By Patrick Avenell (Follow me on Twitter)

HP will be launching its new TouchPad tablet in Sydney next Tuesday (26 July 2011). Unlike the myriad of tablets launched or previewed over the last few months – from brands such as Motorola, Acer, Toshiba, Huawei, Asus and Samsung – the TouchPad does not run off Android, meaning there is genuine interest in what this tablet can offer consumers to set it apart from the pack.

The launch event is being hosted by WebOS vice president Andrew McMahon. WebOS was originally developed as the operating system for Palm-branded devices. Palm was acquired by HP last year, giving the traditional PC manufacturer a foothold in the smartphone and business connectivity market.

Although details on what the launch will entail are sparse, the invite does tantalising promise to answer four questions: “what works like nothing else? What rocks like nothing else? What plays like nothing else? What thinks like nothing else?”.

Click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter

What we do know about the TouchPad is that it’s a 9.7-inch tablet with 16GB and 32GB variants. There’s a 1.3MP front facing camera but no rear camera or dedicated HD video camera. The US version launched with 4G HSPA+. No indication is giving as to whether a telco will be involved in the launch or if a 3G model will be available.

The pricing in the US was $499 (16GB) and $599 (32GB). The magic number for tablet releases so far this year has been $579 for a 16GB tablet – we predict not only that price at launch but also the usual price gouging complaints from interested onlookers.

UPDATE: Our prediction was off by $20: it's RRP $599.

SECOND UPDATE: HP has slashed the prices.