Final Words

Without the performance issues and bugs, the TouchPad would likely be my favorite tablet on the market today. I've been begging for a tablet that lets me be more productive and HP delivered that with the TouchPad. The biggest issue is that if you actually try to use webOS to be more productive and start multitasking on the TouchPad, the experience quickly grinds to a halt. It's frustrating because while iOS and Honeycomb tablets lack the multitasking experience of webOS, they deliver on performance. And while the TouchPad has a better platform, it just doesn't perform as well as either of its chief competitors. You really can't have it all in this business, not yet at least.


From left to right: Galaxy Tab 10.1, TouchPad, iPad 2, PlayBook

The bugs are also quite obvious when you really start using the TouchPad. I wouldn't say that webOS 3.0 feels rushed, but it does need some serious updating. In its current state I don't believe the TouchPad is a good purchase, not until we see how serious HP is about updating the platform to address these issues.

The good news for HP is that it's typically easier to tune for performance than it is to completely redo your OS (assuming the performance issues aren't deep rooted in the way webOS was written). As I mentioned at the start of this article, the fundamentals of webOS are sound and it made a great transition to the big screen. The TouchPad just needs optimization.

The hardware is heavy but otherwise competitive. HP built the TouchPad with a good screen, good speakers and a great way to charge the tablet. The OS could use a visual update but is functionally incredible. The webOS card system is the best way to handle multitasking that I've seen in a mobile device to date. Unified messaging and Synergy are also very well executed features of the OS. Even the TouchPad's virtual keyboard is well executed (save for an imperfect autocorrect system).

I really feel like the TouchPad was built for users who want to do more with tablets. I'm just hoping that HP follows through with an aggressive enough update schedule to actually deliver what those users are looking for.

WiFi Performance & Battery Life
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  • TheTechSmith - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I also like the product review choices. Not everyone who reads Anandtech is a PC gamer, and tablets and smart phones are evolving way faster than PC technology, so it makes sense that more coverage is required. There are still plenty of PC component reviews that benchmark using plenty of games for that market. This is a particular product review I was waiting for in fact. Although one review I would like to see is a revisited Boxee Box review, since the Boxee software has changed drastically since the first review, and it was promised at the end of first review to be done before last Christmas. Reply
  • justaviking - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    As long as the phone and tablet reviews do not prevent traditional reviews of PCs, Laptops, and componets, then what's the problem? It takes me about 1 second to not read a review.

    Anand has to follow the market and the industry. Should he be busy benchmarking floppy disk drives? Should he not consider the ability to properly play HD video? He needs to stay current with industry trends or AnandTech.com will become a relic of the past.

    There are lots and lots of reviews here that are not relevant to my immediate purchasing needs. Many I read because they are interesting anyway, though some I skim over much faster than others.

    Lastly, and I hesitate to say it, but there is no need for profanity. It is possible to strongly and passionately voice one's opinion with resorting to gutter language. It's not that I'm delicate and easily offended, it's just that it affects the overall character of this site which is usuall very professional, even when the various fan boys don't agree. This site has some of the best readers in the world, and let's keep the standards high.
    Reply
  • dookiex - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Not only does Anand need to follow the market and industry, if he was to only review and report on PCs, laptops, and components, there would be very little content on the site! If you sat down and thought about it, there hasn't been any really breakthrough offerings in PC and components land in quite some time now. As for PC gaming, that market really died down since the 360 and PS3. Mobile casual gaming is also NOT helping matters in PC gaming land. Reply
  • thisisthetruthfolks - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    You hit it spot on. Anand if you read these comments, I'm just trying to figure out why this site focuses so much on all these cell phone / tablets stuff when it's traditionally a PC and hardware site.

    I think this site would be best off focusing on the CHIPS found in these devices, not so much the devices themselves.

    And how come laptops get no attention? The biggest article you guys did on notebooks was a notebook GPU roundup that did nothing useful besides list all the available GPUs and categorize them as low end, mid range, or high end. Nothing in that article offered anything that the typical reader of this site didn't already know or couldn't find out on google.

    Where is the reviews of notebook GPUs? No benchmarks of the 580m, no benchmarks of the 6990m, etc. etc. Sure there are some articles, but so many things are missing.

    I subscribed to this site on twitter because I thought it had great reviews for GPUs/CPUs...only to find out that 99% of the time anandtech posts stuff about tablet computers that I couldnt care less about.

    At least reading fudzilla is interesting. Except it has zero credibility. Maybe I'll subscribe to tom's hardware instead...
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    Don't like the first review of webos since you are a tablet hater? Then don't come back here. But don't be a whiny bitch about it either. That's Steve's Job. Reply
  • Wardrop - Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - link

    I've been wondering the same thing for the past year. I can only speak for myself, but I kind of see these articles as spam. I also hate the reviews of those boutique computers, as first of all, I get the impression AnandTech readers aren't on the market for a pre-built desktop computer, and second, a lot of these computers are only available in the U.S, and so are irrelevant for a lot of other readers (like many of the cellphone reviews). Laptop's I understand as they're popular and not something you can build yourself, but other than that, I'd like to see AnandTech focus more on desktop hardware and industry news. Anyone can give us reviews of mobile phones and tablets, but there aren't too many sites that can write an SSD anthology as comprehensively as AnandTech. That's their strength, and I'd love to see more of it. Reply
  • halihassan - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I’ve yet to reach the end of this review, but so far it seems like you’ve covered the tablet fairly well. One item that I found missing (but is relatively unique) is the monthly Pivot magazine built into the App Catalog. I quickly discovered and downloaded several apps that way, and having used Android and iOS app stores I definitely think that gives HP a huge edge when it comes to discovering applications. Reply
  • halihassan - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I agree that HP has a ways to go to fully integrate a wireless syncing solution, but it was nice that Box.net offers 50GB of storage for free to all TouchPad users. Box.net is built into Synergy, but it has yet to appear in the music or photo apps, just QuickOffice and its own app from what I can remember. Reply
  • Wander7 - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I love that background with the light shreaking upwards towards the heavens. Reply
  • lunarx3dfx - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    Anand, could you let me know what build of the OS your touchpad is running? Ive noticed that the display models in stores are running build 16, whereas the release build is 41. I think there was some serious optimization done between those build, because ive had none of the performance issues experienced by reviewers on my touchpad. The experience is nice and snappy for me, albeit with the occasional stutter.

    Also, HP already announced that the first ota is due out by the end of this month with bug fixes and optimizations.

    I personally love my touchpad, and hardly even use my computers anymore for anything other than working in office and playing games. My touchpad has practically replaced every other device I have. I love it.

    Also, this was sent from my HP Touchpad. :-)
    Reply

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