A few days with a dead tablet

August 28th, 2011 at 9:12 AM  No Comments

Like many others the announcement that HP would discontinue all current WebOS devices surprised me. I knew it wasn’t selling as well as HP expected (especially with the Rumors about Best Buy wanting to return a huge chunk of their stock) but I didn’t think they would give up this easily.

I went on the hunt to get one after the $99/$149 fire sale started. Since I was traveling that Saturday I didn’t get my hands on one until this past Wednesday. I am not a complete newb to WebOS. My wife used the original Pre on Sprint for a year and after she upgraded to the Evo I swapped it to my account as my primary device a couple of times. I really like WebOS but the Pre’s hardware killed the experience for me. I was exited to see how WebOS had evolved since version 1 as well as the experience on a piece of quality hardware.

Overall the WebOS interface hasn’t changed much, but it seemed much more polished over version 1.45. The hardware seemed solid but I was surprised to experience a little lag when doing some basic tasks. I would think the Dual Core Snapdragon system wouldn’t have small performance issues like this. Even with the performance shortcomings I didn’t use my laptop for three days after bringing the tablet home which surprised me.

The HP Touchpad had potential to be a great device, but with the previous price point I can understand why it wasn’t selling as well as it’s competitors. VPN Functionality and LAN Printing are great features but without apps like Remote Desktop, no support to access network files (CIFS Support is available in a Homebrew kernal, but no file manager supports it yet) and the crazy limitation to only be able to print to HP Printers it almost renders these features useless. There were also a number of applications in the HP Market that I was surprised not to see.  No Google Voice (there was an app to send SMS messages through your Google Voice account), no LogMeIn and no Dropbox just to name a few.

Overall I am happy with my purchase.  Would I have paid $499+ for the device?  Absolutely not but I don’t think I would pay that much for an iPad even with it’s ever mounting list of applications. Will my Touchpad force me to leave my trusty Thinkpad on the charger? I am not sure, but after using the Touchpad I do know some tablet (not sure which at this point) will.