Tom's IT Pro goes hands-on with the HP tablet.
Apple's iPad 2 tablet currently leads the market right now, no doubt boosted by the head start given to it by the first iPad.
Competition breeds improvement, and we're happy to say that there are other worthy offerings out there in from the likes of Motorola and Samsung for Android tablets, and now added to the mix is HP's TouchPad. For the record, HP said that its product isn't trying to compete with the iPad.
- HP has finally mastered touch. The Touchpad’s hardware and webOS operating system make for a responsive, intuitive touch experience, unlike those horrible Windows 7 touch desktops and notebooks HP unleashed on the world not so long ago.
- Management of multitasking apps is far superior to the iPad. Card view and user created stacks of related apps, make it easy to find and open any running app. And, I really like the way you close an app, just flick it toward the top of the screen.
- Some apps run significantly faster than on the iPad 1 – e.g. Angry Birds HD. Yea, I know, a real business app. Hey, I’ll bet there are lots of angry birds …. and pigs where you work. I attribute this in part to the Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core processor and to good programming on the part of some app developers.
- There is no indicator on the right side of any scrolling zone to show you how much more you have to scroll to reach the bottom. This combined with slow scrolling often led me to give up trying to scroll.
- As with the iPad, some apps will run only on webOS phones and not the Touchpad. Unlike with the iPad, the HP App Store doesn't provide consistent information about which devices an app runs on. You have to download the app, install it and try it to find out if it will run on the Touchpad. The one PC remote control program I found in HP's App Store didn't work on the Touchpad.
- I still haven’t found an app that uses the Touchpad’s front-facing 1.3 MP camera.