Rumor: HP's webOS slate will be out in early 2011

HP seems to have hit kind of a rough patch, with both CEO Mark Hurd and Palm Pre designer Peter Skillman departing over the span of a few days. If we're to believe the folks at Engadget, though, that webOS slate everyone's been talking about hasn't been canned yet; in fact, HP has reportedly primed the device for a launch in the first quarter of 2011.

Engadget got the scoop from "several trusted sources," who claim HP Vice President Todd Bradley set the first-quarter launch schedule "during an all-hands employee meeting" on Monday. The site also learned HP's code name for the slate ("Hurricane"), although we wouldn't be surprised to see the newly filed PalmPad trademark slapped on the device.

Q1 is sort of a loose time frame, but who knows—maybe we'll get lucky and catch a glimpse of the PalmPad at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. If that's the case, HP will probably have some competition. Asus staffers told me a couple of months back that the 12" Eee Pad should be out in time for CES. Asus is also developing a 10", Android-powered device that could launch slightly earlier.

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