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Early HP TouchPad reviews: 'simply no match' for the iPad

updated 07:30 pm EDT, Wed June 29, 2011

HP TouchPad struggles in early reviews

Early reviews of the HP TouchPad have surfaced and have suggested an uphill battle for the first webOS tablet. At least three reviews have all concluded that the TouchPad is heavy, sometimes sluggish, and limited by its current influence to a smaller selection of apps. Battery life was a problem for many, and in the case of the WSJ, managed just six hours on a charge where an iPad 2 gets over 10 hours.

WebOS 3.0 is considered the strongest point of the tablet through its intuitive design and real multitasking. Bugs and periodic sluggish performance nonetheless marred the reviews. HP indirectly admitted to a rushed release and promised an update coming in three to six weeks that would fix most of the outstanding issues.

The absence of a rear camera was regarded as more a nuisance than a real issue in the Engadget and Laptop reviews, but everyone criticized HP for leaving out basic software. Its front camera only currently works with the built-in Skype integration and has no stand-alone camera app or significant third-party app support.

An iPad level of display quality and strong audio were still highlights. At its best, the TouchPad is pleasurable to use. As it was coming into a market where competitors like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 were much more portable, had more hardware features and ran many more apps, however, a reviewer like Walt Mossberg couldn't justify it as a clear pick.

"Despite its attractive and different user interface, this first version [of the TouchPad] is simply no match for the iPad," he said.

by MacNN Staff



  1. PRoth

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Had high hopes for HP

    I'm an Apple fan (not fanboi) and customer, but I had high hopes for something from HP. A good alternative to iOS and iPhone/iPad wouldn't be such a bad thing... to keep Apple honest.

    I saw Android 3.X on an Acer tablet, and at quick glance, it wasn't horrible, horrible, but still leaves a lot to be desired.

  1. Dr. Fyzziks

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not my experience

    I got to play with an HP Touchpad for a couple hours yesterday and it seemed pretty well-built & snappy / responsive. I definitely think it's heads and shoulders above a lot of the existing Android tablets (from an OS point of view - the hardware was good, but not awe-inducing).

    The other thing that really stood out for me was the development environment. Anyone familiar with standard web dev tools/languages: Javascript, HTML5 and CSS3, can whip together a webOS app pretty easily.

    The device is by no means an "iPad killer", but I definitely got the impression that HP was on the right track.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Looks like....

    What you would get if the iPad 1 and the Pre had a love child. They copied a lot of the look and feel of not only the hardware from the iPad 1 but also iOS 4.2 which was iPad specific.

  1. viktorob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I wonder why?

    I don't understand, if every company is trying to came out with a product like the iPad, why people doesn't just buy the real, working, original product?
    I mean, I hate microsoft, but I got the kinect because for me is the best game interface out there. Hating a company will not keep me from getting the best product I can afford.

    Most of those iPad cloners are bulkier, less battery life, heavier, buggier, expensive and people just buy them because they hate apple? OMG. Are you Apple heater sons of bill gates? lol
    People who buys those "prototypes" got what they deserve for buying with feelings and not with their brains.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    amen bro. I despise Microsoft but I'm going to buy a 360 and Kinect because they are the best gaming devices out there.

    Buying shtty iPad wanna-be's based on some irrational Apple hatred = cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  1. facebook_James

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011


    Touchpad beta

    Try running www.drudge they try HP technical support from their own page.. I tried two machines and now returning the second one. very disappointed.. If I were on the board of HP, heads would roll for letting this on the open market with the plethora of bugs my two machines exhibited. Fix it then relaunch guys. It won't even run Bing without running into a lot of issues.. It reloads on it's own and locks up then ignores gestures to close the page. Apple has an edge also when it comes to customer service.. They have iPads with them when you call.. Not so for HP.

    In short, if you want to feel really insignificant, call HP support and listen to the jingle for hours before you buy.. You will be listening to that for hours and hours while trying to figure out that HP sold you a prototype.

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