HP TouchPad reviews

  • Posted: 30 June 2011 12:20 PM #16

    rattyuk - 30 June 2011 12:51 PM

    Interesting that this morning HP are talking about being open to license the OS…

    HP does NOT get it.

    Only this past week John Gruber wrote that “HP gets it.” He drew that conclusion from the comments made by an HP executive:

    Ironically, in order to compete with Apple, HP is taking a page from Apple?s playbook. Steve Jobs?s strategy has always been to control both the hardware and the software it runs on. While other PC makers, including HP, have relied on Windows, Apple?s Macs have always come with Mac OS, an operating system designed specifically for its hardware. Apple has followed the same approach when expanding to the iPhone and iPad with iOS. ?Everyone is figuring out that if you want to survive, you really want to control the experience end to end,? McKinney says. ?The ability to control both the hardware platform and OS is absolutely critical.?

    Do you see what they’re talking about? Do you see the words they are using? “(C)ontrol both the hardware and the software it runs on.” “(A)n operating system designed specifically for its hardware.” “(I)f you want to survive, you really want to control the experience end to end…?. ?The ability to control both the hardware platform and OS is absolutely critical.?

    HP is saying all the right things and DOING all the wrong things. They just now put out a buggy and hardware challenged TouchPad and now they’re talking about licensing. LICENSING? What happened to “”(I)f you want to survive, you really want to control the experience end to end…?.

    The sad thing is that it’s clear that HP knows exactly what they need to do to survive. But they’re choosing not to do it anyway.

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    Posted: 30 June 2011 12:33 PM #17

    And among all the reviews, once again Flash gets a passing grade just for showing up. Like in that first one:

    Flash is on board and mostly functional on the TouchPad

    “Mostly functional?” That’s like saying someone is a little pregnant or the burnt toast is mostly edible. RIM has nabbed Queen’s theme for Flash Gordon and is touting in its commercials that they have Flash, too… and I’ve used Flash on a Playbook. Not a pleasant experience. (Woe unto those who want to view the Diablo III website on the Playbook.)

    Why do reviewers and tablet makers keep touting a substandard experience as something to be proud of? Ridiculous.


    Dean Lewis
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  • Posted: 30 June 2011 01:03 PM #18

    Highlights (lowlights?) from Pogue’s review located HERE.

    Have you been reading the headlines? There was a big earthquake in Haiti. Some men were rescued from a mine in Chile. Oh, and apparently there was a gigantic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    What?s that you say? This all sounds like last year?s news?

    Well, don?t tell that to Hewlett-Packard. This week, it introduced what it considers a groundbreaking new product: a tablet with a touch screen!

    Yikes! That’s the first three paragraphs of the review. For most, there’s no need to read further.

    It has a front camera for video chatting but, unlike its rivals, no camera on the back. It has Wi-Fi, but can?t get online over the cellphone network, too. It can sometimes pinpoint its own location on Bing Maps by referencing nearby Wi-Fi hot spots, but it doesn?t have real GPS (what were they thinking?).

    Man, oh man. What WERE they thinking?

    It supposedly has a blazing-fast chip inside, but you wouldn?t know it.

    Now, much of the TouchPad?s promise remains theoretical; all kinds of stuff is ?coming soon,? including music or movie stores and a Mac/Windows utility that will copy your computer?s music files to the tablet. H.P. emphasizes, of course, that many more apps are on the way.

    In this 1.0 incarnation, the TouchPad doesn?t come close to being as complete or mature as the iPad or the best Android tablets; you?d be shortchanging yourself by buying one right now, unless you?re some kind of rabid A.B.A. nut (Anything but Apple).

    You can’t come out with a product that has “potential” when there is a very real competing product already on the market and already kicking as..stronimical amounts of sales.

    [ Edited: 30 June 2011 01:06 PM by FalKirk ]      
  • Posted: 30 June 2011 01:18 PM #19

    Dean Lewis - 30 June 2011 03:33 PM

    RIM has nabbed Queen’s theme for Flash Gordon

    Hey, man: It’s nothing but an app, with an app’s courage. smile

    What kills me is that I can remember 6 or 7 years ago hearing IT friends bellyaching about how problematic Flash was, and now that Apple, that “toy company” to use their phrasing, doesn’t have Flash in iOS, all of a sudden Flash is a killer app that no respectable computing device dare be without, and Apple’s lack of Flash is a sure sign that they make stupid computers for idiots.

    It’s like, Look, guys, we get it.  If the world ran Mac, we wouldn’t need so many IT technicians, so you don’t want the world running Mac.  You’re safeguarding your sinecures.  Just stop pretending it’s about the quality of the user experience, because Apple has that nailed down, notwithstanding your objections.

