Comments on: TouchPad Reviews from Around the Web

HP TouchPad webos wifi While we are still awaiting delivery our TouchPad review unit, several other sites have already posted their initial reviews of the HP TouchPad. Here are some of the highlights from various reviewers around the web.

Engadget's review of the TouchPad is rather harsh, with review Tim Stevens feeling that HP's latest effort isn't nearly on the level of its iOS or Android competitors.

Longtime Wall Street Journal personal technology columnist Walt Mossberg, via AllThingsD, plainly states that the TouchPad falls short of the iPad despite its strengths in UI, multitasking, and wireless printing. Again, many promises of "in the coming months" and "soon" are made for future updates to address many of Mr. Mossberg's concerns.

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No Like

Gekko @ 7/1/2011 12:24:35 PM # Q

"There's no nice way to say this: Shit just plain doesn't work, far more often than it should. And there's no more guaranteed way to make something feel like a train wreck in slow motion than to make it run like it's a train wreck in slow motion. Apps can take foreeeeever to launch, even with just one or two cards open. (I once waited 20 seconds for screen settings to launch.) The gap between your touch and the TouchPad's response is occasionally so wide you could fit all of Transformers 3 in between it. (God help you if you try to tap multiple things while the TouchPad's deliberating its responses.) The Messages app was a consistent bag of hurt, refusing to sign on at all sometimes, or to deliver AIM messages, even though I kept receiving them. Email contents wouldn't show up, often up to 10 seconds after I opened a message. The HP app to get music onto your TouchPad is loathesome—pure HP, and sweet Christ I hope it's not a sign of things to come for Palm. (Speaking of: Where's the cloud music?) And there are so many more little problems throughout (ugh, Skype). The fact that so much of the TouchPad is so good conceptually makes all of that far more painful."

RE: No Like
LiveFaith @ 7/1/2011 1:07:27 PM # Q
In the coming months. In the coming months.
Pat Horne
RE: No Like
hkklife @ 7/1/2011 1:26:10 PM # Q

"In the coming months"

"In the coming weeks"

"A future update"

"We are well-positioned whichever way the market goes"

""PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in."

We have been hearing this crap since, when, 2000? When Yankowski promised us larger screens?

Then we waited on removable storage. Then we waited on OS5 Then we waited on Bluetooth SDIO card drivers. Then we waited on wi-fi card SDIO drivers. Then we waited on integrated wi-fi. Then we waited on Cobalt. Then we waited for more than 64Mb RAM. Then we waited for Vista Hotsync drivers. Then we waited for a smartphone with a "big screen". Then we waited for a 3.5mm headset jack. Then we waited for a carrier other than Sprint. Then we waited for Docs2Go. Then we waited for a buyer for Palm. Then we waited for new product. And we continue to wait for more apps, a Netflix client, a native Youtube app, removable storage, an online music & video store etc etc etc.

I would love to see some polls taken this weekend or so that try to determine if the new TouchPad buyers are old Palm PDA users buying the company's first non-phone device in nearly 6 years or if they are WebOS smartphone users or people totaly new to the WebOS ecosystem.
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: No Like
Nebari @ 7/1/2011 3:09:17 PM # Q
That assumes someone is actually going to buy it.

Did I say that out loud?

RE: No Like
jca666us @ 7/1/2011 4:55:40 PM # Q
I played around with the touchpad for an hour at best buy. It wasnt disappointing - more aggravating and frustrating.

The web browser was abysmally slow. I timed accessing the desktop version of on my iPhone over 3G vs. The touchpad over wifi - the touchpad was about 4 times slower! A failure when you consider web apps. will likely fill the gap until the app catalog matures.

The UI on the touchpad looks great in many respects - very clean, but the entire thing falls apart when you try to use it. The overall performance felt worse than the 1st. gen iPad.

App. loading was an exercise in patience - easily taking 20 - 30 seconds.

App. switching is a different matter entirely - it looks great, and sounds amazing in theory - but in actual use in webos on the touchpad it's a turd.

Water boarding would be preferrable to using the sluggish card interface. Switching apps. was slow - and took much much longer than it should have.

From a performance perspective, webos appears to be very poorly designed. When you consider there are two 1.2 ghz cores running with a gig of ram., webos should fly - gestures should respond immediately.

Instead the lag when touching the screen is especially frustrating. Sometimes it's a second, other times it's a bit longer of a delay.

