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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  • 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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