HP shows multi-touch convertible tablet PC, new netbooks

— 1:37 PM on January 6, 2010

Microsoft and HP may jointly introduce a slate device tonight as rumored, but in the meantime, HP has pulled the curtain off a handful of new, somewhat more conventional mobile systems. This lineup includes a pair of new Pine Trail-based netbooks as well as a sub-$1,000, multi-touch, convertible tablet PC called the TouchSmart tm2.

Billed as the successor to the 12.1" TouchSmart tx2, the new TouchSmart tm2 has an engraved aluminum enclosure, a convertible tablet form factor, and a capacitive multi-touch display that supports both pen-based handwriting input and gestures like "zoom, scroll and rotate." Internally, the tm2 trades the tx2's Turion X2 processor for a low-voltage Intel Core 2 Duo. HP offers Mobility Radeon discrete graphics as an option, too, and it quotes an impressive nine hours of battery life with the standard six-cell battery.

The TouchSmart tm2 will become available in the U.S. on January 17 at a starting price of $949, HP says. A handful of touch-enabled applications will ship pre-installed on the system, including BumpTop, DigiFish Dolphin, Corel Paint it! Touch, and a special Netflix app.

On the netbook side of things, HP has introduced the Mini 5102, a premium 10.1" netbook with a 2.6-lb weight, a 95% keyboard, an aluminum display enclosure, and a relatively hefty (by today's standards) $399 price tag. HP will offer a whole host of options for this system: touch-screen capabilities, a carrying handle, high-def display resolutions, a Broadcom Crystal HD video decoder, and a six-cell battery HP rates for 10 hours of run time.

Those in search of a cheaper solution will want to look at the HP Mini 210 and 2102, which will start at a respective $299 and $329 with somewhat more modest specs (like a 92% keyboard and a maximum memory capacity of 1GB). You can look for the Mini 210 and 2102 in stores tomorrow; the 5102 will follow later this month. See the image gallery below for shots of the TouchSmart tm2, Mini 5102, and Mini 210, respectively.

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