First Look: HP Touchpad 4G from AT&T [updated]

HP's "premium" Touchpad 4G with a slightly faster CPU and 32 GB internal storage will launch in time for Back to School, but will it change minds about webOS and the Touchpad?

Now that the HP Touchpad Wi-Fi has officially launched for a second time July 17, we can focus on the 4G version that AT&T will be releasing in time for "back to school." Here are some photos of the upcoming and upgraded Touchpad 4G, taken from AT&T's Holiday Preview event last week.

In case you haven't heard, the next Touchpad will feature a slightly faster processor to clock at 1.5 GHz rather than 1.2 GHz in the Wi-Fi version. Though it will be marketed as a 4G device, it works on AT&T's HSPA+ network rather than LTE. In terms of storage capacity, the Touchpad 4G will only be available in 32 GB and has built-in GPS so this premium version likely won't come cheap.

Aside from these internal changes between the Wi-Fi and the 4G version, the Touchpad has essentially the same chassis, which means it still has a very glossy case that is a fingerprint magnet.  The stereo speakers are pictured below.

There is the SIM Card Slot that is accessible externally, as is evident in the photo below. [Update: I incorrectly identified the slot for a SD Card. My apologies for the confusion caused.] Note: the yellow dots reflect the lights in the ceiling and not some new texture applied to the Touchpad's screen.

I asked HP's Director of Product Management Jonathan Oakes about the mixed reviews about the Touchpad Wi-Fi and he revealed the team was not surprised by most of the criticisms and bugs, which is why the team is already working on an over-the-air update for the all Touchpads. He said the update should be ready for users before the end of this month.

Consumers, on the other hand, would probably prefer to wait (just a couple of weeks, as it turns out) to buy a more polished product. I wonder how many people returned their Touchpads because it disappointed them out-of-box. The Touchpad 4G is definitely coming, but will a slight bump in CPU clock speed and some software update be enough to make critics to change their minds about webOS and Touchpad?

[Source: HP press release via ThisIsMyNext]