hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

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hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:51 pm

Yes, I'm very late to this party, but I had no possible way of getting one of the $99/149 specials before they sold out, and I didn't really need a tablet, so I wasn't about to pay an eBay or Amazon scalper twice that much. Then TR linked Woot's $225 special on a refurbished 32GB a week ago, and I was sold.

First impressions: this thing is excellent in nearly every respect and the entire pre-Meg executive staff of hp should be drug into the street and SHOT for orphaning WebOS. Some minor bugs in correctly detecting WiFi and Exchange Active Server security protocols but otherwise this is a modestly better UI experience than Android on my NexusOne, and the integrated browser is pretty good. What tickles me no end is that my MP3 collection dates way back, and hence I have every album in my CD collection ripped to bare MP3 with minimal ID3 info and a simple M3U playlist. Most devices these days can't understand an M3U playlist, but after creating a new folder over USB and then uploading about 11GB of my collection to the unit, the Touchpad's default media player sorted the whole works perfectly! The app store is surprisingly good for an abandoned project, too.

hp had about 80-90% of everything they needed to make a serious challenge against the iOS/Android duopoly, and threw it all away in a fit of pique. Oh well, at least I get a good, low-cost tablet out of it. Haven't gotten to Preware yet but that will be next.
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Re: hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:54 pm

Yeah I am highly tempted to pony up for a tablet. But man if I had one, I'm just not sure what I'd do with it. I already have a laptop, smartphone, and desktop...

How do you use your tablet?
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Re: hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:16 pm

I use mine for browsing and checking email while occupying the space on the sofa next to my wife while she gets her evening dose of junk tv. This alone made it worth the money, as it's better for the task than my laptop in most ways. I took it with me on fantasy football Sundays and tend to travel with it over the laptop, which has been relegated to serious writing and financials.

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Re: hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

Postposted on Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:49 am

The only thing that somewhat disappoints me about the Touchpad is the so-so battery life.
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Re: hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

Postposted on Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:37 am

I've owned one for 4 or 5 months, I literally do not even know what WebOS looks like.
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Re: hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

Postposted on Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:20 pm

Sunburn74 wrote:How do you use your tablet?

Still discovering that :) It looks like it will slot in pretty neatly between my smartphone and my Timeline 1810TZ notebook. There are times when the touchscreen interfacing is more intuitive for casual reading and web browsing, yet the phone screen is a bit on the small side. But I don't really want a larger phone, while the laptop is comparatively more laborious to get out and charge (when needed) because of the power brick.

I never felt the phone display was inadequate, but after playing with the tablet, I quickly realized I was doing a lot of zoom-and-scroll operations that are unnecessary on the tablet. On the other hand, my phone has 3G data access, the TouchPad only has WiFi, so it looks like the tablet will be more useful at home, and the phone more useful on the road. Which seems about right.

I've been keeping my old Aspire One netbook around as a backup, just in case something happened to my notebook, but the tablet seems "good enough" as a backup that I'll probably go ahead and donate the old netbook to someone who can get the use out of it.
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Re: hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

Postposted on Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:45 pm

I still have my 16GB one which I got for $100... As a basic tablet for e-mail/browsing/AngryBirds/Skype it is fine, the WebOS feels much more user-friendly (especially for people not familiar with such devices) than any Android crap (though it is obviously less customizable). I still occasionally use it for such tasks, but mostly it is being used as a room clock - I have the inductive charging stand for it and set it to display time during charging (though you can use other apps, like weather, instead of clock). For all my tablet needs I still prefer my iPad2, even for browsing/email (simply because TouchPad registers screen touches with less "precision" than iPad, which gets slightly annoying). Would be pretty awesome if next iPad would "borrow" the awesome inductive charging method from TouchPad (I doubt it is patented in any way)...
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Re: hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

Postposted on Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:58 pm

JohnC wrote:Would be pretty awesome if next iPad would "borrow" the awesome inductive charging method from TouchPad (I doubt it is patented in any way)...

In fact there are multiple patents floating around on inductive charging methods, although it is possible that the hp method is not covered by any active patents given that the method used by hp (as near as I can gather) is very similar to what electric toothbrushes have been using for years.
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Re: hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

Postposted on Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:10 pm

I love mine. I got a 32 GB one during the very last days of the fire sale when NCIX launched. Here are my gripes:

Lack of apps.
Its a bit heavy.

I find WebOS to be the best OS out there. Its multi-tasking is amazing. Far and above the best virtual keyboard I've ever used.
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Re: hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

Postposted on Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:48 pm

I have the 32GB from the firesale and I like it quite a bit.

It has a very good keyboard (although Hacker's Keyboard on Android is superior) compared to stock Android or the iPad. Flash performance is second only to the Playbook so that's a high plus as well.

Multitasking I find is very pretty but slower in a real workflow. Here's an Advanced Gesture that will make it more fun: swipe from from off the edge of bottom into the screen and it'll be equivalent to pressing the dinky home button. There are good things like Youtube continuing to play in the background but that's actually possible in Android if the Youtube app didn't specifically suspend itself.


Software is limited both in scope and in scale. For instance, the PDF reader is extremely barebones and not in the good way (there are hacks to make it work better). The web browser is competent but you'll run into annoyances like the lack of scroll bars to get to the bottom faster (they only added the position indicator in the update last month). The Facebook app is the prettiest tablet version I've seen but also the most limited (in particular I can't get into Groups from it) while also being slow. The most adequate ebook reader is the Kindle app but it's still pretty slow and it's a hacky process to get your other ebooks imported.


Also, it's much much better now with the current update of WebOS but it used to be that WebOS ran stupidly slow before you run through the full gauntlet at WebOSNation to remove logging and overclock. Battery life is a little better than CM7 though and much better than CM9. Still pales to the iPad and other Android tablets though.


Interface design is consistent but also consistently infuriating. Scrolling long lists are a pain, if your app didn't deign to code in a back button you'll just have to start over, small text boxes will be the bane of your existence, etc.


In any case, I complain a lot but it was still a good starting point and it's too bad it'll never really go too much farther it seems.
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Re: hp TouchPad 32GB first impressions

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:41 pm

A bump because Cyanogenmod 9 Alpha 2 has come out complete with full video acceleration (netflix!).
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