updated 11:00 pm EST, Tue December 27, 2011
HP TouchPad Go may have had better shot at iPad
HP's stillborn TouchPad Go has been given its first and possibly only review on Tuesday in a sign that it might have been the tablet HP should have launched first. The seven-inch tablet handled by webOS Nation has the same 1024x768 display as before and the faster dual-core 1.5GHz chip from the 64GB TouchPad, making it not only as capable but giving it a much sharper screen. While the cameras weren't high quality, it had a five-megapixel rear camera and was much more useful than the front-only camera on the 9.7-inch TouchPad.
Its size and weight made it much easier to hold, and webOS generally didn't appear to suffer from the smaller screen size. Unlike the iPad or Android, users can readjust the keyboard size to make it comfortable to use. A 3G modem inside wasn't tested, but was again an option that never existed for the original TouchPad.
The release suggested that, while it wasn't a fundamental break from the TouchPad, its smaller size would have made it a better "tag-along device" that could come into the car for GPS or otherwise in areas where the larger model wouldn't have fit. As a victim of HP's decision to keep webOS hardware dormant for the near future, though, it was a bittersweet finding as it would never be released as-is.
Many consider the original TouchPad to have been a mistake as launched by HP. Along with rough software that hurt its reviews, it cost the same $499 as an iPad but with a slower processor, a bulkier design, and no rear camera. WebOS has long had an app deficit versus the App Store, although built-in media stores and free Box.net access were supposed to help its chances. HP first dropped webOS hardware in August after then-CEO Leo Apoketheker went on a short-lived attempt to transform HP into a services-only company like his former employer SAP, cutting mobile as he thought HP couldn't rival Apple.