One very troubling aspect to webos - is the unpredictability of the entire os. Sometimes going to a website, the web browser wouldn't update the URL, other times gestures wouldn't fire correctly, etc.

As for the hardware, the touchpad felt heavier and thicker than the 1st gen. iPad. The plastic case wasn't too bad, but it doesn't feel like it would withstand a drop on the floor.

One thing I read in reviews is that the touchpad has very good battery life; when I used it at best buy, I understood why.

The screen on the touchpad was very dim, so I went into the settings and bumped the brightness to max. and it was the equivalent of my iPad 2's brightness set to 65%. Reminded me a bit of the m500/m505 fiasco.

Like I said - touchpad was a frustrating experience - hp should have held this back for a few more months to:

1. Get the os to perform better.
2. Faster hardware.
3. Better designed hardware.

RE: No Like
LiveFaith @ 7/1/2011 9:09:13 PM # Q
All that is meaningless. Just wait until the homebrew community gets the clock speed up to 2ghz. THEN it will work. :-o

Pat Horne

RE: No Like
LiveFaith @ 7/1/2011 9:19:56 PM # Q
That is an excellent list (rant?) of all the ridiculous shortcomings from Palm over the years. One has to wonder what the mobile landscape would look like today had Palm actually taken orders from Captain Obvious once in a while. Especially when it had a market leadership position.
HP on the other hand is rushing to put things together in 1 year, and it's sounding like not a pretty thing. They are producing hardware AND software here in a way they have not done before while integrating the leftovers of Palm Inc. A pretty steep task no doubt. Although, the marketing department is shooting lights out without a doubt. This will be interesting to see if that is enough to save this thing.
Will they keep shareholders happy long enough to get this mobile adventure right? Heck, are they even capable of making this right? Has the infamous "HP printer bloatware team" taken over Palm and attempting to out-Apple Apple? We will know by Christmas or early spring at the latest IMO.
Pat Horne
RE: No Like
jca666us @ 7/2/2011 8:57:50 PM # M Q

I doubt even a 2 ghz CPU would make an appreciable dent in all of the bloatware in webos 3.

hp should make webos open source - and get people to fix all of the crap code in there.

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Fondle Report

LiveFaith @ 7/3/2011 8:42:49 PM # Q
Stopped by the Chattanooga BB today and spent :30-:45 with the Touchpad. Actually had to wait around for the line to empty for the two on display. Was the most popular tab as a far as traffic of them all, and they had about everything.

The Playbook was broken, and the sales drone immediately pushed me to the Galaxy Tab b/c "everything on it is Open Source" and "its the only one that's dual-core". Anyway, here's my impressions.

#1 Physical hardware & form factor: Not bad at all. I've heard a lot of people moaning @ it, but I thought it was excellent and more attractive than all the googtabs, slightly below the iPad2 imo due to materials and weight. It was ever so slightly heavier and thicker than the 2 and the Galaxy. But the shape, feel, and design were excellent IMO. The clean design and black+glass effect was modern and attractive. I would not at all be embarrassed to own it for this reason.

#2 Functionality:
Well, it's a display model so keep that in mind. Most apps launched decently and a few flashed and loaded at Pre- speeds. GoogMaps sucked as always. OS3 has stolen the gesture area, so I had a bit of a learning curve. Got lost in an app or two trying to figure out how to back out after drilling in. No app that I used was the slightest bit sluggish once inside it. Everything clicked along as fast as my Pre+ w/ 1ghz kernel it seemed. Photos swiped instantly. Loaded a Flash movie in the browser and it played buttery smooth ... I had to see it to believe it. Loved the Calendar app and the fact they use the month view with "categories / sources" helpfully displayed. E-mail seemed quick, but not enough time to learn new big screen format well. Overall, it did not seem as snappy as the Galaxy, but other than certain app launches it was great. If HP optimizes that, then the OS is in good shape. The cards worked beautifully and buttery smooth with about 10 apps to flick through. Comparing this to the 2s "multitasking" (errr, more like apps on hold) is a joke ... HP needs to hammer down on this relentlessly b/c they really have a true functionality advantage there. Ohh, Printed a photo instantly since a printer showed up on the network and bang there it laid when I walked past the printers. Nice. App Store would not launch and a some apps had no content to tinker with (Adobe Reader etc).
Overall, I could see see myself using this device on a daily basis. I'm not yet convinced that I could trade in my netbook for one, especially wo "Office" editing.

