Reading Documents: Quickoffice for webOS & Adobe Reader

The email and browser apps don't have any built in document readers, instead if you encounter a Word/Excel/Powerpoint document or PDF in an email or on a website webOS will fire up one of two third party apps to help you out.

The webOS port of Quickoffice currently only supports viewing, not editing or creating documents - so you're limited right off the bat with what you can do. For the most part tablets aren't great content creation devices so this isn't a huge loss but it's still an annoying limit. Word, Excel and PowerPoint docs are supported.

The big feature here is that Quickoffice can access both locally stored documents as well as documents stored in the cloud via Box.net, Dropbox, Google Docs or even MobileMe (not sure how the latter is going to fare once iCloud takes over).

While I encountered rendering errors with really old documents I had stored in my Google account, newer documents appeared just fine.

Performance was my biggest complaint here once again. Sometimes viewing a doc would be perfect but occasionally I'd get a ton of slowdown when trying to scroll around an Excel sheet. A more consistent performance experience here would be nice.

Quickoffice doesn't support PDFs however - for that HP bundles a webOS port of Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader for the TouchPad has a very similar UI to Quickoffice, but obviously only supporting PDFs. Like Quickoffice however you can access PDFs stored locally or on any of the aforementioned cloud services.

While you can bring up a page navigation tool, there's no support for searching within PDFs in Adobe Reader.

Facebook

There's not much to say here other than the Facebook app for the TouchPad is extremely well done. The app makes good use of the TouchPad's larger display and it's relatively quick (although it does suffer the same UI frame rate issues as the rest of webOS 3.0).

The app feels like it's a standard part of the webOS install, which makes sense since it was developed by HP (with Facebook's blessing). All that's really missing now is a Google+ app.

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  • Saraandy - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I loved the Comparison table, the most comfortable way to select the best! Thanks for the wonderful write-up on HP touch pad.Inspiring Designs; Creative Excellence!!! Reply
  • Oscarcharliezulu - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    Thx Anand, great review I live the extent and depth compared to even print magazines.

    Web-OS looks good, but I have to say it's a damn shame that really it's missed the market share and Apps boat. HP should use it's expertise to produce great hardware and merge it's webos features with android and become the premier blue-chip tablet maker that way. There is some evidence that developers are even favoring iOS over android as iOS users actually buy apps. What hope does webos have - wouldnt you develop for iOS, android or win8 tablet first way before this or playbook?

    We've seen this type of wishful thinking before in the tech world. Perhaps IBM will bring out a tablet with os2 warp on it?
    Reply
  • audemars02 - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    wow,just like your veer review, this was a very fair and complete review. You clearly get what HP is going for and how great this tablet can be. A few quick comments for you on the review:
    Keyboard - are you that you can resize the keyboard? just hold down the keyboard key on the bottom right and you get 4 size options. Also, you can press-and-hold on most keys to get additional symbols/characters

    SMS forwarding - the Pre2 will be able to forward text messages as well once it gets a future software update as well. So the pre2, pre3 and veer will be able to do that

    call forwarding - you can actually register the touchpad as a Bluetooth headset for any phone, not just webOS phones...this can be cool for people who dont have a webOS phone yet

    app loading times - while it may be slower to load up apps at first, it really needs to be said that once loaded up as a card, app loading times become instantaneous due to webOS's awesome multitasking

    touchstone - you may want to mention that you can still charge the touchpad on the touchstone, even when it is in the HP touchpad case. Its so convienent!

    again, great job with your review. I cant wait to see how things get better after the OTA update we will be getting at the end of the month. Should fix a lot of the issues you mentioned

    adam
    @audemars02
    Reply
  • jamawass - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    Great review as usual. However call logs for cell phones and skype are logged in the phone application.
    Also a mention about printing to hp printers ( I have printed succesfully to my network connected mfc-6310, touchpad autodiscovered it effortlessly) would've rounded up your review. Thanks
    Reply
  • bobharp - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    The review content and method was clear concise and informative.
    Great work. I wish I felt I needed a tablet.
    Will take a serious look at the Pre3.

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • randinspace - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    When I read this sentence: "There's tons of room for innovation and we're seeing its competitors offer clear examples of that innovation," I started to wonder how long it would be before Apple sued HP if the TouchPad actually managed to take off. Reply
  • Conner_36 - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    i think they wont, because surprise surprise... Palm has patents! Most of these killer features are probably protected by patents and some of the obvious UI holes might be there to avoid law suites.
    Apple isn't an 'evil' entity, its a business. They got pissed at google when they blatantly changed their andriod os from looking like rims to looking like ios. Android innovation is a step forward two steps backwards. Notice how apple tore the phone away from the carrier and googles fine with handing the market back?
    Reply
  • StormyParis - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    Thanks for a very complete and informative review. Which casts this tablet under a better light than other reviews, and nicely highlights some strengths (speakers ! yes, watching movies requires good speakers !) and weaknesses. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    The UI for the TouchPad is there, the performance expected of it is not. Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    Why buy this over an iPad 2? Reply

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