First Impressions of the HP TouchPad

LockerGnome’s Jake Ludington has decided to give the HP TouchPad a try. The webOS-driven tablet computer has been receiving positive reviews out of the gate, and the ability for users to experience flash elements from the web is a clear advantage in cases where the user frequently uses web-based tools that require some level of flash support. Here are some of our first impressions of the HP TouchPad:

The HP TouchPad features a 9.7-inch LED backlit display (1024×768) and a glossy black finish that is a fingerprint magnet. It’s slightly heavier than the iPad 2 and has a build that more closely resembles the slightly bulkier original iPad. That isn’t to say that it’s too heavy to use, but it could be a burdon after a long period of time. Is is comfortable to hold, however, and doesn’t have any sharp corners that would otherwise make the device feel uncomfortable.

After inspecting the TouchPad, it appears to have two reasonably-sized speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left side. The built-in camera is front facing with no camera available on the back, meaning you’ll need to face the screen at whatever you’re taking a picture of. This indicates the primary use of any camera on this device will be for video chat rather than updating your Instagr.am account.

The 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor seems powerful enough. We were able to do some video benchmarking online and discovered that the TouchPad actually outperforms the iPad in a few rendering situations. However, this is not intended to be a processing powerhouse. It’s intended to be a tablet geared towards running web-based apps with support for stand-alone applications.

Battery life is pretty solid. HP reports say you should be able to get a solid 9 hours out of it during normal use. This appears to be a close approximation. In general, you’ll want to keep a USB cable handy to give it a charge if you intend to use it for more than a normal day’s use.

Switching between apps on webOS is snappy and easy. Navigation requires an occasiona flick and tap giving you the ability to toss unwanted windows and applications off the screen to get rid of them. If you want to look something up, Just Type gives you the ability to search on the device and on the web for something with a single search bar. This is a pretty nice feature, especially when you have a lot of apps loaded in to the TouchPad down the line.

Overall, it’s a fine device for anyone that absolutely must have flash as part of their mobile browsing experience and doesn’t want to deal with Android. Of all the tablet operating systems out there, webOS is doing a lot to prove its feasibility in today’s competitive market. Whether or not the TouchPad really takes off is anyone’s guess.

11 thoughts on “First Impressions of the HP TouchPad”

  1. That’s it? Are you kidding me? Do you expect us to trust this review? There isn’t a single critique in it. I’ll help you:

    • The tablet’s hardware is bulbous and heavy compared with the iPad 2
    • It’s missing… a rear camera or even a camera app for taking videos and still pictures. (Front camera can be used only for video chats.)
    • TouchPad’s battery life was only 60% that of the iPad 2
    • TouchPad will launch with just 300 tablet-optimized apps and only 6,200 webOS apps overall, most written for phones and only 70% of which can run on the tablet, in a small, phone-size window that can’t be expanded. (Versus over 425,000 apps that can be expanded to iPad screen size and over 100,000 iPad-specific apps)
    • On various occasions, the email app failed to display the contents of messages, the photos app failed to display pictures, and the game “Angry Birds” crashed repeatedly. All of these problems required a reboot of the device to resolve.
    • I found the TouchPad grew sluggish the more I used it. Again, a reboot was needed to restore normal speed.
    • Most Flash videos played fine, but some froze or stuttered badly, even on a fast Internet connection. A site written entirely in Flash wouldn’t even load.
    • The TouchPad’s auto-correct didn’t insert the apostrophe in some common words… Also, I found it much harder to correct words, because there is no magnifying glass or similar effect to help you precisely place the cursor.

    Just read Walt Mossberg’s  report for the Wall Street Journal (HP TouchPad ‘simply no match’ for Apple iPad 2) and David Pogue’s report for The New York Times (‘Doesn’t come close’ to Apple’s iPad) because unfortunately this particular review is useless.

    1. It’s a First Impressions, not a full-on review – but I certainly appreciate your perspective on the matter. This was Jake’s purchase for the benefit of our audience (as opposed to HP sending a unit to him). Moreover, I’d contend that the software will continue to mature – and for a first release, it’s certainly not a non-starter.

      1. Sorry for the double post. I understand what you are saying Chris but come on… everything sounds made up. The “Battery life is pretty solid”? Jake just assumed it is? Because it isn’t. “you’ll need to face the screen at whatever you’re taking a picture of”? What is he talking about? There is no way to take pictures, it only does video chat. Facts man, give us facts or you’ll just confuse people. At least correct the article.

        1. You appear to be a troll. You do a great job of copying and pasting from Mossberg’s article, but don’t seem to have evaluated the device on your own.

