HP PalmPad rumored to be keeping pen input

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The tablet formerly known as the HP Slate or HP Hurricane and possibly now known as the HP PalmPad is rumored to be keeping its active digitizer despite running WebOS instead of Windows 7. shares this rumor from an “insider” who claims the slate will retain the Wacom dual-digitizer, enabling active pen input + capacitive multi-touch, that it was to have as a Windows 7 device. Given how little anyone, including folks in the tech industry, seems to know about digitizers and pen input, I wouldn’t start salivating over this just yet. It’s possible this is a touch-only Wacom digitizer, like in the Bamboo Touch. And there are still the rumors that HP is working on slates for both WebOS and Windows, so a Wacom digitizer could be for the latter.

Furthermore, WebOS isn’t designed for pen input, so you can’t just give it an active digitizer and expect it to work like a Windows-based Tablet PC. I suppose Wacom could whip up WebOS drivers easily enough. Basic note-taking and simple drawing apps should be no challenge, but handwriting recognition and advanced art apps, like ArtRage, are considerably more involved. (And as we have been recently reminded, Palm gave up the rights to their Graffiti handwriting system, which is now ironically available for Android.)

That said, even with basic pen functionality, note-taking with an active digitizer is a vast improvement over using a touch stylus. And if ritePen were to support this, enabling me to launch apps, shortcuts or auto-fill text with pen macros, I’d be all over it. via Slashgear

Alleged Apple fanboi, accused Android apologist, and confirmed Microsoft MVP for touch and tablet Mark Sumimoto a.k.a. Sumocat dabbles in all areas of mobile computing with a focus on Windows-based Tablet PCs and pen input. A mobile computing enthusiast since 2004, he pioneered the field of ink blogging via his personal blog, Sumocat's Scribbles. His current tools include a Fujitsu Lifebook T900, TEGA v2, and iPhone 4. Email: sumocat [at]


  1. Anonymous

    11/01/2010 at 3:26 pm

    I’m skeptical, but HP certainly has the power at this point to implement EMR/active pen digitizer support into webOS if they wanted.

    And if they do, consider me sold. We could only use more pen and paper alternatives.

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