HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

Summary: All of my hopes for the HP TouchPad were based on one thing, that the hardware would perform well. The early reviews are now in and it is obvious that is not the case.

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TOPICS: Hewlett-Packard
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I was anxiously awaiting the release of the HP TouchPad since seeing it in person early this year. I've been quite open about the high hopes I had for the first webOS tablet given the nice OS. I made it clear that HP could make a go of it with the TouchPad even without a lot of apps in the store. But all of my hopes for the TouchPad were based on one thing, that the hardware would perform well. It didn't seem feasible to me that HP would produce the TouchPad with hardware/ software that didn't perform well. The early reviews are now in and it is obvious that is not the case. Even taking its time to get the TouchPad to market, HP has clearly not been able to get the TouchPad and webOS working well enough together to perform as it should.

Review: HP TouchPad is the productivity tablet

Reviews of the TouchPad are all over the web and I'm not going to recap them here. Suffice it to say that many if not all of them pointed out the same problems with the TouchPad's operation, contrary to what the hardware components are capable of delivering. It is obvious that the webOS experience is not close to being optimized for fluid operation, and that is disappointing. Why companies, even big ones like HP, believe it is OK to launch with a bad user experience and fix it later is beyond me. That's a hard pill to swallow with a $500 or $600 device.

As puzzling as the erratic interface performance may be, it is minor compared to the hardware design decisions made by HP. The performance can be addressed in a future OS update, which HP says is a few weeks out. The fact that the TouchPad is too heavy for comfortable use isn't going away with updates. The weight is comparable to the original iPad, which is apparently the target HP wanted to hit. That's too bad as the current iPad is thinner and lighter than that, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is even lighter. I find those two light tablets to be right on the edge of being comfortable enough for heavy use in the hands, so the TouchPad has no chance in this area. It's as if HP decided that the original iPad was good enough that it didn't matter that the industry had moved on to better specs.

I am going to hold out my final judgement on the TouchPad until I get one in my hands to evaluate. But it's undeniable that yesterday I had great hopes for the TouchPad, and today those have been largely dashed.

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Topic: Hewlett-Packard

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21 comments
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  • How quickly we forget...

    other 'Pad's were released too early as well. I remember Wifi issues, bugs, freezes, and a whole lot of apps that had to be re-written from a phone o/s to support the larger size tablet screen.
    SonofaSailor
    • There is only 1 Pad

      @SonofaSailor
      iPad. Expect Apple to sue HP out of existence for daring to use the term 'Pad' in TouchPad. I know the first time I heard of the 'HP TouchPad', I was very confused and thought it was made by Apple and I'm super smart. This is a clear violation of Apple's trade dress and as the person posting under the aliases James Quinn and msalzberg has claimed to be an expert in this area, I believe that person when they say that Apple should be suing every technology company out of existence.
      woulddie4apple
    • RE: HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

      @SonofaSailor I concur. I own an iPad2 and Galaxy Tab 7 and a Palm Pre, and products DO get better with software updates. I'm just hoping all these issues with the HP Touchpad can be corrected. For all the iPad people, the iPad2 seems to have bugs too. The browser locks up frequently and many Apps have problems opening especially Friendly for Facebook. At first, I thought it was my device specifically, but my assistant with the iPad2 is having the same problems.
      Sweat Studio
      • I find it impossible to believe you

        @Sweat Studio
        I've never had a problem with any of my 5 iOS devices. Ever. You sound suspiciously like an Apple hater.
        woulddie4apple
      • RE: HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

        How could I ever believe the objectivity of someone that would die for Apple. This sound suspiciously like an Apple worshiper. :)
        ITAuditGuy
    • RE: HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

      @SonofaSailor
      I don't recall reading of any freezes on the iPad and every review I read talked about how fast it was.
      Considering that the supposed wifi issues that people claimed would cause a recall went away *before* the first iPad update, I don't believe that that was ever a real issue.
      As far as rewriting, apps, well, few are complaining about that with respect to the Touchpad for the reviews I read. They are saying that it doesn't have a lot of apps and the iPad shipped with a lot of optimized apps as well as being able to run phone apps via 2x. The native apps then increased rapidly. Touchpad doesn't have a 2x mode and it doesn't have a lot of apps, tablet or phone.
      dhmccoy
  • I won't buy it

    Sure, my #1 reason for not buying it is because it isn't made by Apple but thanks to my good friend DeRSSS who thinks exactly like I do, I won't buy a tablet that doesn't have its screen layers glued together.
    woulddie4apple
    • RE: HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

      @woulddie4apple I'm not an Apple hater, I go way back with owning one of the first Apple computers the Apple 2c, (you probably never heard of it) and the original Macintosh, practically all the versions of iPods including the 4th generation iTouch, also the iPad1, iPad2. I use to use the iPad2 everyday.

      I do have video proof that the iPad2 completely freezes especially in the Safari browser. Multiple times even. But I'm not sure if it's worth the effort on providing this to you, it's been posted on my Facebook page. I've read a lot of your comments and no doubt you are a martyr. I think you may own Apple stock or just obsessed.

