H.P.’s New Tablet Enters Market Late, but Looks Marvelous
Have you been reading the headlines? There was a big earthquake in Haiti. Some men were rescued from a mine in Chile. Oh, and apparently there was a gigantic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
What’s that you say? This all sounds like last year’s news?
Well, don’t tell that to Hewlett-Packard. This week, it introduced what it considers a groundbreaking new product: a tablet with a touch screen!
Lots of reviews coming out for H.P.’s new TouchPad tablet. One point that many of the reviewers concur about is the fact that when a single company controls both the hardware and software, the result is much more elegant, cohesive and unified. Unfortunately, there are a few too many problems with this particular device. Quotes from some of the reviews follow.
From David Pogue:
It supposedly has a blazing-fast chip inside, but you wouldn’t know it. When you rotate the screen, it takes the screen two seconds to match — an eternity in tablet time. Apps can take a long time to open; the built-in chat app, for example, takes seven seconds to appear. Animations are sometimes jerky, reactions to your finger swipes sometimes uncertain.
And despite being thicker, the TouchPad’s battery life lasts only about eight hours on a charge (the iPad gets 10 hours).
From Walter Mossberg:
I’ve been testing the TouchPad for about a week and, in my view, despite its attractive and different user interface, this first version is simply no match for the iPad. It suffers from poor battery life, a paucity of apps and other deficits.
From Jason Snell:
So what I’m saying is, I’m glad that HP finally shipped the TouchPad. If it can get developers engaged in its platform and iron out all the bugs while also growing webOS as a smartphone operating system, it might really have something here. But that’s a story about the future, and about potential. For now, the TouchPad is just another iPad competitor that can’t measure up.
And Josh Topolsky:
From the start of using this tablet, it was clear to me that HP had some work left to do on tuning and tightening the OS, and that lack of polish created frustrating and disappointing moments while using the TouchPad.
All in all, it sounds like this is a promising product, but it clearly has the fit and finish of a 1.0 release, which isn’t going to stack up well against it’s competition. However, it does sound like H.P. has created what may be the first real challenger to the iPad.