HP is almost certainly going to unveil at least one tablet during their upcoming event on February 9th, but thanks to a leak today, we don't have to wait that long to get a first look at the device. What you're looking at above is one of two webOS tablets said to be in development, this one being the 9-inch Topaz that we've heard about before. There's said to be a 7-inch model with the codename Opal in development, too. There's no specs available for the Topaz just yet, but after giving this render the once over, there looks to be a front-facing camera, micro USB port, and no buttons on the face of the device, just like on the Pre Plus/Pre 2. Along the left side you can see two slits at the top and bottom, which are rumored to be speakers for when the tablet is in landscape mode.
So just when are you going to be able to get your hands on a webOS-powered tablet? It may be a while, unfortunately. Production is expected to ramp up in June, while a leaked internal slide shows that the Opal will be launching in September 2011 in WiFi-only, AT&T 3G, and Verizon LTE flavors. An AT&T LTE version is supposedly coming in July 2012.
Although the image above is just a render and not of an actual device, I have to say that the Topaz looks like a pretty awesome product. The buttonless face looks very clean, and the thought of using webOS on a 9-inch display has me pretty excited. Sadly, if HP waits until September to launch the Topaz and Opal, I'm afraid that they may end up struggling. The big tablet race is expected to really get going in March/April, where we expect to see the XOOM, PlayBook, and iPad 2 to arrive, among others. If HP's devices launch in September, that'll give the competition a five or six month head start. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see HP and webOS succeed. If the information in this leak is true, though, I'm not sure I like their odds.