Engadget Confirms HP Photosmart eStation C510 Printer and Detachable Android Tablet Combo

Submitted by lalit on September 7, 2010 - 6:43pm.

Engadget has posted details about upcoming HP Photosmart eStation that combines new printer codenamed Zues with detachable Android based tablet called Zeen. The tablet is based on Android 2.1, but it won’t support Gmail or Android Market. It will have a specially designed TouchSmart UI with custom applications like Facebook, Yahoo, Snapfish, NBC and Nook eReader. According to Engadget, the C510 will have following features:

  • The Zeen is a capacitive tablet running HP's TouchSmart skin on top of Android 2.1 -- it won't get shifted to webOS and it's not clear if it'll get upped to Froyo before launch given the development time required. It has capacitive touch buttons, an SD card slot, video support, and at least some prototypes have cameras with a special webcam app installed.
  • We're told TouchSmart will be locked in, but we don't know how deep that'll go -- right now the standard Android homescreen is still accessible. That's supposedly going away, so don't get your hopes up for any native Gmail / Angry Bird use.
  • E-reading is a major focus, and the Zeen has "significant" integration with the Barnes & Noble Nook bookstore and ecosystem. Makes sense, as the Nook itself is based on Android, and being able to print e-books from the Zeen would be a huge differentiator -- and a great way for HP to sell more ink.
  • The touchscreen is apparently not very accurate at all, and we're told the overall experience is far less satisfying than a competent Android phone. Don't expect this to replace your Droid Incredible for all at-home use.
  • The Zeen will come in two configurations: a $399 bundle with a new printer called Zeus and as a standalone unit for an unknown price. The Zeus has its own "basic" control setup, but when the Zeen is docked it provides a rich interface to the printing functions -- presumably a web-connected interface like the one HP's been moving towards with other printers. (Note: the product page listed $399.99 but provided no indication what price the Zeen might go for solo.)

Ship date is an estimated September 20th, but due to some testing issues this may be pushed back. So, while most computer makers are sticking to either one or two OS approach for their upcoming tablets. HP will have tablets based on three different OSes including Windows 7, webOS and Android. That’s how you confuse customers.