NBT’s first take on the HP TouchPad

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Well, it’s been a long month. The family and I just moved from Tampa, FL (USA) to Atlanta, GA, so things have been pretty hectic around our household. It doesn’t matter whether you have a company moving and packing for you, there is still plenty to get done. That didn’t let is stop me from getting my hands on the new TouchPad from HP though.

In case you aren’t familiar, the TouchPad is going head to head with the iPad at the same price point, screen size and closed ecosystem. The tablet is running Palms HP’s WebOS operating system which is identical to their mobile format. That’s not a bad thing at all, as it’s an incredibly beautiful way to work on a tablet. Hit the jump to get my initial thoughts and feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments section.

The $499 and $599 tablets give you 16 and 32B of storage respectively. You don’t get any slots for expandable memory, which is a real let down considering Android offers that with Honeycomb, and really gives users the ability to future (storage wise) proof their tablets. However there is a blank slot which is the same size as the speaker cutouts and volume cutout that would have been great for this potential storage increase. It doesn’t house anything though and is really generic and cheap if you ask me. The last thing I want is a random cutout on the edge of the TouchPad because HP was too lazy to not include it.

But first thing’s first, the TouchPad feels like an iPhone 3Gs. This isn’t a bad thing when it comes to feel, though it does look awfully cheap compared to the industrial style of most tablets. The rear is a shiny, piano black plastic that’s a fingerprint magnet which scratches with ease. It pales in comparison to the Transformer, iPads or the XOOM from a design and quality of feel standpoint. Very disappointing on a $500-600 piece of hardware. It’s also thicker and heavier than other tablets, but this really isn’t very noticeable because it’s much nicer to hold with the rounded edges. It’s actually nicer to hold than any tablet I’ve gotten my paws on so far.

Now the real magic is WebOS. It’s a beautiful thing to look at when you’re swyping from card to card, app to app and so on. It is just like every other non Apple tablet though, sluggish and not ready for primetime. The trend is getting disappointing. HP apparently knows of the issues and is already working on a update to speed up performance and smoothness. For example, it shouldn’t take 2 minutes to power on the tablet. No seriously, it took 2 minutes to boot up the TouchPad. If it wasn’t for the pulsating HP logo, I would have thought it froze.

I’ll have more for you guys over the coming days, but these are the first impressions. This is the tablet I’ve been waiting for after my disappointments with Honeycomb. This is what I was excited for. I’m hoping HP can come through and turn the TouchPad into a fantastic tablet, but they’re slow out of the gates just like everyone else, and frankly, the initial hardware quality just isn’t up to par. Maybe WebOS will be the saving grace though.

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Allen Schmidt

Allen is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged with Pocketables in 2012.

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3 thoughts on “NBT’s first take on the HP TouchPad

  • On pre central’s website it says you get free storage From dropbox (50 G) for life when you sign up with a new Touchpad. I would check that out way better than an SD card. What’s web browsing like on the Touchpad ? Is Flash playback sluggish ?

  • Avatar of Allen Schmidt

    Its not directly from HP itself, but is giving away 50gb free for TouchPad users. Not sure how long it will last though, so jump on it quick if ya have a TouchPad considering its normally $20/month. I still prefer traditional storage over the cloud, but both have obvious pros and cons.

  • I hope this will go differently than the Xoom. Waiting for the full review to hear about its strengths.


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