HP WindsorNot slab phone revealed in old marketing materials
* Images Removed Per Request of Transparent House *
We've known for some time that HP had numerous webOS devices in the works after the Pre3, Veer, and TouchPad, including but not limited to the TouchPad Go seven-inch tablet and a keyboard-less slab phone that we assumed to be the Stingray, along with other device codenames such as Windsor. HP was well under way with all manner of work to promote these upcoming devices when the surprise order to shut down webOS device production came from on high. As with almost any company, HP partnered with outside contractors to market the devices, including the Transparent House firm. We've seen their work before with HP: they produced the online promo videos for the devices introduced at Think Beyond and the Veer teaser video, and today we're getting a good look at other things Transparent House produced for HP but never got to distribute.
Posted eight months ago onto Transparent House's Vimeo page was a set of eight videos. Seven of them cover the unannounced and unreleased TouchPad Go tablet (or, as the marketing materials call it by it's development codename: Opal), serving as little ten-second snippets showing the tablet in what amounts to B-roll footage. But that eighth video? That's an interesting one… it's a 19-second clip of a keyboard-less webOS phone performing a slow spin so you can see all sides. The name: WindsorNot.
Up to this point we had assumed that the slab phone we saw way back in April of 2011 was the Stingray, but comparing the video with our photo of the device leaves no doubt: these are the same devices, just with the correct name now. The proportions between the photo and the WindsorNot (WindsorKnot?) video are the same, the slit for the phone speaker and front camera placement are the same, and most-tellingly, the bevel around the outside of the front glass is the same. We don't have any specs for the device, but we can glean some extra info from the video.
For one, the WindsorNot has a flat back that by all appearances looks to be glass, with the camera positioned high and center and the flash right below the lens (though to the side when taking pictures in landscape, we guess). There is a small slit at the bottom of the rear glass panel which leads us to believe that the glass itself is removable, not the entire back panel (as with the Pre3). At the bottom is a centered Micro USB port flanked by a pair of perforated speaker grills. Up top are the power button, ringer switch, and volume keys in their standard webOS placements, while the headphone jack returns to the center of the top of the phone.
Based on our reckoning from the original photo of this device, we'd wagered that the WindsorNot has a 3.6-inch 480x800 screen - just like the Pre3. Comparing the size of the Micro USB port on the bottom of this device and the screen on the front we're more certain than before that this phone would have had exactly the same screen: 3.6 inches. There is one difference here that tells us this phone was designed by, or at least influence heavily by, Palm's HP overlords: the gesture area has a physical button up front, mimicking the design of the bigger TouchPad. We expect the WindsorNot still had a gesture area, as it certainly seems to still be running some version of webOS 2.x.
And some version it must be, as the WindsorNot would have required something that we have yet to see implemented by Palm or HP on a webOS smartphone: a virtual keyboard. The WindsorNot would have been the first webOS phone to be released without a physical keyboard, necessitating the addition of those virtual keys. We have no indication of how that would have worked with webOS 2.x, though certainly the fine folks in the webOS Global Business Unit were working on it.
A quick note on how this video was found after sitting online in plain view for eight months? Well, you can thank webOS Nation Forum member Isandunk for his sleuthing through the webOS Community Edition open source release. In LunaSysMgr he found the name WindsorNot, which is listed as having no slider in the hardware support section. And then he plugged WindsorNot into Google. Being that "WindsorNot" isn't exactly anybody would search for outside of misspellings when searching how to knot a tie, the video on Transparent House's Vimeo page showed up on the very first page of Google results.
So there you have it… yet another glimpse into what HP and Palm had going on but couldn't manage to get released. We've posted the spinning beauty shot video below for your longing gazes.