          I don’t believe I said there was a way to take pictures in the video, but if I did it was at the point where I’d spent less than 15 minutes with the device.

          As Chris said, this isn’t a review. I will be doing one of those. The battery life IS pretty solid. It lasts as long as my 1st gen iPad. I don’t have a 2nd gen to compare it to.

        2. You appear to be a troll. You do a great job of copying and pasting from Mossberg’s article, but don’t seem to have evaluated the device on your own.

          I don’t believe I said there was a way to take pictures in the video, but if I did it was at the point where I’d spent less than 15 minutes with the device.

          As Chris said, this isn’t a review. I will be doing one of those. The battery life IS pretty solid. It lasts as long as my 1st gen iPad. I don’t have a 2nd gen to compare it to.

    2. It’s a First Impressions, not a full-on review – but I certainly appreciate your perspective on the matter. This was Jake’s purchase for the benefit of our audience (as opposed to HP sending a unit to him). Moreover, I’d contend that the software will continue to mature – and for a first release, it’s certainly not a non-starter.

    3. That’s it? Are you kidding me? Do you expect us to trust this review? There isn’t a single critique in it. I’ll help you:

      • The tablet’s hardware is bulbous and heavy compared with the iPad 2
      • It’s missing… a rear camera or even a camera app for taking videos and still pictures. (Front camera can be used only for video chats.)
      • TouchPad’s battery life was only 60% that of the iPad 2
      • TouchPad will launch with just 300 tablet-optimized apps and only 6,200 webOS apps overall, most written for phones and only 70% of which can run on the tablet, in a small, phone-size window that can’t be expanded. (Versus over 425,000 apps that can be expanded to iPad screen size and over 100,000 iPad-specific apps)
      • On various occasions, the email app failed to display the contents of messages, the photos app failed to display pictures, and the game “Angry Birds” crashed repeatedly. All of these problems required a reboot of the device to resolve.
      • I found the TouchPad grew sluggish the more I used it. Again, a reboot was needed to restore normal speed.
      • Most Flash videos played fine, but some froze or stuttered badly, even on a fast Internet connection. A site written entirely in Flash wouldn’t even load.
      • The TouchPad’s auto-correct didn’t insert the apostrophe in some common words… Also, I found it much harder to correct words, because there is no magnifying glass or similar effect to help you precisely place the cursor.

      Just read Walt Mossberg’s  report for the Wall Street Journal (HP TouchPad ‘simply no match’ for Apple iPad 2) and David Pogue’s report for The New York Times (‘Doesn’t come close’ to Apple’s iPad) because unfortunately this particular review is useless.

    4. That’s it? Are you kidding me? Do you expect us to trust this review? There isn’t a single critique in it. I’ll help you:

      • The tablet’s hardware is bulbous and heavy compared with the iPad 2
      • It’s missing… a rear camera or even a camera app for taking videos and still pictures. (Front camera can be used only for video chats.)
      • TouchPad’s battery life was only 60% that of the iPad 2
      • TouchPad will launch with just 300 tablet-optimized apps and only 6,200 webOS apps overall, most written for phones and only 70% of which can run on the tablet, in a small, phone-size window that can’t be expanded. (Versus over 425,000 apps that can be expanded to iPad screen size and over 100,000 iPad-specific apps)
      • On various occasions, the email app failed to display the contents of messages, the photos app failed to display pictures, and the game “Angry Birds” crashed repeatedly. All of these problems required a reboot of the device to resolve.
      • I found the TouchPad grew sluggish the more I used it. Again, a reboot was needed to restore normal speed.
      • Most Flash videos played fine, but some froze or stuttered badly, even on a fast Internet connection. A site written entirely in Flash wouldn’t even load.
      • The TouchPad’s auto-correct didn’t insert the apostrophe in some common words… Also, I found it much harder to correct words, because there is no magnifying glass or similar effect to help you precisely place the cursor.

      Just read Walt Mossberg’s  report for the Wall Street Journal (HP TouchPad ‘simply no match’ for Apple iPad 2) and David Pogue’s report for The New York Times (‘Doesn’t come close’ to Apple’s iPad) because unfortunately this particular review is useless.

  2. Please oh Please if you’re going to be a co-host STAND IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA.  The “host” is clearly put off by your side comments and when you’re talking (behind the camera) all we get to do is watch the “host” stare blankly.

  3. HP TouchPad ‘s Windows 7 tablets has some interesting features but below the 8 hour the standard battery life and applications that take advantage of touch great expense significantly. I really like the touchpad and want a gift to my mother.

    hp coupons

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