Review by Dan Seifert on Monday July 18, 2011.
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The HP TouchPad is HP's first tablet effort running the webOS operating system that it acquired when it purchased Palm back in June of 2010. Many users, and lovers, of webOS's blend of beauty and functionality have been waiting with baited breath to see how it performs on a tablet. While webOS has been praised by almost everyone who has touched it on a phone, it has had trouble grabbing a large chunk of the smartphone market share thanks to lackluster hardware and limited app selections. Has HP managed to take the best of webOS and implement it on the TouchPad while avoiding the pitfalls that have plagued the platform in the past? Is the TouchPad a compelling option compared to market leader Apple's iPad 2 or even the less-than-impressive Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablets that are available?
Sadly, while there are a lot of promising things in the TouchPad and its webOS 3.0 operating system, HP hasn't quite hit the necessary mark to provide real competition to the iPad. Between the dated design, thick, heavy hardware, and the surprisingly sluggish performance from the OS, the TouchPad disappoints on a number of levels. While everything on the iPad is smooth and fast, the TouchPad will inexplicably stutter and hang at times for no apparent reason, and then catch up with your input in a flurry of actions.
Not all things are bad with the TouchPad, as certain features like the Synergy integration and the multi-tasking features are very cool and work rather well. The browser is not perfect by any means, but it does support Adobe Flash videos, which work more often than not. Accessories like the Touchstone charging dock add value as well. Read on to learn the ins and outs and what I loved, and what I loathed in the HP TouchPad.
You'll find two videos of the HP TouchPad in action after the Table of Contents, below.
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.