Now that there are about two hundred thousand or so more HP TouchPad users out there, I figured it would be a great time to do a review. I’ve got some accessories on the way, so I’ll have the pictures of the TouchPad in the case and the dock shortly. I am sure that everyone has had tons of fun searching for a TouchPad over the weekend (if you got one) and experienced hoarding like never before. Now that the product is finally in your hands, and hopefully for either $99 or $149, the reality begins to set in that this will be a great browsing and media tablet.
When you first pick up the TouchPad, you will notice how slick it is, it almost wants to slide out of your hands, but it won’t. A few of my cousins and friends who have picked it up have commented about this exact thing. Nothing wrong with it, but you will notice that right away. I started it up and immediately increased the brightness settings and went straight to the HP App Catalog and as reported it is very lacking. I did a search for a few games and was surprised I made it to the end of the list very quickly without finding many selections I liked but this is one of those things where patience is urged, as a product comes out to the market it takes some time for developers to develop (lol) granted they won’t be doing it at the same pace as Apple or Android developers, but given time I am sure a limited about of useful apps would have appeared. Compare that to 100 tip calculators, an exaggeration you may think, but go do a search on an Android or iOS device and it feels like there are that many.
So I hear about WebOS and how some are saying the browsing experience on the TouchPad is not only good but vastly superior to all other tablets in the market. I found this quite hard to believe but thought, since it has flash and there are things I need flash for, (no not that) at least I can justify the 99 dollars for flash and a superior browser. I will admit flash support is very refreshing but I began to notice a very long load time compared to the Playbook and the iPad 2. I know that it’s important to compare the two on equal footing so you will see in the video below that even on a website without flash, the TouchPad’s load times are significantly longer. Now I’m not saying that it is a deal breaker, I’m just pointing out that especially when you have both devices head to head, you begin to realize why no one was buying the TouchPad when it first came out. No one in their right minds would want to fork out $499 for the Touchpad especially based on these benchmarks.
Now, I had almost completely missed Synergy until I randomly came across it when I added my Gmail. I then proceeded to enter my Yahoo and other email accounts and saw how amazing this feature is. It is extremely smooth and its real world application is extremely valuable, I use different Emails for different things, but having access to them all in one screen is something I have never had before and makes it extremely easy to complete tasks and not having to switch back in forth between Email accounts. I also use Google Calendar, one account for Bills and another for appointments, and having the two merged but at the same time segregated was something that Apple and Android need to learn how to do better.
Here’s something that’s cool if you have two TouchPads, forget the fact that unless you have a business you will never use this, its still cool!
I like the overall feel, and can see myself on the TouchPad for non App related tasks, the fact that it plays videos in most native formats is a great addition as well however leaving out ‘avi’ was a very critical error as most video’s are in that format and require conversion into mpeg4 to be played. I’ve basically filled my 16GB iPad 2 will just apps, so I picked up a 32GB TouchPad so I can fill it up with T.V shows and movies. It will be nice not to have to tether my iPad 2 or use Wi-fi to stream video. At $99 it feels like I don’t have to protect the TouchPad as vigorously as the iPad 2, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be using it as a coaster either, but it feels nice to know that I don’t have to offer it the level of protection that I had to offer my other Tablets. It’s rather unfortunate that HP wasn’t able to develop this tablet for $99 at a profit, but the materials and technology used aren’t at that point yet, I have stated that tablets not named iPad’s should be released at sub $399 levels, but I guess it is a lesson for other tablet manufacturers to be aware of. Guess not.