      For the record, do you know the history of Jon Rubinstein and where all this new Apple technology came from? All the touchscreen concepts first began with the iPod Touch which soon later led to the release of the iPhone. Guess who helped make the iPod Touch product line successful?
      Sweat Studio
  • To the Author James Kendrick

    Thanks for your reviews, they sound sincere. I appreciate authors that have had years of background with gadgets and computers. I too, go way back and still remember my Commodore 64, Apple 2c, Apple 2D and Macintosh.
    Regarding the Touchpad, my feelings are somewhat mutual but I'm still looking forward on receiving one with hopefulness that it will eventually get better with a few updates.
    Sweat Studio
  • Give it time...

    HP is big enough to work out the kinks and wealthy enough to develop further. No first run product is perfect and no company is either.... Not even Apple:)

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • Ship, then test

    I attribute Guy Kawasaki with that, but I can't say for sure, I just know it's not me.<br><br>webOS is the only alternative I value other than iOS and Android (OK, QNX has an outside chance). HP can put this on a tablet, a phone, a computer and a printer. Nobody else has this kind of breadth.<br><br>They've already admitted to mistakes and promise a software update soon. If they deliver, it puts them ahead of WP7. If they deliver on duo-boot PCs, they are a contender. If they deliver a webOS printer, I will reconsider my lifetime ban of HP printers.<br><br>HP is taking the Apple approach (integrated hardware and software) as apposed to the Microsoft approach (Android). HTML5 will run anywhere. That beats proprietary software any day, in my book. I like HP's long term chances.
    Info-Dave
  • RE: HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

    This is a ridiculous smear review by the author. How horrible and unethical of him to spew negative comments about a device he has never even used. At least other reviewers (many of whom were very positive and bullish on the TouchPad) actually spent time USING it. This guy gives at-best vague references to review criticisms, but doesn't have ANY first-hand experience? How is this allowed. Pathetic.
    dashr1
    • RE: HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

      @dashr1 No need to take James to task: he's right. This device deserves every negative review it's getting and more stuff I'm upset the reviewers didn't cover! Just read my comments here and I've got one!!!
      scotty1024
  • RE: HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

    This article is a joke. I don't understand why the reviewers are so focused on the hardware and just ignoring how great the webos software is. I have had a palm pre since day one and have tried Iphone 4 and the latest android phones but I always go back to my pre. Why don't they focus on all the innovation in this tablet that apple will steal and call there own later on, like the touch to share and wireless charging. Oh yeah, and the notifications that no other tablet can touch. I guess I'll just add this sight to my Apple sheep list.
    dphilly01
    • RE: HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

      @dphilly01
      Well, it could be because the performance complaints of the WebOS were not solved by running the WebOS on a dual CPU with a gig of ram. It could be that all the weight complaints that I read about for the iPad were addressed by Apple but not by HP.
      It could be because you can't upgrade the hardware.
      You can like the Pre, but the fact that you enjoy using the OS more than apps, can stomach its performance quirks, can live with its lack of apps, doesn't make you some genius maverick and everyone else sheep. It seems to me that it makes you a ideologue and everyone else pragmatic people who value their time and money more than some allegiance to a piece of software.
      dhmccoy
      • RE: HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

        @dhmccoy + @dphilly01

        Apart from your comments, I am fed up with those reviews, which base their opinion on something from Apple. It is ridiculous to compare all new devices to Apples cr*p. This ?news? clearly shows the decline the merits of the technical reviews...
        Gyorgy Kenez
  • RE: HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

    The HP TouchPad features micro USB charging! Yeah! Uh.... well it turns out they might as well have used a proprietary power plug. I haven't found a single USB charger it will charge from except for the brick it came with. I've tried my Kindle plugs, my Nook plugs (Nook, Nook Color and SImple Touch), my Apple plus (iPhone and iPad), my Samsung plugs you get the idea I've got a collection and none worked. I also tried one of those rescue devices where a pair of AA's valiantly give their lives to give you some emergency juice: nada.
    scotty1024
  • RE: HP TouchPad reviews are in: Released too early

    Another piece of dirt the reviewers missed: the power plug. A feature listed is the folding power plug. Well what company builds a travel oriented charger with folding power plug that doesn't completely recess the sharp bits of metal? Apparently the new and improved HP does. :-< When you fold in the plug fangs the corners are still exposed and ready to scratch things in your travel bag. :-< Madness! Especially since this thing is so choosey about power plugs (so far only wanting it's own)
    scotty1024
  • Dying for a non Apple Tsblet

    After reading all the reviews for HP tablet, I went ahead and bought an Acer, which is a little heavy, but still an awesome experience for a Junkie like me who bought the first non branded Chinese tablets that were so bloody cheap and still getting cheaper. If Acer cuts the heft it and more apps are found in productivity, then indeed it will be the best of all deals especially at under $400 which I paid to Staples.
    drabbas@...
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