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HP TouchPad shipping July 1 for $499, pre-orders begin June 19 -- and AT&T model coming soon

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It's been a long wait, but it looks like HP is finally ready to join the modern tablet game -- the TouchPad will ship in the US on July 1, and in the UK, Ireland, France, and Germany "a few days later." Pre-orders are set to go live on June 19, and pricing is set at $499 for the 16GB model and $599 for the 32GB version -- right in line with the iPad and high-end Honeycomb tablets like the Xoom and Galaxy Tab 10.1. HP wasn't kidding when it said it would use its massive scale and distribution network to push webOS as hard as possible: the TouchPad will be available in Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Walmart, Sam's Club, OfficeMax, Amazon, MicroCenter, and Fry's, as well as HP's own online store and various regional retailers.

We're also told that an AT&T 3G version will arrive "later this summer," and that the TouchPad will round out the year by hitting Australia, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, and Spain, although pricing for any of those variants hasn't been announced. There's also no word on the Pre 3, but we were told "summer," so let's hope we hear more soon.