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PC Mag & Gizmodo Take HP to Task

russel brand hp touchpad Earlier this month we took a look at the initial crop of HP TouchPad reviews from around the web. For two rather unique takes on the TouchPad, we have two newer opinion pieces that take a fresh look at the TouchPad in the immediate aftermath of its launch and this week's news of Jon Rubinstein's reassignment within HP.

Up first, long-time tech industry pundit John C. Dvorak takes issue with HP's marketing department in his "Russell Brand Representing HP? Really?" editorial. In the piece, he has harsh words for HP in their choice of choosing "sleaze bag celebrities" to promote the TouchPad. Mr. Dvorak remains convinced that fans of TV's "Glee" are long-time iPad and iPhone users and that boxers such as Manny Pacquiao will not resonate with the early adopter techie crowd HP is trying to woo. He then goes on to criticize HP's handling of the TouchPad launch and a slew of mostly negative early reviews. HP's ability to generate Apple-style buzz for its products is also called into question before he simply states that the TouchPad is the "worst orchestrated new product rollout I have ever seen."

A new article written by Gizmodo's Adrian Covert entitled "Is WebOS Hosed?" claims in no uncertain terms that the appointment of Stephen DeWitt to oversee WebOS is a very bad move and that Jon Rubinstein should have been retained to spearhead WebOS efforts. Covert calls into question the mass exodus of the former Palm talent at HP and the loss of that company's legacy as WebOS is assimilated into the HP corporate culture and grafted onto printers, PCs, and other devices far from its smartphone roots. Covert goes on to say that HP's focus on smartphones will continue to dwindle and they will no longer take the risks that Colligan and Rubinstein took while Palm was still a autonomous entity.

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Decent commercials. . .

HyperScheduler @ 7/13/2011 8:29:54 PM # Q
Even though I barely recognize the boxer and the actor, I have to admit that, overall, the new commercials for the TouchPad *are* quite good. Here's why.

Unlike the commercials for the Motorola Xoom, and *like* the commercials for the Apple iPad, the TouchPad commercials ACTUALLY SHOW WHAT THE DEVICE DOES and HOW A PERSON WOULD USE THE DEVICE.

Check out other tech-product commercials and you will see how rare this actually is. . .

RE: Decent commercials. . .
jca666us @ 7/14/2011 12:28:10 AM # M Q
difference is the touchpad in those commercials has qualities I wish the real touchpad had.

SPEED

Accurate and responsive touch targets.

RE: Decent commercials. . .
Gekko @ 7/14/2011 12:34:56 AM # Q

could they find a more annoying, distasteful, unfunny, no-talent lowlife sleazebag?

RE: Decent commercials. . .
hkklife @ 7/14/2011 5:12:01 AM # Q
Yeah, they could---The Situation.

JCA;

Isn't it funny how those TPs in the commercials SCREAM? Kinda like the "special sauce" Pre that were demo'd all in the first half of 2009. And we all know what happened to the actual shipping Pre as far as performance...
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid + Verizon Palm Centro-> Verizon Moto Droid X + Palm TX

RE: Decent commercials. . .
AdamaDBrown @ 7/14/2011 6:37:06 AM # Q
Gekko, I'm sure they could, but he was expensive.

Honestly, this just strikes me as generic, no talent, "throw a celebrity at it" marketing. How many people even kno about Russel Brand anyway, except as the guy who somehow managed to marry Katy Perry?

RE: Decent commercials. . .
rpa @ 7/14/2011 7:03:20 PM # Q
ADB: now Katy Perry....she would be a great spokesperson for anything.
RE: Decent commercials. . .
jca666us @ 7/16/2011 11:34:07 AM # M Q
HKK - I hope that once the OTA update is released, we see a bit more "oomph" from the touchpad.

The OTA may solve some issues, but it looks like HP is ratcheting up the processor speed to solve the performance issues.

It's a shame battery life will suffer.

Russell Brand as a spokesman for the Touchpad - agree he's a bit too sleazy a representative of HP and the touchpad brand.

Agree with the Katy Perry comment - she could sell me anything.

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That photo is unsettling...

ChiA @ 7/18/2011 11:52:28 PM # Q
... Russell Brand looks like a rat gnawing on the Touchpad.
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I take Palm/ HP to task for the UK market.

ChiA @ 7/19/2011 12:25:12 AM # Q
I don't know what to think, maybe HP have given up on the UK but I don't believe Palm gave it a good effort in the first place.

Let me spell it out - two/three years on and I am yet to see a Pre or WebOS device outside a shop despite living in London, a global city. iPhones are ubiquitous, it's a given that if you step into a bus, tube or train carriage they'd be at least one and frequently several iPhone users there. Android and Blackberry handsets are plentiful too and all the networks are busy promoting them. Hell I've even seen one chap with a Windows Phone 7!

So it is deeply disturbing that I'm yet to meet or even spot somebody using a Pre.
The only network that used to sell the Pre and Pre Plus were O2. I remember when they promoted the Pre at launch. Now there's no mention of being able to buy any Pre device from their website - only Android, iPhones and Blackberry. I go onto the Palm/HP UK website and find the only way to get hold of a Pre 2 is SIM-free through the online shop for 370, (US$595).

A year ago I popped into one of the O2 shops to try out the Pre. Nice shape but couldn't try out the software as the display device had some message about it's not being set up for sync and couldn't go any further. Contrast this to the Apple store where you can try out every feature of an iPhone before you buy.

The UK is a major mobile phone market, it's now not uncommon for people to have two mobiles and there are those who treat their mobiles almost as fashion accessories.

It seems that Palm and HP in the UK have screwed up any chance of success with the Pre range so far, so forgive me if I'm skeptical of the Touchpad surviving the iPad, Android Honeycomb tablet onslaught.

To end on a positive, the BBC reporter liked the inductive charging stand for the Touchpad. I'll leave out his other thoughts on the Touchpad as I said I wished to end on a positive note.

RE: I take Palm/ HP to task for the UK market.
HyperScheduler @ 7/19/2011 7:04:09 PM # Q
@ ChiA:

That is a funny observation about Brand looking like a gnawing rat!

Thank you for your detailed observations of the cell-phone situation in London. It seems really, really sad that HP seems to not be pushing WebOS there.

Does anybody reading this know *why* this is so?


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