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HP's TouchPad may have hogged the attention at the company's press event last night, but the new HP Veer smart phone was also unveiled. It's the smallest webOS smart phone yet, but the dinky device still crams in some powerful features.

HP rolled out the traditional 'credit card' and 'deck of cards' comparisons to describe the Veer's pocketable charms. In numbers, that means dimensions of 55 by 84 by 15mm, making it noticeably smaller than Palm's original Pre smart phone (for comparison: 60 by 101 by 17mm).

Features? The Veer is packing an 800MHz Snapdragon processor, runs Flash 10.1, and has 8GB of internal storage. GPS is a given, and it has the increasingly standard Wi-Fi hotspot feature to pump out a wireless network for up to five other devices.

The screen is small, of course: 2.6 inches and 320x400-pixel resolution. The slide-out Qwerty keyboard is used for typing, and there's a 5-megapixel rear camera, although no front camera for video calls.

The Veer uses HP's new Synergy service, which was also announced last night, sucking in your contacts, calendar and email from services including Google, Facebook and LinkedIn.

"While much of the industry is trending toward larger and larger devices, we believe there's also a whole lot of room for thinking small," says Jon Rubinstein, boss at HP's Palm business division. "Veer bridges the gap for a new generation of smart-phone users, proving they really can have it all without sacrificing the size they want."

HP said last night that the Veer will be available "in the early spring", although bear in mind that this was a US announcement, so it remains to be seen how that will translate to the UK. Its likely price is equally mysterious, for now.

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HP's branding is to the fore on its new webOS smart phones, with the Palm mark consigned to history.
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The HP Veer is 15mm thick. We suspect it doesn't stand up unaided, mind.
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The slide-out keyboard dispels fears about comfortable typing on the device's tiny touchscreen.
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What's missing from the Veer is a front-facing camera for video calls. It only has a 5-megapixel camera on its back.
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