On the first of July, HP launched their much awaited “iPad killer”, the TouchPad. The tablet was welcomed with mixed reviews and poor sales. When HP dropped the price by $100 consumers still did not budge. However, 48 days after launch, HP decided to leave the hardware business and abandoned the TouchPad. What came next was complete chaos, the TouchPad dropped to $99 for the 16GB model and $149 for the 32GB model.
The fire sale began and ended within hours. Retailers were bombarded with orders and many took more than they could handle. Thousands were left with cancellations and broken hearts. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to snag one off of Amazon and within two days it was at my doorstep. After two weeks of playing with the device I can finally separate the good from the bad.
- WebOS 3.0: WebOS is beautiful and may be my favorite operating system. Before the TouchPad I used it briefly on the Pre and was impressed, but not sold. Enter the TouchPad and I am in shock. While the software does have its fair share of bugs, for the most part it is functional and works as intended. The keyboard is roomy and when browsing, pinch-to-zoom goes off with no lag whatsoever. I love the true multitasking within the OS and my only complaint would be the lack of additional home screens.
- Battery Life: HP states that the device will get 9 hours of battery life and that is not a lie, I received just shy of 9 hours (8:48 to be exact).
- The Screen: The 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768 IPS display is brilliant (it is the same one found on the i*ad2). Viewing angles are never a problem and the screen is very impressive when it comes to brightness.
- The Speakers: Hands down the TouchPad has the best speakers of any tablet. Dr. Dre’s Beats Audio are included and there is never a dull moment. No crackles or fuzziness, just pure bass and pure music.
- The Price: $99 for 16GBs or $149 for 32GB models! The best deal I have taken advantage off, hell the best deal I have ever seen.
- Flash: Like other tablets (sans the i*ad) the TouchPad can play flash, always a plus.
- Specs: The specs are on par (if not better) with most tablets, the 1GB of RAM and 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor are nothing less than extraordinary.
- Android: A number of developers are working to port Android over to the device and we have already seen results.
- The Camera: The TouchPad features a sole 1.3 MP front facing camera. There is no back camera and the front one cannot take photos. The only thing the camera can do, is something it can’t do very well, and that is video chatting over Skype. To the person in front of the TouchPad it seems fine but on the receiving end there is nothing but blur.
- The Ports: Or lack there off. The TouchPad features nothing besides the Mirco USB charging port. No HDMI, No SD Card slot, nothing.
- Lack of Apps: HP’s App Catalog has a very limited app selection and even less that are optimized for the TouchPad.
- Finger Prints: Both the back and front of the device are full of fingerprints after just minutes of using it. Cleaning hourly is almost a must.
- The Weight: At 1.65 pounds this is one of the heaviest tablets on the market, even heavier than the Motorola XOOM, which we didn’t even think could be possible.
The TouchPad is by far the best tablet on the market, that is of course at the low fire sale prices. At $99 dollars this is a great e-reader, gaming device or internet browser. Then comes the more than likely chance of Android on the TouchPad. Both team TouchDroid and the CM7 team have made great progress in a short amount of time. While we will most likely never see Honeycomb, CM7 or even ICS could be just as good, if not better. With the powerful arsenal of Android apps and a strong developer community the TouchPad will continue to thrive.
HP has announced that 100,000 more TouchPads will be available in the coming weeks. If you have a chance of getting one of these do not hesitate, act fast and order one. You will be nothing but smiles.