Did crappy hardware doom the HP TouchPad?

Summary:An interesting report has emerged from the postmortem for the TouchPad, the webOS-based tablet that HP dumped last week as part of a surprise pivot for the company away from consumer products. According to The Next Web, members of the webOS team have claimed that the hardware HP chose to build the TouchPad around was slow and old -- based on an existing slate design HP had lying around that webOS was simply built into.

An interesting report has emerged from the postmortem for the TouchPad, the webOS-based tablet that HP dumped last week as part of a surprise pivot for the company away from consumer products. According to The Next Web, members of the webOS team have claimed that the hardware HP chose to build the TouchPad around was slow and old -- based on an existing slate design HP had lying around that webOS was simply built into.

As proof, the team reportedly ran the same version of webOS on an Apple iPad 2, which ran it "significantly faster" than the TouchPad hardware. It even ran faster as a Web app in the iPad 2's Safari browser and outperformed the HP version.

But not so fast, argues AnandTech. That site says that the webOS software, and not the Qualcomm Snapdragon chip powering the TouchPad. As proof, AnandTech cites the SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9, which shows that the TouchPad was 2.5 times slower on this particular test than the iPad 2. The site's conclusion:

What Palm managed to develop was an excellent UI and front end to an OS, but there's little doubt that the underlying Linux code needed (and still needs) work. Simple tricks like disabling logging and implementing the boot process properly would result in noticeable performance gains. There's little dobut that other similar simple things could dramatically improve performance.

The bottom line was the TouchPad was released with several crucial flaws that led to mediocre reviews, epitomized by our sister site CNET's conclusion that "The TouchPad would have made a great competitor for the original iPad, but its design, features, and speed put it behind today's crop of tablet heavyweights."

Was it the hardware that hurt the TouchPad's chances in the marketplace, or is the webOS team looking for a scapegoat as its livelihood has been thrown into jeopardy. We may never truly know now that the TouchPad has been relegated to the dustbin of tablet history.

[Image source: TechRepublic]

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Hardware

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.