Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

Review – HP Touchpad

It occurred to me that since I love my HP Touchpad that I bought in round 1 of their firesale, I should say a few words about it.

In 16 or 32 gig models, it was originally priced in the $400 – $500 range. If I was to spend this much, I would go ahead and pay an extra fifty or so dollars and get an Ipad. The Ipad just rocks.

But my little bit of expendable income is going elsewhere, so 550 bucks for a luxury item was out of the question, especially since I have an I-phone which does a mini version of most everything the I-pad does.

My price range was $100, maybe $150. I looked for a couple of months, reading reviews and watching the daily buy.com, Bestbuy and Amazon sites for deals. There are actually many tablet computers in this lower range, but all have mediocre to poor reviews. The Archos line of 7″ screens is maybe the most prominent, and I could never feel comfortable with how people described them.

There are several off-brand alternatives, even some knock-off imports with fishy descriptions and likely no warranty. A total gamble.

The cheapest tablet that I think is quality is the Viewsonic G Tablet, at around $250.

Don’t get me wrong. If you can get your hands on a 100$ alarm clock with a screen, and it streams youtube smoothly, then you’ve got a great find. The Sony Dash almost fills this niche, and but for one major drawback I would have purchased one last spring: it is plug-in only, having no battery backup.

While Ted and I were monitoring web sites for word of the sale to begin, Stephanie thought to actually CALL Bestbuy and ask if any were being sold. That day, 5pm. So with some very gracious help from Jeff, we both made it into the long line just barely in time to get a voucher. People behind us walked away sad.

The app store is weak compared to Apple or droid, but it is still alive, so there are things to download and so far even a few new ones are still arriving. You can sync your email, there is an icon link to a touchpad-tailored view of youtube, and the coupe de gras for many; you can get Angry Birds.

A major downside for some: no Netflix app. This doesn’t concern me much, though it would be convenient for queue management.

Performance is excellent, with very little to complain about. My only notable black mark is that on youtube, if you attempt to change the resolution of a video from the default of most (320), you may experience jittery feed. Due to the fact that you are viewing on a 10″ screen, 320 might as well be high def for anything recorded and uploaded right, so this is almost irrelevant to me.

There are currently two development groups working to successfully modify Android for the Touchpad, so the question of WebOS apps will soon be irrelevant. Additionally, one of the groups is aiming for dual boot, in which case we can have the best of both worlds. And after having spent some time with WebOS, I’ll say that it is a very good operating system, and it’s a shame to see its demise.

All in all, the device is well worth the money. If you can get one in the 60 second time frame when an outlet posts them for sale.


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