WiFi

The TouchPad supports dual-band 802.11n via an Atheros 6003 WiFi stack. Bluetooth support comes via a separate chip (BluCore 63T23). I tested performance on both 2.4GHz (20MHz channels) and 5GHz (40MHz channels) networks. Just like Android, webOS seems to prefer connecting at 2.4GHz even when an AP supports both bands. I had to force my AP to have a separate 5GHz SSID to get the TouchPad to connect at the higher frequency.

WiFi Performance

Performance at 2.4GHz isn't that great compared to the other tablets we've tested. At best I managed 16Mbps to the TouchPad from a local server connected via GigE. Switching to 5GHz mode I got much better performance - 38.4Mbps. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 also supports 5GHz, forcing it to connect to the higher frequency SSID resulted in better performance as well - although the TouchPad still managed a slight advantage.

Battery Life

With the performance issues I've mentioned on the TouchPad, battery life is bound to suffer. We've spent the past decade really learning that power efficient hardware and software can be both high performing and very good for battery life. Clearly the long app load times and poor performance while multitasking are going to impact battery life, and indeed they do.

In our light multitasking battery life test we're constantly checking a Gmail account, playing music and running through our standard smartphone battery life test. All tablets here are set to nearly the same brightness using our colorimeter to ensure a level playing field.

General Usage - Web Browsing, Email & Music Playback

The TouchPad does the worst out of all of the tablets we've tested thus far, including the tiny HTC Flyer. Just over six hours isn't bad, but when the competition does at least 40 - 50% better it's a sign that webOS needs improvement here.

Video playback battery life is a little better:

Video Playback - H.264 720p Base Profile (No B-Frames)

We had to trim our test file to under 2GB in order to deal with the video player app limitation I mentioned earlier, but the actual workload remains unchanged. The TouchPad does better than both the PlayBook and HTC Flyer but is still a couple of hours short of the Honeycomb tablets and very far behind the iPad 2. Still, seven hours is enough to get more than a couple of movies in on a really long flight.

I suspect the battery life issues will be addressed alongside the performance issues as the APQ8060 shouldn't be a problem here, it's just a matter of how long that will take.

Performance Final Words
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  • Conner_36 - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    to put it simply on the ipad there are apps for that Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    When did this become CellTech.com? Seriously at first I appreciated the coverage, but really when the OS and hardware is all basically the same you don't need to review EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT RELEASED!!!! Give us bench marks sure, so we can compare specs. Write maybe a page about your impressions on customizations and screen and what not; but that should be it. Why all the articles on this mostly the same crap? Why can't you be this devoted to laptops? There are still TONS of interesting laptops out there you haven't even talked about. I'm not just talking keyboards and screens here, but significant amounts of hardware you simply DO NOT have benchmarked.

    I almost feel like you need to move all this tablet/smartphone/blah blah blah crap to it's own site. I'm sick of seeing it. It's stupid and most people simply do not need it. It's not that interesting and you are focusing WAY too much on it.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    P.S. WHY would I buy a 500 dollar tablet when I can get a pretty good laptop for that same price?

    Seriously these things need to drop down to 200 bucks or less without a 8000 dollar contract; this shit is insane. Only handheld I care about at all are PSP Vita and everything made my Archos and you guys haven't touched on any of that AT ALL!!!!!!

    Honestly, FUCK anything and everything that requires a contract!!!!
    Reply
  • jebo - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I disagree, I'm really enjoying Anand's looks at the mobile industry.

    Re: a $200 tablet, there's always the Nook Color.

    Speaking of which, I would like to see the Nook Color mentioned more in these reviews. IMHO, it's still one of the top 3 choices for prospective Tablet buyers due to its cost and the screen quality. I would love to know how it more directly compares with the newer tablets.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I bought a Nook for $189 on E-bay - direct from Barnes and Noble. It has flash enabled, but is a it under-powered. It works OK for my purposes - browsing on the couch, and entertainment while traveling. Other than that, it doesn't get used a whole lot, which is why I didn't want to spend more than $200. Reply
  • dookiex - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    I don't understand the logic to this. You don't want to spend more than $200 so you ended up with a underpowered and under-supported nook and thus basing off your expectations of tablet devices off of your nook experience. Illogical. Reply
  • Mumrik - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    And that's why so many of us just picked up HP Touchpads for 99 or 149 bucks. Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    First off, your rant is way off base... Every single tablet can be bought sans contract. Are they overpriced? IMO, yes, but for millions of people who don't need a laptop (or who have a heavy/big laptop) these tablets are a prefect complement... And AT puts out the best tablet/smartphone reviews on the web, bar none. I really hope they don't slow down anytime soon, even though I'm not even in the market for a tablet right more.

    My next upgrade will probably be an ultraportable to replace my netbook (as you said, a better way to spend $500-700), but there's other places on the web doing competent laptop reviews. Smartphone reviews in particular are awful almost anywhere else, completely devoid of facts or any empirical testing. I do agree that maybe they don't need to review as many mid-range models tho, the three different reviews of single core LTE VZW phones didn't really tell us anything different... But then again, those phones ARE VZW's high end models right now so others would disagree about the reviews' priority.
    Reply
  • sledge333 - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I totally agree! Sick of all these so wanabee products! Give me a laptop any day. Give me a normal phone any day! Boys and their toys! More suitable for women who carry handbags, but for men, huh! Get a tailored made pair of jeans with a crunch proof pocket to protect it!

    Add the cost whilst sitting outside some fancy coffee shop playing with your toy , because some bastard runs past and nicks it!

    And anyone that wants to watch a movie on a piddley little screen or play games - save up your money for the opticians, you're gonna need it!

    P.S I signed up today just because of the boring reviews on crap I will never use! Get back to computers not bloody toys!
    Reply
  • SongEmu - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    Personally, I appreciate his attention to the rapidly changing scene of mobile technology... Granted, I'd love some PC hardware bench's... but what he's doing isn't a bad thing. Reply

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