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HP TouchPad 32GB Impressions

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hp-logoMy brother ordered a HP TouchPad 32GB for $149.99 off HP.ca last month. We had to wait a bit, but it finally arrived on Tuesday.

Obviously for $149.99, it’s not a bad tablet. It has its share of issues (that I’ll get into later), but the bottom line is that I wouldn’t have any regrets if I purchased one for myself.

Where did they hide the speed?

There’s a 1.2 GHz dual core CPU and 1GB of RAM in this tablet, but you wouldn’t know that from using it. Everything is slow. From the UI transitions, to the loading and even the response when typing. WebOS’ performance is spotty at best and terrible at its worst.

We had to tweak it and overclock it just to get it to a respectable level. If only there’s more we can do to get it iOS speeds.

Browsing is respectable

The web browser reminds me of a desktop browser which is the best compliment you can give a “mobile” device. I’m not directed to mobile sites and Flash works. In fact, it works surprisingly well on sites like YouTube. 720p video actually runs smoothly on the TouchPad unlike with that Dell Mini 9 netbook that I had.

The downsides? Performance and an overly aggressive cache system which requires me to manually refresh pages to get the latest site.

Superior Multitasking 

There’s only one clear winning with the HP TouchPad/WebOS and that’s the card based multitasking. Switching between applications reminds me of Mac OS X Lion with Mission Control and Spaces — it’s so good.

Apps? Not that bad.

The HP Catalog application store was actually surprising. I realize it’s nowhere near iOS or Android, but this thing somehow attracted EA Mobile and its digital boardgames. So it’s not the complete barren wasteland that folks made it out to be.

I’m not going to invest any money into WebOS apps, but I thought I’d point out that the marketplace isn’t that bad.

Performance is the Achilles heel

The first time I picked up the TouchPad, it didn’t seem too bad at all. However, the more I used it, the more issues I noticed relating to performance.

A real shame.

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