HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

Summary: The HP TouchPad is available today and this morning I headed to my local Best Buy and bought a 16GB model. I have been testing the TouchPad today, and offer these first impressions of what I like and what I don't so far.

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The HP TouchPad is available today and this morning I headed to my local Best Buy and bought a 16GB model. The unit was $499, and the 32GB model would have set me back $599. I chose the cheaper model as I am not sure how well the TouchPad will fit into my mobile lifestyle, and I wanted to keep the cost down. I have been testing the TouchPad for a few hours, and offer these first impressions of what I like and what I don't so far.


Image Gallery: 16GB HP TouchPad available today Image Gallery: Charge Image Gallery: Charge

Specs:

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core, 1.2 GHz
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Display: 9.7-inch, 1024x768, IPS, multi-touch
  • Video formats supported: MPEG-4, H.263, H.264
  • Camera: 1.3MP front-facing
  • Battery: 6300 mAh lithium polymer
  • Speakers: stereo, with Beats Audio technology, 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Size: 9.45 x 7.48 x 0.54 in, 1.6 lbs.

The TouchPad has an attractive black design with rounded corners and solid build quality. The back is plastic, and those who prefer metal casings will likely find this to be too "plasticky" in feel. I like it fine, and prefer plastic for tablets for the lighter weight. The TouchPad feels heavy in the hand at 1.6 pounds, so it's a good thing HP went with lighter plastic construction.

The webOS user interface is a joy to use, and is much more intuitive and consistent in operation than Honeycomb on Android tablets. The card metaphor for handling running apps is a great fit for the tablet screen, and adds utility as the cards are updated in real-time. It is possible to read new emails in the minimized card view without opening the email app.

The TouchPad software is not as smooth as it needs to be, with occasional lags affecting the otherwise fluid user experience. The system has spontaneously rebooted on me once, and once I had to manually reboot the tablet due to the Skype app getting out of control. I will spend more time detailing the user experience in future coverage, when I have more time on the TouchPad.

Pros

  • Attractive design with nice curved surfaces
  • User interface is well-suited for the tablet screen
  • Bundled apps are good and offer good utility out of the box
  • Outstanding web browser
  • The center button lights up gently when notifications arrive and the screen is off

Cons

  • Heavy in the hand
  • System has occasional lags that impact user experience
  • Have experienced two reboots in a few hours
  • Lack of apps in the app store. The apps that are available are quite good and help deal with the lack of apps.

The HP TouchPad is the first tablet running webOS, and this platform shows real promise in the short time I have been using it. I expect HP to deal quickly with issues affecting performance, and developers to crank out apps to augment the few available. I am looking forward to getting a Touchstone dock making wireless charging possible, a nice accessory that was not available in retail outlets today.

See related coverage:

Topics: Tablets, Hewlett-Packard, Mobility

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61 comments
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  • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

    Hmm. I am going to my local Bestbuy and pick one up. thanks for the headsup.
    Ram U
    • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

      @Rama.NET I work for HP and am happy to hear that. Please let us know what you think of your TouchPad after you have had a chance to use it!
      NatalieatHP
      • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

        @NatalieatHP <br>I will do that. How do I contact you with my review?
        Ram U
      • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

        Hmm. I am going to my local Bestbuy and pick one up. thanks for the headsup. <a href="http://www.writinghelp.co.uk/essay/">essays</a> | <a href="http://www.writinghelp.co.uk/coursework/">Courseworks</a> | <a href="http://www.writinghelp.co.uk/assignment/">Assignments</a>
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      • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

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      • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

        @NatalieatHP
        There is some very good insight here that I agree with very much.
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      • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

        Hmm. I am going to my local Bestbuy and pick one up. thanks for the headsup. <a href="http://www.ashwooduniversity.net/ashwood/online-degrees/online-university.asp">Online University</a>
        jordanhawk
      • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

        @NatalieatHP
        This was an excellent read, as always. Great stuff like this is what keeps me coming back.
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      • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

        @NatalieatHP

        Wow, HP does leave a great impression.

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      • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

        @NatalieatHP
        I think HP is quite late in this market. I personally feel samsung is the next one we should watch


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    • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

      @Rama.NET Great, looking forward to it. Feel free to post your thoughts here or reach out to us on Twitter at @HP. Thanks!
      NatalieatHP
      • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

        @NatalieatHP
        I will sure do that. In fact I follow @HP regularly. I am going to BB right now.
        Ram U
      • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

        I work for HP and am happy to hear that. Please let us know what you think of your TouchPad after you have had a chance to use it! <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/company/ashwood-university">Ashwood University</a>
        alanhawk
        • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

          I will sure do that. In fact I follow @HP regularly. I am going to BB right now. <a href="http://www.corllinsuniversity.com/partnership/index.asp">Corllins University</a>
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      • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

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    • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

      Can anyone here please recommend any good reviews about the touchpad here is one that i found which was neutral http://tablettechtoday.com/blogposts/hp-touchpad-review-%E2%80%93-the-second-best-tablet.html i need another like this one which doesn't really blabber about how great the iPad2 is.
      Bonchucin
    • Good reviews about the touchpad

      there is one good review ive found about the touchpad so farhttp://tablettechtoday.com/blogposts/hp-touchpad-review-%E2%80%93-the-second-best-tablet.html. Guys recommend a few more which dont blabber about iPad2 superiority.
      Bonchucin
    • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

      @Rama.NET How did you like it once you picked it up
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      krtinberg
    • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

      @Rama.NET same I will love to get my hands on one! thanks for sharing <a href="http://drstevenjwhitereviews.com">Dr Steven J White Reviews</a>
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    • RE: HP TouchPad: Hands-on impressions

      What a great read, thank you for sharing this. I'll be sure to check back to see if any more relevant content is posted.
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