Display / Marketing: Two issues here that I've not heard talked about.
First, HP had nice revolving "What Can This Do" slideshow that some may see. But, when you use the device, they have hardly enough content in all the apps to see them work. They should load it up with a nice amount of .PDFs, Appointments, Docs, SSs, PPs, videos etc etc. Some things had content, but to me the more the merrier in order to get a feel of this things usefulness. Skype should have been a tap away from either a real video call or a demo of one. Something to show off the power you have, especially when you are lacking on the app front.

2nd, they had a Veer next to it on the nice big table display, but for no purpose. No touch to share or synergy between them to give a wow factor. If they could have set up an effortless "touch to share" between the two, they would have attracted a geek-fest. Maybe their waiting on the Pre3 to make thunder and maybe that's on the way, but it just had no real effect as it was at present. Table had space for another phone and a touchstone. HP has no other fone and the stone was gone with wire hanging.

Overall, I would give it positive reviews, especially knowing it all happened from drawing board to store availability in exactly 12 months. If HP is serious about refinement (and capable), a 7" version, continued app availability, and more types of smartphones with synergies between the two then this might make a go. Whether shareholders allow it iwhile losing $$$ is another issue altogether.

In general I was pleasantly surprised.

Pat Horne

RE: Fondle Report
LiveFaith @ 7/4/2011 10:03:21 AM # Q
Oh, the screen was nice enough, but could have been a little brighter IMO.
Pat Horne
RE: Fondle Report
jca666us @ 7/5/2011 4:12:03 PM # Q
Brighter Screen = Lower Battery Life

Not gonna happen.

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What are the chances of Pre3?

zuhmir @ 7/5/2011 1:36:11 AM # Q
If the TouchPad is laggy with a dual core, what are the chances the Pre3 will be smooth with only one core?
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
hkklife @ 7/5/2011 9:24:18 AM # M Q
Well, the TP has a mighty conbination of dual-core CPU and 1Gb RAM, so I would attribute all of its performance issues to the lack of hardware GUI acceleration in WebOS and other various software bits that require optimization.

Presumably, WebOS is like Android.2.2 and below and not really coded to make efficient of dual-cores. That is probably why we have seen such relatively poor performance with the first crop of dual-core Android handsets running Froyo.

Back to WebOS: it is entirely possible that a Pre3 running a 1.5Ghz single-core CPU on.l WebOS 2.x will be faster (at least initially) than a dual-core TouchPad. Also, keep in mind that the Pre 3 will have many fewer pixels to push around than a TP.

At any rate, HP has simply GOT to address WebOS' performance issues ASAP. It is just inexcusable for a tablet with such strong specs to be so sluggish!

RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
zuhmir @ 7/5/2011 11:02:19 AM # Q
If the problem is limited to graphics acceleration, I believe there are ways to improve it using software modifications. In this case, Pre3 does stand a chance to be smoother.
Anyhow, I pre-ordered the Pre3 today, so In a couple of weeks I will know either way.
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
LiveFaith @ 7/5/2011 12:12:09 PM # Q
Where at? UK or Australia.
Pat Horne
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
zuhmir @ 7/5/2011 3:27:42 PM # Q
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
jca666us @ 7/5/2011 4:17:11 PM # Q
My only concern is that in the months since the TouchPad was demoed, it appears as though no appreciable work has been done to optimize the performance.

It might be another year before performance is brought up to acceptable (Android, IOS) levels. If an update to resolve the bad performance was just around the corner, why not delay the release a few weeks?

I'd guess HP is banking on faster processors to plug the performance gap.

RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
zuhmir @ 7/6/2011 12:07:07 AM # Q
the trade off is clear, releasing too soon will damage the device reputation, releasing too late will cause the device to become outdated compared to the market. Add that to the fact that HP/Palm programers can't nail an exact time frame for improvements (as a programer I know that)....
The best thing HP could do right now is to release the phone with promises of better a software to resolve all issues. That way, a bad review will always be followed by a reservation that the software would improve so the damage to the reputation is controlled and they don't miss the window between the iphone4 and 5.
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
jca666us @ 7/6/2011 4:46:36 AM # Q
but a bad rep. is a bad rep. - difficult to overcome that.

if hp were invested in this long-term (years), I think a delayed launch would have been smarter.

RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
zuhmir @ 7/6/2011 5:53:13 AM # Q
Most People don't buy a smartphone every couple of month, so the question is how much delay would you accept? Samsung, HTC, Apple, Sony-Ericsson and even Nokia, all have very good devices just waiting to conquer the market. will HP wait and release a device with lower specs compared to other companies? I'm sure they are planning Pre4 with upgraded specs by now buy it won't prevent them from releasing the Pre3.
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
LiveFaith @ 7/6/2011 12:13:33 PM # Q
It's an acceptable launch IMO. HP has pulled off a pretty impressive feat IMO, for only a 12 month timeframe from ownership to retail availability. That being said, they were prepping the tablet space before buying Palm anyway.

The iPad had a lot of issues that would make for bad press were it a new release also. The real questions to me are this:

#1 Is HP really committed to this platform? We'll see if new FF smartphones, OS3 refinements, contuinued inve$tment in 3rd party apps, and a continued strong marketing push occur in the next 9 months. HP has already proven that they are bold faced liars, so actions are all that we have to go on.

#2 Will the software and hardware sides continue to see improvement? If they pull a Palm and rest on their 1/2 laurels, then it dies. They are still in catch up mode and have to keep the hardware specs updating, and the software refining and becoming more powerful.

#3 Will they u$e their marketing muscle to keep drawing in the devs, and pushing strongly into enterprise? Hope is not a strategy, and if they try that this will end up stillborn.
Pat Horne

RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
zuhmir @ 7/6/2011 3:01:28 PM # Q
I think #1,#2 and #3 are a single question as one can't exist without the other.
When have HP proven they are liars? failure to meet deadlines is a fault, not a lie.
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
hkklife @ 7/6/2011 3:22:36 PM # Q
The TouchPad's 1.2Ghz dual-core CPU was absolutely bleeding-edge and still stacks up VERY well on paper against the rest of the market (iOS & Android). I really think that delaying the TP launch by 30 or 60 days would have not made its hardware look any "weaker" against the competition but would have done wonders for making its initial impressions more favorable (assuming, of course, WebOS 3's most glaring issues are "fixable" by a few OTA software updates).

So far, I give HP VERY high marks on getting these things into widespread retail distribution. Simply having them on the shelf of most (if not every) Wal-Mart in the country is a brilliant move.

However, I can fault nearly everything else:
The TP is $100 overpriced comparable to similar iPad and Android SKUs. HP is NOT doing a very good job with in-store displays touting the advantages of WebOS. 16Gb TPs are foolishly being artifically limited due to HP wanting to boost their margins. 1st and 3rd party accessory availability is a joke from what I've seen so far. And of course we need not mention the almost-insulting $50 "loyalty" rebate or the dearth of apps for the TP.

So to answer Pat's questions:

1. They are kinda committed to the platform IF it takes off. If it flops, they will drop it faster than Garmin dropped their smartphone division.

2. Yes, I must commend HP for trying to brute-force WebOS into being a decent peformer. I like the fact that they are boosting the CPU clock on the 64Gb TP up to 1.5Ghz. But this also speaks volumes about the horrible performance issues in WebOS at the present.

3. No, I am not seeing any major signs of HP doing that so far. Letting Rovio abandon WebOS 1.x devices on relatively low-end game like Angry Birds, the CONTINUED and inexcusable absence of a native document editing app (quickoffice or DTG), and letting Epocrates disappear into the night are all horrible marks against both Palm and HP.

JCA's comments about a bad rep being nearly impossible to overcome . All of those review TouchPads out there now are going to get 6/10 (or whatever) scores based on the initial shipping ROM build. Chances are the review units will be sent back to HP before the big OTA updates are released and/or 99% of reviewers outside the handful of Palm-related sites will never bother to update their initial reviews with impressions of future software updates.

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: What are the chances of Pre3?
LiveFaith @ 7/6/2011 4:39:28 PM # Q

I'll begin and end this from just days before the big Feb 9 announcement of the Veer, 3, & Pad. Straight from the top ... their guy says in so many words "we will no longer announce products only to tell you 'in the coming months', but things will come in a few weeks instead".

