HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

Summary: I have been using the HP TouchPad as my main tablet for a month now, and while it may say something more about Honeycomb than the TouchPad, HP's product is better than every Honeycomb tablet I have tried.

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Updated: In spite of the negative early reviews I bit the bullet and picked up a 16GB HP TouchPad on the first day it was in stores. I lived through some early problems with the first webOS tablet but boldly claimed I was not going to return the TouchPad. I have been using it as my main tablet for a month now, and while it may say something more about Honeycomb than the TouchPad, HP's product is better than every Honeycomb tablet I have tried. The TouchPad is my favorite tablet for heavy use, and it is definitely still staying.

July has come and gone and the TouchPad update has not appeared even though promised by HP bigshots. This update is significant in that it is intended to deal with performance and stability issues that led reviewers to uniformly pan the TouchPad at launch. The lack of the update in July doesn't concern me too much as I believe it will be hitting the tablet pretty soon. HP has insured me they are hard at work on it and will have it out soon.

Even without the update I am experiencing no stability problems at all. Those issues were there on the first day I owned the TouchPad but went away shortly. Some speculate that the crashing reported by reviewers was likely due to the way webOS Synergy does a lot of background syncing with social networks. I don't know if that is the case, but my experience with the TouchPad has been completely different after day one with the tablet, and it is a good difference.

The TouchPad has been more stable during heavy usage than any Honeycomb tablet I have tried. That is worth repeating because my experience with webOS 3.0 is better in every way than I have had with any version of Honeycomb. No crashes, no unexplained performance issues, just a solid user experience. I suspect the performance will be even better once HP gets that OTA update to customers, but truth is I can live with the TouchPad as it is right now without it.

My experience with the TouchPad is in large part due to the good apps that are already appearing for the tablet. I am able to do everything I want to do with the TouchPad, as I find there are apps available to cover my needs. Some will complain about the lack of apps for particular tasks that they need that I don't, and it's true there aren't a lot of apps in the App Catalog yet. My particular needs are being met and that's the basis for my opinion.

I am also impressed with how active the homebrew community is for the TouchPad. Developers are already releasing some great stuff to address things they don't like about TouchPad operation. It is refreshing how HP is embracing this effort as Palm did before the acquisition.

This weekend I tested flashing the ROM on the TouchPad using HP's own webOS Doctor. This utility is designed to recover any TouchPad to a previous state, even if unresponsive. I wanted to test it even though my TouchPad was working fine, so I restored my tablet to the state it was when purchased.

The whole process was rock solid and automated. In about 20 minutes my TouchPad had been rebuilt as expected. At the end of that process (which wiped my TouchPad clean) the TouchPad connected to the servers and found my daily backups. It offered to restore all of my stuff, including all of the apps installed. I told it to go ahead and do this and in another 30 minutes my TouchPad had all of my apps, data and settings restored as it was prior to rebuilding it. The entire procedure was outstanding, and the way all device recovery methods should work.

HP still has a long way to go to get webOS where it needs to be, but I am convinced they are hard at work on it. The TouchPad meets all of my needs, and the webOS interface absolutely shines on a tablet form. These opinions of the TouchPad are my own, and I'm sure not everyone will agree with me. There are a lot of happy Honeycomb tablet owners out there. I'm just not one of them.

Update: HP has tweeted this morning that the OTA update for the TouchPad is rolling out this morning.

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Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Mobility, Operating Systems, Tablets

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55 comments
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  • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

    I love my touchpad. The UI is fabulous and I miss it whenever I use my iPad.
    an10e
    • Then why do you ever use your iPad?

      nt
      fr_gough
      • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

        @fr_gough
        +1
        Ram U
      • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

        @fr_gough Because with all that Gorilla Glass and aluminum, it can handle cracking walnuts and swatting spiders better than the TouchPad?
        jgm@...
    • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

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    • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

      @an10e
      And just thing now the ipad is at the lower end.
      rparker009
  • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

    I tried HP tablet and I can't agree more. This is one of the best I have had. The only down side is the hardware. I'd have preferred both front and rear camera which is not available today an any of the HP tablet. Otherwise WebOS rocks. It's true they don't have as many apps. What ever is available in the HP App store is good enough to keep my work going. HP has done a very good job. As you rightly said, the OS is amazing.
    All those LINUX followers should backup WebOS instead of following the lame Android
    Android is just a hype. Android sells because people who buy it are people who follow the what ever the seller in the shop claims the phone/tablet to be. They have no idea what they are buying or if they have any use for it.
    krishnansriram
    • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

      @krishnansriram
      +1
      Ram U
    • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

      @krishnansriram I, a Linux user of one year, was holding out for WM7 (!!!), but I just watched a review of WebOS on the Linux Action Show last night and it really is amazing! It's a lot like the Nokia N900's Maemo/MeeGo, but better. What's also great is the developer support. HP ENCOURAGES kernel hacking/patching, don't charge to become developers, give developers significant hardware discounts, no need to "root" or "jailbreak" the device - there's a "developer mode" (activated by the Konami code!) that gives you full access, a web-based IDE for developing apps, etc. This is really a techie's OS and development environment.

