Gamer Spotlight: HP TouchPad
Most of the games on the TouchPad aren't even worth mentioning. At HP's suggestion, we tried out Polarbit's Armageddon Squadron, a game that was demoed at the launch event. Honestly, it's crap. Setting aside the fact that screenshot functionality is broken, graphics quality is perhaps comparable to a Nintendo 64 or SNES.
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit for TouchPad
The launch of EA's Need for Speed Hot Pursuit for TouchPad coincided with HP's tablet announcement, and for a really good reason. It's the only game even remotely worthy of praise. It's roughly on par with Riptide on an Tegra 2-based Android tablet and less attractive than Real Racing 2 HD on an iPad 2.
Interestingly, there's something wrong with screen captures in this game too, as every screenshot contains visual artifacts.
Overall, gaming on the TouchPad is disappointing. The variety of games in HP's App Catalog suggests the selection is much broader. However, the Adreno 220's graphics potential is decidedly untapped compared to what we've seen in iOS and Android.
The one thing lacking in this review, which is also lacking in everything being written about webos, is the mention of what I consider one of the standout features of webos: The openness of the platform. With preware installed (free), you have access to thousands of patches and homebrewed apps as well as linux applications. It is possible, for example, to run a full Debian Linux in a chrooted environment (without any cracking or jailbreaking), giving access to OpenOffice, and all other x-server Linux software out there. HP/Palm is the only tablet OS developer that actively encourages the homebrew/open source community in its efforts. As a developer, it is not only the ease of development that is compelling but the huge amount of expressive and creative freedom you get. With the Apple appstore, the walled garden may protect consumers well, but also creates a completely controlled and often repressive and capricious environment for a developer. This openness is the secret sauce behind much of the loyalty of webos users. The os is a joy to use, a joy to explore, and a joy to create new code in. And unfortunately, most reviewers can't or won't take the time to understand this extremely compelling aspect of the OS.
Thank you again for the best review of the touchpad I've seen yet.
Thanks again, Andrew!
HP just announced the $100 off sale from this last weekend is now permanent.
"Effective immediately, the HP TouchPad 16GB Wi-Fi will now be available for $399.99 and the HP TouchPad 32GB Wi-Fi will now be available for $499.99"