I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

Summary: I began using Palm devices in 1997 and tried to stick with them during the rough times, but this sure is a sad way to end Palm. The TouchPad was not the best tablet hardware and even with price cuts could not survive.

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I tried out the HP TouchPad during the launch weekend and was not impressed with the chunky hardware and performance. I was then asked to be a tech editor on a book for the TouchPad so I bought my own from Craigslist, but even then found there was a lot of work to be done on webOS and the TouchPad hardware. As Larry just posted, HP is killing off webOS and the TouchPad line in a shocking revelation.

HP took a year to get the TouchPad ready and I was unimpressed with the final product as it was too chunky for a modern tablet. Yes, I understand the back was designed for the wireless charging stand so that is why it was thicker. I still think it could have been done better. They also released it with buggy software so it was slammed in reviews and it wasn't until after the 2nd release that they updated the firmware to something more acceptable. All of that means nothing now though as the TouchPads are now all obsolete.

The major price cuts were kind of a cheap shot to consumers to go out and buy a device that HP knew it was killing off soon and if you bought it within the last few weeks I hope you can get your money back. I bought mine on Craigslist so I am stuck with it, but I am returning the charging stand and case to Best Buy to get my $100+ back.

Like Palm OS of old, there may be an enthusiastic user community around the TouchPad for a couple of years that hacks the OS and makes it a useful tablet. I probably can't get rid of it now and will likely just keep it around as a tablet for my kids to play with. RIM might be pleased with the news as their PlayBook, that actually does a webOS-like interface better than HP, now has one less competitor in the mobile space. As James wrote, consumers won't buy tablets unless they are iPads and now there is one less choice they have to make.

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Laptops, Mobile OS, Mobility, Operating Systems

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30 comments
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  • hp

    Google stock is going down tomorrow! i
    Hasam1991
    • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

      @Hasam1991

      What?
      Hallowed are the Ori
  • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

    A sad day. Let's hope Samsung buys WebOS.
    jorjitop
    • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

      @jorjitop Second.
      stephenpace
      • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

        @stephenpace
        Samsung has Bada, which has been something of a success. Why would it want to buy webOS?
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
  • GPLv2 code never dies Matt.

    It gets contributed back to the community and takes on new and exciting forms.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate Amen
      Imrhien
    • Totally Agree

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      Normally, I am not inclined to agree with you, but I hope someone takes up WebOS and play the part of Mozilla and turns WebOS into the next Firefox so to speak.

      I hate to see palm go.
      KSLGW95
    • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate
      I think you and SJVN live in a different planet than rest of us. Ahem.
      Ram U
  • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

    I go back far enough to have had a Palm Pilot and both Windows and Palm flavored Treos. I had a Pre and returned it. It is sad, but given their diminishing share of the market and poor marketing moves, I'm not at all surprised. I think the Pre was not well thought out from a hardware standpoint, and may have been the death knell.
    ibap
  • Environmentally Friendly HP Decision

    Saves the landfills... this was the worst HP piece of equipment I have ever been exposed to. What exactly were they thinking?
    tbelsasser
  • old palms

    still have my TX might even have an old palm cd rom somewere they were my first ipods i'm truly sorry to see them go too
    fpspero
  • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

    I'm kinda sad too, I fondly remember my first Palm (actually Handspring) and how amazing & simple they were to use. They were pratically idiot proof which was a godsend for me. It just seemed that they were cutting edge on alot of new stuff but got caught up in how exactly to use it to grow to the next great thing. Personally I would've loved to see a merger between Palm & BlackBerry since they are the OG's in the handheld world. I still have my old Palm devices and remember them fondly when I see them.
    Medfordhouse
  • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

    I started with the Palm in 1996 and stuck through Handspring, and Treo and was looking forward to the Pre3--oh, well.
    now I'll look for a BB or something else with a hard keyboard (not an on screen type). or maybe look for an old Treo on EBay? :)
    I guess we get nostalgic for the wrong things.
    sydney@...
    • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

      @sydney@... There are a few Android and WP7 smartphones with keyboard (slide in/out). BB, as of today, is selling mostly smartphones of "antique" grade. So, unless you fall in love to the specifc combination of keyboard and form-factor offered by the BB smartphone, it is better to spend your money and energy on those WP7 and Android version of keyboard-smartphone.
      PWsY
  • CyanogenMod?

    Can the Touchpad hw be modded? Sure, it's not the greatest design, and likely the docking and such wouldn't be addressed - but compared to the cheap-o knockoffs hitting the streets, at a reasonable price (say, less than a Nook) would it be a worthwhile investment?

    Just curious.
    daboochmeister
    • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

      @daboochmeister Costco is now offering the Acer tablet at $348 after instance rebate. With that in mind, what should "reasonable price" be. I will go for one at $199, perhaps $249 max.
      PWsY
    • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

      @daboochmeister What would you consider "reasonable". Costco is now offering the Acer tablet at $349, after the instant rebate. For me, $199 is a great price, $249 would be the bottom line.
      PWsY
  • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

    To this date i'm still using my palm T2. It's a great device to carry around. It's really sad HP did not put in the effort to the Touch pad. If HP had put some effort in it, the potential for Web Os and Touch Pad could have been limitless. I sincerely hope someone will revive or redesign the Web Os and somehow intergrate it into a great tablet device.
    Robert TW
  • RE: I'm not surprised HP killed the TouchPad, but it is a sad way for Palm to end

    Let's not only blame HP by asking "what were they thinking of when they made the TouchPad". Ask "what were the buyers thinking when they plunked down their hard earned cash for it??????"
    Charles_B