Even at the $99 Price Tag, the HP TouchPad Fails to Impress
The Good (at $99):
A tablet-less friend of mine was one of the lucky few who scooped up a $99 TouchPad during HP’s liquidation weekend. But is the HP TouchPad a steal at $99? Here’s a quick little re-review on HP’s webOS tablet based on some solid hands-on play …
The Good (at $99):
- It’s a modern tablet with a modern web browser that does Flash.
- You can watch movies, read e-books and listen to your music on a nice 10-inch screen
- It’s cheaper than a 16GB iPod Touch, with many similar features
- Skype calls with just audio work great
The Bad (yes, even at $99):
- The TouchPad is prone to crashing and restarting itself for no reason. (This happened to me four times in 12 hours.)
- Lag is present everywhere, even with something basic such as using the Kindle app or switching the calendar view from monthly to weekly
- Skype calls with video are slow and full of pixelation
- The web browser lacks a basic scroll bar indicator
- Initial connection to a Wi-Fi hotspot took a solid 15 seconds
- The app store is small, with an even smaller selection of free applications
- It’s a discontinued device with little hope of future support
I agree, it may be a tad pessimistic. But after playing with the TouchPad side-by-side with my iPad 2, there’s honestly no comparison. The TouchPad has a plethora of quirks and hiccups that are quite simply awful. For example, if you accidentally create a blank photo album (e.g. “Vacation”) you cannot delete it on the TouchPad. You have to create the album as an empty folder on the TouchPad file system using a computer (e.g. new folder->”Vacation”). Then re-load the photo app, reconnect the TouchPad to the computer again and delete the folder you just made. Now it’s gone. Annoying. Other troublesome quirks include the inability to manage which backgrounded apps or windows should continue fully in the background. For example, If I put a browser window with a YouTube video playing into a card stack, it will continue to play, regardless of whether I’ve pushed the card to the back or the front of the stack. Flash videos will often cause the browser to crash, but the good news is you can turn Flash off. And this is really an incomplete list.
But, for someone like my friend who did not have a tablet at all, $99 seemed like a good buy. If your goal with the 10-inch tablet is to just browse the web and read, then you’ve found a really decent deal. But if you were looking to be productive in the slightest, look elsewhere. The TouchPad is not the tablet for working people or productivity-savvy individuals. Save your greenbacks and spring for something else, either Android or iOS, you’ll be happy you did.