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HP's Zeen eReader to run Android

In case we needed a visual demonstration of irony, HP's new eReader (dubbed the Zeen) will be running the Android OS.  While most details are unknown until the December 31 lifting of the FCC confidentiality agreement, we do know that the device will be running Android 2.1 with some sort of HP overlay, have a capacitive screen, SD card support, and have a "significant integration with the Barnes & Noble Nook bookstore and ecosystem."  Bundled with a "Zeus" printer (WebOS printer perhaps?) it will sell for $399.99.

Personally, I think Android is a better choice for an eReader, as it's easier to hide than WebOS.  But like everyone else who loves mobile computing tech, I'm still looking forward to a WebOS tablet.  Maybe next year. [Pre Central]

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • First! (I just had to) great news tho! I would deffinetely buy one
  • Oh yay another overpriced eReader think I will just stick to my kindle app.
  • Wow, now isn't that irony and a slap in the face of Palm. I am sure there are some really upset people hearing this news.
  • i think using WEBos for a smartphone and a slate is more of a better choice than a crappy e-reader. good choice HP and they had a deal with android to make something substandard. as soon as a new webos phone is made, im jumping ship, nothing compares to the smoothness of WEBos...Android is too chunky, too many steps for a simple task. besides i miss the notification system,,,,
  • Chunky? To many steps? What are you talking about? Everything i want to accomplish on my phone happens in one clic lol. Someone obviously can't figure out how to operate their operating system.
  • You have a good point. WebOS is aimed at the same audience as iOS - people who want to just pick it up and have a limited set of features just happen without thinking about it. With the greater power of Android comes a bit more learning curve. Once you get it dialed in (presuming that one has the minimum brain power necessary to get it there), there's nothing better.
  • Well better something from HP for the Android cause, than nothing but competition!
  • And this after HP said they would not release an Android device. I know all the Palm fans are rolling their eyes that HP will release an Android device before they will release a webOS device. Then again, this info was dug out of the FCC and not in a product annoucement from HP.
  • as soon as apple made the announced that they were coming out with the ipad the e-reader was history, why would HP come out with a e-reader?
  • Because not everyone that wants an e-reader wants an iPad. ;)
  • This basically proves that HP doesn't have a clue about where WebOS fits into their master plan. They bought a company with an OS that could just as easily be used in an e-reader and they opt to use another one instead. I don't get it.
  • OK, commenters who seem to not understand product development cycles. The printer and zeen reader were in development long before HP acquired Palm. Rather than not launch a product and restart the software side with an entirely new platform, HP will certainly go ahead with what was almost 100% finished at the time of the palm acquisition. WebOS will be the platform that HP web connected printers use moving forward and there will be both smartphones and tablet PCs coming.
  • Sources please. Otherwise your comment has no credibility.
  • Well for the release of an android device, the Zeen will be coming out this fall. Palm was officially acquired in July. I will let you do the math there, but I assure you that the time to develop a printer and eReader is more than 3 months. as for the future of webOS "Speaking at the Brainstorm Tech conference, Jon Rubinstein, former Palm CEO and now HP exec, said the next iteration of Palm's WebOS platform is on schedule to arrive later this year," "HP announced its intent to build an array of mobile devices around the WebOS platform--including the predicted WebOS tablet." Plans for the tablet (codename hurricane) has been reported by engadget, techcrunch, tech radar
  • So rather than delay the Zeen to try and have a product line with the same underlying OS that they can focus their full development attention to, they're going to release this one Android based device and in likelihood abandon it when their next gen WebOS devices come out in 6 months? I realize an OS for an e-reader likely won't need a much support as one for a tablet or smartphone but I've been on the wrong side of companies not implementing very much needed improvements to their half-baked products soon after launch or ever (oh hai Palm Pre) which is what prompted my comment.
  • The "Zeus" printer and the Zeen are 2 different 'products'. Both will be sold separately. They're not technically "bundled". If you do get the Zeus, its display screen is basically a modified version of the Zeen, but configured for better printer connectivity. It'll provide printer status updates and ink levels n such. It may not be possible to install apps from the market on the Zeus pad though. Also, fraseringermany is right. Development of these products started much before the Palm acquisition. So it does not run on WebOS. PS: Zeus is just a working title of the printer. Official name coming soon.