The HP TouchPad represents the fruition of HP’s acquisition of Palm for nearly $2 billion. While this is not the only product that has been launched since the world’s biggest computer manufacturer gobbled up the once mighty smartphone manufacturer, it is the most significant.
The TouchPad is directed squarely at the iPad and even though the Palm Pre didn’t fare well, due to bad hardware, HP is hoping that the new software and hardware combination will sway enough customers from Apple’s closed arms and the fence to their new product, enticing them to find out where to buy the HP TouchPad.
Design and Features
This is not exactly the lightest or thinnest tablet you have used. We wouldn’t go as far to say it is the heaviest, but it carries a little extra baggage. On the upside the construction is solid and it appears HP is more concerned about the quality of their products construction than before. Thankfully, that translates into a solid device that not only looks great but feels great, minus the extra heft.
The display is the same size as the iPad with 9.7-inches of screen real estate and 768 x 1024 pixels. Said screen is LED backlidand IPS sporting capacitive touch friendly. A 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon Scorpion with Adreno 220 graphics is standard along with 16GB of memory and 1GB of RAM. Sensors are limited to gyroscope and accelerometer.
Moving along to the connectivity features, we have WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, and microUSB 2.0. There is no rear facing camera but the front facing camera is rated at 1.3 megapixels with video calling capabilities.
A 3G version is not available and according to HP, there are no plans to produce such a model, though speculation states that a smaller version may carry 3G connectivity.
The screen is the first thing you’ll notice, and obviously since it is the biggest component of the device. That said, the IPS panel performs great. We’re not noticing jaw-dropping color representations, but it is detailed nonetheless.
Moving along, the overall performance is good. There are short moments when you may find a glitch or two in the software, but generally it lasts for no more than a millisecond.
While we are on the topic of performance, we should cover the biggest difference between the TouchPad and the iPad, FLASH. For the vast majority of individuals, this may not be a big issue, but Flash is used by over 60% of the web (Adobe’s stats and not ours) so it’s impossible to miss it. Flash is fine and we noticed no glitches or hiccups when playing full 1080p content on this tablet. We’d say that this is a prime example that Flash can cohabit with mobile devices.
The 1.3 megapixel camera is meant for video conference calls and nothing else. HP did wise in their inclusion of only one camera as we would not see a use for a second camera out the devices backside. That said, we attempted a few Skype calls and they were great. Connectivity was good and there was not visible distortion over our 10Mbps internet connection.
In our battery run down tests, we milked about 7:30 from the TouchPad. Not the best figures but definitely not the worst. Suffice to say, average use will yield a full day’s usage before finding a plug becomes an issue. Strong battery life is a deal breaker for some people who are looking for where to purchase the HP TouchPad.
Would we recommend the TouchPad is the inevitable question that must be answered. As it stands, the TouchPad is a good product, a little short of great, but good. There are a few things we could think of improving such as the battery life and trimming down the overall size. Software issues are minute and can be addressed in a software update. So yes we would recommend the ToucPad if you definitely do not want anything with an “i” in front of it’s name. On the other hand, if you are considering an iPad, make your decision wisely. We like the ToucPad, it’s different and can definitely compete with the iPad. It just has a few small issues that need to be overlooked in order to be loved.