      The apps that are already available are amazing.

      The only thing I wished the tablet or phone had is a memory card expansion slot. :-( Well, that and that the Veer was available outside of AT&T. :-)
      jgm@...
    • Its been a while since I read such rubbish. matey.

      @krishnansriram

      I do hope webos takes off and I'm on record as saying that from day 1 of the vaporware. But it's either good or bad... it can't be both. You sound like someone who payed cash for one and can't quite admit its no good. Oh its great but the hardware isn't... heeellllooooooo Its an integrated sytem that works or doesn't. Yours doesn't, clearly.

      I have an ipad for work but choose not to use it, and have an asus transformer for home use. I spent my cash to get a device I wanted, despite having a free ipad.
      I have to take issue with your stupid comment on 'follow the assistant' and 'no idea what they are buying or if they have any use for it'. You COULD throw that at any tablet with just as much validity.

      Me.. I bought mine to play films via SD card, or uSD card or USB slot and haven't been disappointed. I also like the HDMI output.. not disappointed. Also needed something to back my camera up to on holiday (unlike an iPad#), again not dosappointed.
      So; I know exactly why I bought mine and know what we as a family do with it, and intend to do with it in future. I might even buy some cheaper Android versions to replace the DVD screens in the car. I know exactly what I'm doig, I know exactly the price point I want, I know exactly the 'value' I need for certain situations.
      This is a long reply but I've not been offended quite so much lately. You need to consider what you're saying and why you're saying it. You've clearly no idea why some of us have gone down the Android route; and some of us may go webos but it wasn't available when I bought mine and I'm quite happy now thank you !

      ps @jgm@... have a look. I've got SD. uSD, USB, HDMI. and a keyboard. What more could I ask for :-)
      johnmckay
  • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

    I felt the same when I compared Honeycomb tablets to the TouchPad. They just felt unfinished by comparison. However, the main issue with TouchPad is its price point. HP needs to lover it by at least $100 and then they would have a decent tablet for a decent price.
    statuskwo5
    • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

      @statuskwo5 Latest price is around $500 for the 32 gb version between discounts, price reduction. Check amazon, costco and HP's site. Lower if you get a HP loyalty $50 rebate for webOS phone users.
      ewl88
  • TouchPad: very unpolished comparing to Honeycomb tablets

    I'm sorry, but that's a b-s.<br>I have both Asus Transformer (Honeycomb) and HP TouchPad (webOS 3) for about a couple of months. I have nothing against webOS and would like to develop for it but<br>1. It's seeverily limited now comparing to Honeycomb tablets. Not enough apps, unpolished experience.<br>2. Even UI seems to be much more established on Honeycomb than on webOS 3. Just try to select text on both and you'll see it.<br>A lack of "Back" button makes webOS less straightforward in operations, it actually requres more actions to switch between apps than Honeycomb does. So, multi-tasking on webOS in at least not better than on Honeycomb.<br><br><a href="http://goo.gl/n7X1L" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://goo.gl/n7X1L</a>
    vkelman@...
    • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

      @vkelman@... It is not b-s, it is (and plainly states) my own opinion. Your opinion may vary, but it is indeed my opinion.
      JamesKendrick
      • I'm waiting for the next TouchPad

        And some extra money.

        Then I'll get one and see if my own personal use agrees with yours.

        It'll take a lot to de-throne the Xoom imo (since 3.2 is definitely what they should have shipped with).

        I am welcome to be proven wrong, though.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • I think the problem with your 'opinion' is just that...

        @JamesKendrick

        It's total vapour! There is no substance or real reference to look at and you offer no proper valid feedback. How can you say v3 crashed less than webos but web os will be better once some vaporware lands on it later today? You don't even acknowledge that Android v3.1 is standard, and that v3.2 will be downloaded soon. Any argument you tried to make is flawed, subjective and biased as far as I can see.

        Personally.. my Asus has never frozen, and never crashed. I wouldn't mind so much if you said what ran slow, and on what device but it comes across as an effort to publicise WebOS and denegrate Android (in my opinion).
        johnmckay
    • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

      @vkelman@...

      The TouchPad has more native apps than Honeycomb and that's just 1 tablet V. 500 or whatever number of Android apps.
      Ulairi
      • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

        @Ulairi That isn't accurate either, the problem people have is that that Google Market does not identify Tablet Only Applications beyond their featured Tablet Apps.

        All Android Apps are native Apps, this is not a Blackberry Playbook.
        slickjim
    • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

      @vkelman@... You have to understand, James for the most part is Anti-Google.
      slickjim
      • RE: HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb

        @Peter Perry So untrue, just you spinning things again. I own 2 Android tablets and a Nexus S phone. Not anti-Google at all.
        JamesKendrick