|Dimension (in)||7.5 x .54 x 9.4|
|Resolution (px)||1024 x 768|
Camera, Bluetooth, WiFi, USB
|Battery Life||8.5 hrs|
The HP TouchPad ended up no. 2 on the list of the year’s most popular tablet PCs behind only the Apple iPad, but not for any virtues in hardware or software. After releasing the device in July 2011, Hewlett-Packard announced its discontinuing of the TouchPad in the fall and lowered the price to a must-sell $99 or so. By year’s end, this tablet had achieved minor cult status among techies and is beginning to fetch nice prices on eBay.
Much has been made of the TouchPad’s status as the first device of any kind to be running HP’s webOS 3.0, the latest version of the operating system fairly ubiquitous on smartphones. The good news is that webOS 3.0 brings much familiarity to the TouchPad as well as many handy applications that can be in exchanging between tablet and webOS smartphone.
The bad news is that the hardware gets generally low marks for slow performance. Despite a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor and 1 GB of RAM, most applications take surprisingly long to download and operate, while video playback is often simply impossible. The limited edition white version of the HP TouchPad sports a 1.5 GHz processor and some (but not all) of these problems are resolved.
Video calling is also problematic, again despite sufficient-seeming hardware, in this case 802.11 b/g/n WiFi connectivity.
In terms of positives, the HP TouchPad’s 9.7”, 1024 x 768px IPS touchscreen makes for excellent displays, sound is also among the best in this class, and the battery life is around 8.5 hours of full-use. Quite noteworthy is some interesting embedded software, including a custom Facebook app and Epicurious, essentially a virtual cookbook replete with pictures, text and recipes.
In short, the HP TouchPad has all the pluses and minuses you’d expect from a company taking its first plunge into the tablet PC market; we can only wonder if it’s the last.