If the main man was not lying, then HP should fire him for incompetence immediately and cut there losses. That would mean that he is clueless about their new $1.4B venture and soon coming announcement. That's worse for the company than him just lying to the public.
Pat Horne

RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
Gekko @ 7/6/2011 4:53:23 PM # Q

RE: Better but still too little, too late
Gekko @ 10/13/2010 7:27:02 AM #

p.s. i predict that Apotheker will soon run HP back into the ground and after several abysmal quarters his head will roll along and all unprofitable unsuccessful "ventures" like Palm and webOS will be shut down.
when times are good - everyone is fat and happy and there's a lot of margin for error. when times are bad - everyone starts pointing the finger at everyone else and they start looking under every rock to cut costs and trim fat.

RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
jca666us @ 7/7/2011 4:28:32 AM # M Q
Real numbers:

1. Loading on the touchpad with all other apps closed took 50 seconds.

2. Loading on an ipad2 - running ios 4 took 13 seconds.

3. Loading on an ipad2 - running a beta of iOS 5 took 6 seconds.

Instead of throwing faster hardware at webos, hp needs the entire thing optimized. Hopefully they can get that done.

RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
zuhmir @ 7/7/2011 5:17:15 AM # Q
Have you averaged at least 3 load times on each device? have you turned off other bandwidth consumers during the test?
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
jca666us @ 7/7/2011 9:30:56 AM # M Q
I'll average them and post later.
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
zuhmir @ 7/7/2011 9:40:23 AM # Q
Thanks, that will be interesting. Don't forget to clear the cache...
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
jca666us @ 7/7/2011 6:25:46 PM # M Q
Ok - very interesting results - on the same network:

1. Cache cleared
2. All other apps closed.

Timed from starting the browser to the website fully loading:


1st. 1 min 11 seconds
2nd. 42 seconds
3rd. 44 seconds

iPad 2

1st 14 seconds
2nd 14 seconds
3rd 14 seconds


1st - 35 seconds
2nd - 34 seconds
3rd - 29 seconds

iPad 2
1st - 10 seconds
2nd - 10 seconds
3rd - 10 seconds

RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
zuhmir @ 7/8/2011 8:37:58 AM # Q
Amazing difference! I was skeptical before I can't argue with such clear results.
It saddens me because I was always rooting for WebOS.
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
jca666us @ 7/8/2011 11:34:52 AM # M Q
I think the difference is the amount of time and money apple has put behind optimizing iOS.

Hp's doing the quick and dirty trick of dumping a faster CPU into the touchpad to boost performance.

Maybe 1.5 ghz will help, but what happens when apple and android use 1.5 ghz CPUs?

RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
zuhmir @ 7/8/2011 1:17:56 PM # Q
Although when I think about it, a web browser is a specialty, just look at Explorer, Firefox, Opera ans Safari. All of them are the product of YEARS possibly decades of development and optimization! what were they thinking building a web browser on their own to compete with such experienced browsers?
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
LiveFaith @ 7/8/2011 7:33:08 PM # Q
The Webkit browser on WebOS 1.4.5 is very quick. I would have assumed converting to v3.0 would not have been a rewrite from scratch, but a conversion / upgrade to work with the Enyo framework and larger screen. Not sure the idea was so far fetched in that light.
Pat Horne
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
zuhmir @ 7/8/2011 10:54:06 PM # Q
I guess It's not far fetched, especially since you can steal algorithms from existing browsers...
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
richf @ 7/10/2011 12:30:57 PM # Q
Sorta dead on here lately. Didn't a single member here get a Touch Pad? Let's hear about it. It can't be all bad.
Have a nice day!
HP 41CX->HP 75C->Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->Pilot Pro->IIIe->IIIc->M500->M505->M515->TC->T3->T5->Treo 650P->Treo 700P->Droid>Pre Plus
RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
LiveFaith @ 7/10/2011 7:21:07 PM # Q
Not many round here even have a WebOS phone, let alone a tablet. I have a Pre+ & Preware which actually makes a nice platform. That being said it's over a year old and shows signs of it.

Tinkered with the TouchPad and it's pretty decent. Platforms create such animosity between users that it's hard to get a read on the value of a new device by reading forums.

I personally love WebOS and could easily live with a tablet. But, I don't just buy electronics based on pure emotion. If I can see a clear path where a tablet can eliminate my need for netbook, then I might jump.
Pat Horne

RE: What are the chances of Pre3?
jca666us @ 7/11/2011 1:33:44 AM # Q
i'd guess you don't browse the web much - to me, that's the clear advantage of a tablet over a netbook.

That's why I tested the touchpad's speed w browsing the web and also why i was so disappointed.

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