader running Android that will be able to interface with their Zeus printer.

According to Engadget’s sources, this will be a tablet device heavily focused on eReading (it’ll have deep B&N Nook bookstore integration) and will come with built-in functionality to interface with an HP printer without ever having to turn your PC on.  It’ll have a capacitive screen and will have HP’s custom user interface on top of Android 2.1. There’s also support for video, an SD card slot to extend capacity, and probably a front-facing camera with webcam software to accompany it.


Unfortunately, this probably won’t be the Android experience we’re all used to. HP wants to make sure their home screen and skin will be the only ones available to use on the tablet – meaning the possibility of widgets and other unique Android features might get the axe to make room for HP’s own focus.

The Zeen will come in two configurations: as a standalone product (unspecified amount) and a bundle with a compatible printer for $399.99. That’s quite tempting and gives me an excuse to buy the new printer I’ve always needed (granted the printer it  comes with turns out to be halfway decent, anyway). It’s great to see that – even after the Palm acquisition – HP hasn’t entirely forgotten about Android. Then again, we have no clue on even the broadest of windows as to when we can see this thing in stores, so anything can change.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Instead of tying with the dying barnes and nobles, they could have tied up with Amazon.

  2. @ Bob – That’s what the Kindle app is for

  3. What if their plan is to use what they can get out of webos (Palm talent and patents) and use that as a custom UI for an android tablet? I mean, what exactly are they getting out of webos? Very few apps were developed for it. The webOS UI was optimized for the pre’s unique hardware requirements including a gesture area. That probably doesn’t make sense for a tablet.

  4. @ari-free, not being critical, but it seems to me that the $1.2 Billion HP spent was an awful lot to buy some design talent. For only $10 Million you could pay a small staff of six figure salaries plus benefits for years.
    Then it seems HP bought it for Web OS to put on printers? C-mon? Really?
    Then it seems HP wanted Web OS for printers and their tablets? Oh, but the tablets will also run Win 7 — and fail just as Windows based tablets have done for over a decade now. (Clue for Microsfot: the OS isn’t designed for tablets and no bolt-on doodad can fix it.)
    Does HP really think they can go up against Android in tablets? Do they think it was worth the purchase price for printers and tablets?
    Maybe now the reality about Android is sinking in over at HP? (Nokia still has no clue yet and thinks they can go it alone against the rest of the world.)
    I don’t know what they’re smoking at HP (and Nokia) but I want some!

  5. Well, you can’t say HP’s CEO always had the best judgment…

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