Splashtop Remote Desktop for HP TouchPad (review)

Summary:Splashtop Remote Desktop is a good method for remotely accessing Windows PCs and Macs using the HP TouchPad. It turns these remote systems into a touch-optimized system on the tablet.

The HP TouchPad may be the tablet with the shortest run in history, but about a million owners are happily tapping away on the screen of them. The TouchPad may be discontinued but developers are still churning out good apps, including Splashtop Remote Desktop just released for the webOS tablet.

The app is not showing on the Splashtop web site, but it is available in the App Catalog on the TouchPad for $9.99 at the time of this publication. Splashtop is designed to let the TouchPad user remote control a Windows or Mac computer from anywhere over the web. It brings a fully touch-optimized interface to the remote desktop, and is perfect for those tasks that require a PC. I have been testing the app on my TouchPad and find it to be a powerful tool in my mobile toolkit.

Check out Splashtop Remote Desktop running on the HP TouchPad


Image Gallery: Splashtop Remote Desktop controlling Windows and OS X on the HP TouchPad
Image Gallery: Charge
Image Gallery: Charge
Splashtop requires a free app to be run on any computer you wish to access remotely. The app runs in the background and provides secure access to the system from any mobile app in the Splashtop line. This currently includes iOS, Android, and webOS.

Once Splashtop Remote Desktop is installed on the TouchPad, accessing a remote system is as simple as tapping the computer in the list presented and entering the secure PIN number for access. In just a few seconds the TouchPad displays the remote system's desktop as if it was generated locally.

The app employs a number of touch gestures to accomplish various tasks on the remote desktop, including pinch/zoom, scrolling, and drag/drop. An optional hint screen is displayed each time a system is accessed to clearly demonstrate these gestures.

The remote desktop takes over the entire TouchPad display, with a small keyboard icon in the lower right of the screen. Tapping this icon opens the TouchPad onscreen keyboard with special keys added at the top row to control the remote desktop. There is even a Windows key to facilitate entering Windows key commands.

I tested Splashtop controlling both a Windows 7 system and a Mac running OS X Lion. I was able to do everything I needed on both systems, including accessing Mission Control on the Mac. Splashtop could not access the second monitor on the Mac, however.

I was able to use the HP wireless keyboard with the TouchPad while controlling these computers. This turned the TouchPad into a laptop replacement on both the Mac and the Windows 7 systems. I could do anything on the TouchPad that I would do on the remote system.

One nice feature of Splashtop is the ability to stream audio and video remotely to the tablet. I tested this with both Hulu and Netflix, and was able to watch video on the TouchPad with decent quality. There were occasional network glitches but not so bad that it wasn't enjoyable.

Splashtop Remote Desktop for the TouchPad is a very polished app that extends the utility of the tablet. It is a solid method for performing system maintenance remotely on Windows or Macs. It is also a good way to access programs remotely that are not native to the TouchPad.

The app is $9.99 in the webOS App Catalog, which according to the folks at Splashtop is half price for a limited time only.

Additional HP TouchPad coverage:

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Laptops, Mobility

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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