HP launch Pre3 smartphone

Impressive update to much-loved Palm smartphone
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HP announced an update to the firm's Palm-acquired Pre smartphone range with the HP Pre3 powered by webOS. 

The well-received Palm Pre arrived too late to reverse Palm's fortunes but the updated all-new model armed with a 1.4GHz processor and 3.58-inch 480x800 resolution touch screen as well as the full slide-out keyboard may be just the ticket to tempt Palm fans of old.

HP were just as vague about a release date as the firm's other major launch today, the TouchPad tablet They would only say 'summer'.

Hardware wise the new HP Pre3 features a 'gesture area' in lieu of the usual hardware buttons on smartphones while the slide-out QWERTY keyboard has also been redesigned with a backlight. 

8 or 16GB models will be available and HP confirmed the device is Adobe Flash Player 10 compatible so new users wont be feeling left out when it comes to Flash-exploiting malware. 

The Pre3 unsurprisingly is armed with the usual array of connectivity including Wi-Fi 802.11n and earlier standards, integrated GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 and a solid-looking 5-megapixel autofocus camera with a LED flash.

Taking a different tack from Microsoft, HP specific call out the ability of the Pre3 to act as a Wi-Fi router, hosting up to five devices using HP mobile hotspot. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 has yet to support any form of tethering, let alone a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.

Like the TouchPad, HP have eschewed the slightest mention of Palm heritage although surely the wireless charge/dock device option, the Touchstone, is shown on HP's new Pre3 site with the Palm logo.