HP TouchPad review roundup: webOS tablet falls short of hype

The HP TouchPad has been reviewed by the tech press at large, and as the first webOS tablet, there’s a lot riding on it. Unfortunately for HP, it looks like it has failed to meet the expectations of many.

The TouchPad has a 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 touchscreen, with a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front, and a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor. Since it runs webOS, it has all the stuff you might have seen on the Pre or Pixi smartphones, like Synergy for tying social network data tightly with the native address book, card view multitasking,as well as inductive wireless charging through a custom dock accessory. Unique the the TouchPad is the Touch to Share feature, which allows you to quickly move web pages you’re viewing from webOS tablet to smartphone just by tapping one on the other. Take a look at our hands-on video for the full tour.

Most of us are optimistic for webOS, but personally, I find it hard to picture yet another serious mobile OS contender squeezed between iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. We were initially a little teary-eyed that we didn’t get a TouchPad to play around with, but it doesn’t sound like we were missing much. Here are some impressions from reviews around the web.

This is my next: “The bottom line here is that the stability and smoothness of the user experience is not up to par with the iPad or something like the Galaxy Tab 10.1, even if many of the underlying ideas are actually a lot better and more intuitive than what the competition offers.”

CrunchGear: “I hate to say it, but far too many times the TouchPad bogged down while performing standard tasks. The biggest, most frustrating problems appeared when browsing photos. The UI would slow down and register taps a few seconds later.”

Engadget: “We all wanted the TouchPad to really compete, to give us a compelling third party to join the iOS and Android boxes on the ballot. But, alas, this isn’t quite it.”

Gizmodo: “You’re stepping on my dreams, HP. The TouchPad is so close, closer than anything else, to being good. But it’s also very, very far from it.”

CNET: “The TouchPad would have made a great competitor for the original iPad, but its design, features, and speed put it behind today’s crop of tablet heavyweights.”

Laptopmag: “The reason this story doesn’t have a happy ending (at least not yet) is because the TouchPad is pretty sluggish for a device that’s powered by a dual-core processor. The slow and schizophrenic accelerometer alone gives us pause. The TouchPad is also heavier, thicker, and more smudge-prone than class-leading designs such as the iPad 2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1.”

If you’re still interested in getting one despite the reviews, the TouchPad will be launching July 1 in the U.S. for $499.99 for the 16 GB model, and $599.99 for 32 GB. You can get more official info on the TouchPad over here at HP’s minisite.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like it needs an immediate firmware update to smooth out the software kinks. A little more incubation time or a back to drawing board like Samsung did with the 10.1v.

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