HP TouchPad isn't even iPad 2 killer, let alone iPad 3

HP TouchPad
By Richi Jennings (@richi) - June 30, 2011.

HP (NYSE:HPQ) launches its TouchPad tomorrow, in competition with the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad 2 and rumored iPad 3. HP allowed reviewers to talk about it last night, but the reception wasn't wonderful. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers crowdsource Richi's review roundup.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: rep.licants.org: Install a bot on your favorite social network account and become a replicant...

Galen Gruman gets going:

TouchPad [is] the first competitor to the iPad from the world's leading computer maker ... based on WebOS ... available in stores this weekend. ... The TouchPad is hampered by the same kinds of fit-and-finish issues that mar some Android devices. ... [It] poses no threat to the iPad ... the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or Xoom.

...

TouchPad's inductive charging is nice ... whereas the lack of rear camera and ... video-out are clear disadvantages. ...  Although the TouchPad is a good product, it is not a leading product. ... There's a reason Apple is outselling everyone else by such lopsided margins.  
M0RE

  Walt Mossberg, too:

[It's] a 10-inch tablet with a slick, distinctive software interface ... starting at $500. ... Despite its attractive and different user interface, this first version is simply no match for the iPad.

...

I like the interface a lot. ... But the tablet’s hardware is bulbous and heavy ... battery life was only 60% of that of the iPad 2. ... the TouchPad will launch with just 300 ... apps and only 6,200 webOS apps overall ... only 70% of which can run on the tablet, in a small, phone-size window. ... I also ran into plenty of bugs in my tests, even though ... I was testing a production unit. ... The Web browser generally worked well, but Flash was uneven. ... Skype video worked well. ... Typing on the TouchPad’s virtual keyboard ... was a mixed bag.

...

Despite these problems, in many ways the TouchPad is a joy to use. ... But, at least for now, I can’t recommend the TouchPad over the iPad 2.  
M0RE

Harry McCracken runs with the bulls:

My take is pretty much the same one as the consensus ... very nice interface, aging hardware ... too many bugs, and too few apps.

...

It kind of screams “I was designed before the iPad 2 came out.” ... The bugginess [is a] huge problem ... that’s eerily reminiscent of issues with Motorola’s Xoom and BlackBerry’s PlayBook. ... WebOS’s user interface remains excellent. ... Every tablet based on a new platform is going to debut with a thin collection of apps. ... I’d hoped that HP was making a smart move by not rushing the TouchPad out the door ... I now think it should have moved even more slowly.  
M0RE

But Derek Kessler is more forgiving:

[It's] a fast and capable tablet running a thoroughly modern operating system. There’s a good and growing selection of apps ... but there are some glaring omissions. ... [But] it’s still perfectly capable and full of potential.

...

HP’s made a lot of noise over their Beats partnership. ... That means dedicated audio processing ... insulated jack to minimize static ... with decent sound and volume. ... HP put a lot of thought and work into making sure the speakers could produce good sound.

...

TouchPad packs an extra snappy dual-core 1.2Ghz Qualcomm APQ8060 processor ... an Adreno 220 graphics chip ... a full gigabyte of RAM ... Bluetooth 2.1 ... accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and ambient light sensor.

...

HP’s managed to maintain Palm’s lead with [webOS] notifications ... instantly intuitive, functional, and efficient. ... The TouchPad’s not a perfect tablet. ... It has its faults, but by and large those are correctable ... with a software update or two, the first of which HP has told us is in progress.  
M0RE

  Overall, MG Siegler is not pleased:

A resounding “meh”. ... I had high hopes for the TouchPad. But ... if HP does something great with webOS, it will not be this device. ... I can only assume HP doesn’t think it’s “meh”.

...

I understand the need to get something out there to get developers developing, but ... “meh” [isn't] going to get them excited.

...

I wonder how many people would buy an iPad 1 ... right now? ... The only race that exists is the one for a distant second place.  
M0RE

  Meanwhile, Joshua Topolsky likes it, with reservations:

The TouchPad is far from perfect ... not even close. ... Still, there is DNA here that ... deserves to be given a second look. What HP has done ... is commendable, and if the fixes for some of these ... bugs come as fast as the company is promising, the TouchPad could be [a] contender.

...

The stability and smoothness of the user experience is not up to par with the iPad or ... Galaxy Tab 10.1. ... Many of the underlying ideas are actually a lot better and more intuitive.

...

Pros ... user interface ... display ... Phone pairing. ...

Cons ... software ... Hardware quality ... Developer support.  
M0RE

 

And Finally...
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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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