HP today unveiled a device called the DreamScreen, which the company describes as a companion to the PC. Sort of a hybrid between a full-blown computer and a digital photo frame, the DreamScreen's 10.2-inch (DreamScreen 100) or 13.3-inch (DreamScreen 130) display doesn't support multi-touch, but users can control the panels through touch-enabled controls around the screen's border.
The idea here is to give consumers quick and portable access to music streams (Pandora and HP SmartRadio), weather forecasts, Facebook updates, photo albums, and more. It also comes with 2GB of built-in memory for storing pictures, music, and even movies.
"Constant always-on access to friends, information, and entertainment is a common expectation today," said Satjiv S. Chahil, senior vice president, worldwide marekting, Personal Systems Group, HP. "With HP DreamScreen, social media, web services, and digital entertainment can be enjoyed in more areas of the home."
If this all sounds familiar, it's because Apple is rumored to be working on a similar device, which could possibly see the light of day this November. But HP has beaten Apple to the punch, and probably will have undercut Apple's price point, should Jobs and Co. release a handheld tablet.
HP says the DreamScreen is available now for $249 from online distributors, including BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, and HPDirect.com. The DreamScreen 130 is expected to be "broadly available" sometime this fall for $299.