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.

One of these tablets is not like the other, one you can buy right now

February 9th, 2011 at 8:06 PM  4 Comments

Today was an interesting day in the tablet world. We learned that what was left of Palm has now officially been smashed into HP, and that HP is serious about really building on the momentum that Palm had started to build with webOS. HP announced a plethora of new things today (which you can read more about over at Engadget, who I stole/borrowed the wonderful chart above from) but the most interesting today was their new tablet, the HP TouchPad.

I have been getting a lot of crap from people for talking a lot about Apple on this site recently. If you’re bothered by this, feel free to stop reading now, or write your own articles. Fact of the matter is, they’re key to a lot of the technology I’m interested in right now and they execute it better than anyone else.


HP releases new commercial featuring Palm Pre 2

October 25th, 2010 at 10:25 PM  1 Comment

Due to hit Verizon any day now, and possibly AT&T later, the Palm Pre 2 is starring in it’s own little video trailer showing off some of the new features of WebOS 2.0.

Sporting a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, it’s the most powerful smartphone Palm/HP has ever produced. Although it’s specs are becoming more and more common and are being quickly outranked by many of the new Android phones and almost all of the new Windows Phone 7 handsets.

And oh yeah, it has Angry Birds.

TV Guide for May 3

May 3rd, 2010 at 3:21 PM  4 Comments

Microsoft will be adding a plethora of interesting features to Hotmail this summer. Chief among them is support for Exchange ActiveSync. This will allow users of any mobile device with ActiveSync support to receive push email, as well as synchronize calendar and contact information. Previously this feature was only available on Windows Mobile phones, and only in a limited fashion. Also coming soon is full SSL encryption on the Hotmail website, instead of just the Live authentication process. Microsoft is also expected to add conversation view, think Exchange/Outlook 2010, but in Hotmail. All of these features are things that Google has offered on Gmail for a while now and that Microsoft needs to play catchup with power users.

Microsoft has also announced that it will be providing full support for HTML5 video in Internet Explorer 9, and will be doing so using the H.264 protocol. Recently Apple has also been throwing support behind H.264 as the HTML5 video codec of choice for Safari. Apple has somewhat famously taken on Adobe in recent weeks saying Flash video is no longer the preferred option for Internet users going forward. Awkwardly, Microsoft agreed.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS was released on April 29. The latest version is a long term support release, meaning updates will be published for 3 years on the desktop and 5 years on the server versions, compared to only 18 months with standard Ubuntu releases. This makes LTS a great platform for business deployments where doing full release upgrades every 6 to 12 months can be a major hassle. The latest version is lighter on features than normal Ubuntu releases are, but still sports the latest stable and public versions of GNOME, and the Linux kernel. It also features a refreshed theme, ditching the brown and orange for a purple and black theme. There is also a new optional “lighter” theme that has a hint of brown instead of the standard Ubuntu color scheme. Boot times, especially on SSD drives have also been dramatically improved.

Palm is dead. Well, actually, HP purchased Palm for $1.2 billion.  The only hope for the WebOS platform now rests with HP and their commitment to “double down” and release new and improved hardware. Pending regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close rather quickly in July of this year. Hopefully we’ll start seeing some HP branded WebOS devices starting this fall or winter.

Palm drops Windows Mobile in favor of webOS

September 18th, 2009 at 11:29 AM  6 Comments

palm-pre-webos-lgPalm has announced that they will no longer be incorporating Microsoft Windows Mobile onto new devices, stating a commitment to the future of their new webOS platform, present on the recently released Palm Pre. Windows Mobile was first released on a Palm device back in 2006 with the Palm Treo 700w, later followed up by the 700Wx, 750 and Treo Pro. 8xkqt5hwir

“We’re making significant process with Palm’s transformation, and our culture of innovation is stronger than ever. We’re launching more great Palm webOS products with more carriers and turning our sights toward growth,” said Jon Rubinstein, chairman and CEO.

This move comes as a blow to Microsoft, which is struggling against up and coming smartphone OS providers in the business sector like Palm webOS, Google Android, Apple iPhone and the continued fight against Research in Motion’s Blackberry.

According to Garner, at the end of 2008, the estimated market share for Windows Mobile, worldwide, in the smartphone market was 12.4% — currently many of the those phones are made by Taiwan based HTC, however they’ve began releasing many of their new phones with Google’s Android platform, so it remains to be seen what their continued commitment to Windows Mobile will be.

However, the move could backfire on Palm, as some businesses continue to see devices like the Pre as more of a consumer oriented device and will opt for Windows Mobile and Blackberry which provide better support for Exchange and more enhanced and native device security.

Yesterday Palm, together with Sprint, revealed they’d only sold around 810,000 Pre devices in the last quarter. (In comparison the iPhone 3GS sold over 1 million units in the first week and over 5 million in the quarter.) Palm also announced yesterday losses for the quarter reached $164.5 million, compared to a loss of only $41.9 million last year. However, this did beat industry expectations for the company. Palm says they expect revenues for the next quarter to be even lower than their last.