I received my HP TouchPad yesterday and, so far, I have really been enjoying it a lot. It doesn’t quite answer the “would I buy this over an iPad” question, but it is very close. Out of the box, the TouchPad comes with a cleaning cloth and USB based power adapter. I also bought the dock, cover, and bluetooth keyboard.
There are plenty of reviews out there, so I won’t be offering up a full review, but here are things I really like, along with some items that need further work.
- Full Browser support – I’m typing this in the web-based WordPress tool and have full access to the editing toolbar. The same experience is available via Google Docs. For me, this is a huge improvement over Safari in iOS and Android’s browser. I can’t upload photos using the wp-admin image uploader which wasn’t too surprising – disappointing, but not surprising. The experience isn’t perfect, but much better than Safari on iOS.
- Application switching using Card View feels faster and more natural than iOS and Android Honeycomb.
- Photos has a seamless hook in to my Facebook photo library.
- Just Type allows me to begin creating a Memo, tweet, facebook status, calendar event, or Email without launching the application first.
- Bluetooth keyboard is very, very nice with built-in keys to launch the Card View, notifications, and spacebar to instantly wake the TouchPad from sleep. There is a slight lag from typing before the text appears on the screen, but am hopeful that this will get addressed in future updates
- The on-screen keyboard is also nice, with a row dedicated to numbers, as well as an option to make the keyboard different sizes. I have found the large size works best for me. While I’m getting used to the on-screen keyboard, I am noticing more accidental spelling errors due to pressing the wrong key.
- There is a little bit of lag in application loading and a general sluggishness to the OS that doesn’t quite line up with the expectations of the processor. HP needs to fix this on their next system software update.
- I like the ability to make panes within an application full-screen. For example, I can view an email with a list of other emails on the left, or type the slider icon and make the email full-screen, and then easiliy switch back. The Facebook application makes full use of this capability and is a great UI improvement over iOS and Android Honeycomb.
- The definite downfall right now is the lack of TouchPad specific applications. I installed Evernote, but running that in a Pre-type screen is not even worth it.
I’ll be using the TouchPad as my primary mobile device over the next several weeks and will continue reporting back on my experience. For now, I’m very hopeful about the future of WebOS and devices that the platform will show up on. For now, I wouldn’t recommend it over the iPad, but that recommendation may change in a matter of months.