After we figured HP was just about done with Android after their acquisition of Palm (which gave them full access to webOS and tons of neat software patents), rumors began swirling that those earlier suspicions were a tad bit preemptive and that HP still had plans to bring out an Android tablet. That tablet would be known as the HP Zeen C510 and Engadget‘s gotten first shots of what’s in store for anyone willing to buy.
The device was seen in China, apparently, but that’s irrelevant. (Sort of. Doesn’t HP do all of their bidding – manufacturing or otherwise – on American soil?) Anyway, what we see here is a heavily-customized Android experience – not surprising considering HP’s MO here. Before webOS, this was their goto OS (they dropped WinMo like a bad habit and didn’t look back) and they needed something to call their own.
The name of the UI is TouchSmart and it completely does away with the traditional home experience we’ve come to know and love on Android (yes, that means you can’t add your own widgets to the home screen). Some preloaded apps include Facebook, Yahoo apps (Daily Digest, Mail, and Messenger), a browser, HP’s gallery app, and an email client. Also on the home screen (and not surprising) is a Barnes & Noble recommendations widget – a confirmation that this will be aimed at the eBook lovers.
There’s also built in printing functionality with the same PhotoSmart eStation c510 printer we’ve heard of before, though we’re still not sure if you’ll be able to interface with other wireless printers. That won’t matter, however, as this device might not be getting boxed up all by its lonesome: it’s said HP dropped plans to provide the tablet separately in favor of a $399.99 C510 printer and tablet package. None of this is still confirmed, but Engadget was right the first time. I won’t doubt the possibility of them being right again.