HP Zeen: Android tablet and lean, zeen printing machine?

Where did this one come from? Straight out of left-field that's where.

We at Pocket-lint thought that the arrival of HP tablets would probably be kicking off with the HP Slate, although it's still not clear if webOS or Windows 7 will be the operating system that is used.

What we didn't foresee was an Android powered tablet, especially since HP executive VP Todd Bradley stated that HP will be going with webOS for its smartphones, rather than Windows 7 Phone or Android in the future.

But that's what we're looking at with the HP eStation Zeen, which has turned up in FCC released images and has been detailed over at Engadget.

The HP Zeen is an ereader focused tablet that is designed to team up with a new HP printer called the Zeus. The Zeen will, in fact, act as the control panel for the printer - making it easier to print out your ebooks and digital magazine content.

Back in June, Pocket-lint was on hand in New York to see HP release its latest range of web connected printers, which can be operated over email and we'd expect the Zeus to have similar capabilities.

The ereader aspects will be powered with integration with the Nook book-store, which is powered by Barnes & Noble.

As for the tablet itself, it is an Android 2.1 device at present, with suggestions that it could be packing Froyo before launch, but it will be fully skinned by HP.

It's got a capacitive touchscreen and buttons, an SD card slot, and it could also be coming with a webcam built in as well.

The report suggests that it will cost $399 over in the US bundled with the Zeus printer, and that you'll also be able to get a version without the printer as well.

No news yet as to when we'll be seeing it although, as ever, keep checking Pocket-lint for all the latest gadget and tech news.