  • Posted: 30 June 2011 01:19 PM #20

    Highlights (lowlights?) from Mossberg’s review located HERE.

    I’ve been testing the TouchPad for about a week and, in my view, despite its attractive and different user interface, this first version is simply no match for the iPad. It suffers from poor battery life, a paucity of apps and other deficits.

    I found the TouchPad’s battery life was only 60% that of the iPad 2.

    The Web browser generally worked well, but Flash was uneven. Most Flash videos played fine, but some froze or stuttered badly, even on a fast Internet connection. A site written entirely in Flash wouldn’t even load.

    Saying that your tablet has Flash is the equivalent to saying that your airport has dirigibles. Both are archaic, unwieldy, slow and ready to burst into flames at at a moment’s notice. Oh! The humanity!

    But, at least for now, I can’t recommend the TouchPad over the iPad 2.

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    Posted: 30 June 2011 01:36 PM #21

    adamthompson3232 - 30 June 2011 03:32 PM

    The biggest takeaway from this is that making a good tablet is very, very difficult.

    Exactly! Apple is like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, etc. They make it look easy.

    And does anyone think SJ will be any less of an absolute killer when he is in the lead as opposed to trying to come from behind?

    The sports analogy holds here also. You don’t ease up because you have a 10 shot lead on the 17th hole. You don’t slow down when you’re leading by a 2 seconds in the 100 meter butterfly with 10 meters to go. You’re not really trying to beat a competitor (that’s already done), you’re trying to beat your own personal best. iPhone 5 is trying to beat iPhone 4. iPad 3 will be out to beat iPad 2.

  • Posted: 30 June 2011 01:43 PM #22

    adamthompson3232 - 30 June 2011 03:40 PM


    I have to disagree with you about thinness not being important.

    No problem. I was being generous to a fault. Bending over backwards not to nitpick.

    As you can see from my later comments, no matter how much one grades the TouchPad on a curve, it still fails.

  • Posted: 30 June 2011 01:53 PM #23

    adamthompson3232 - 30 June 2011 03:32 PM

    The biggest takeaway from this is that making a good tablet is very, very difficult.

    This is a great, great point. People criticized the iPhone and the iPad for having “missing” features. It’s like the iPhone and iPad were born full grown but the critics are unimpressed because the didn’t come out of the womb wearing business suits and carrying a briefcase.

    Rather than focusing on the shortcomings of the iPhone and the iPad, we should be amazed at their completeness. While the phones and tablets of others companies are still in Beta, Apple’s iOS products skipped version 1.0 altogether. The iPhone and the iPad were version 2.0 on the day that they were born.

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    Posted: 30 June 2011 07:33 PM #24

    Did HP really believe they were going to get good reviews for the TouchPad? It looks like they sent review units to all the major websites/publications and let them post the reviews two days before the debut. Way to kill a launch.

    One last review just to beat the horse dead-er. This one’s from McCracken.

    ?Why Should Anyone Buy the HP TouchPad Instead of the iPad??

    My take is pretty much the same one as the consensus of the crowd that?s published reviews tonight: very nice interface, aging hardware (even though it?s a brand new device), too many bugs, and too few apps. And definitely not as good as the iPad 2.


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    Posted: 01 July 2011 12:52 AM #25

    Sounds like the Packards of the 50s. Too little, too late. Once great machines were left in the dust. Things like this generally happen because of a lack of great leadership. Great engineers don’t create stuff without someone giving them the lead time and money. When the accountants take over a company, leaders begin to squeeze at the expense of product and technology development. And when a technology leader takes over that doesn’t really have the vision of what he wants to accomplish, the engineers flounder. Nearly everybody does what they think their boss wants to see, and can’t afford to make waves and stand up against directions that aren’t sound.

    I was astounded recently when I did some research on Blu-Ray players. After looking at and reading the user reviews, I found that between 15% and 20% of the reviews were less than 3 of 5 stars even for the best players. And many of these were hardware-software integration issues. Products were rushed to market, and used the public as beta testers. It seems this is the way to do it for too many companies. Their disorganization results in their being late and missing deadlines, and someone finally has to say “that’s it; We’re shipping this now”.

    Apple has for most of it’s existence been ahead of the market. We bought my wife’s first Mac (an ‘88 SE) before the word “desktop publishing” was even known. Sometimes they’ve even been too far out in front (Newton). Lately they’ve been a model of innovation, marketing and timing (iPod, iPhone, iPad).

    The situation for HP and this tablet has almost been pre-determined as DOA. And as stated above: “it’s not an iPad” (Adam). And “Apple is already working on iPad 3 and 4.” (Drew).

    I didn’t proof read so gimme a break on the grammar



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    Posted: 01 July 2011 06:47 PM #26

    Smart move. There was little chance Best Buy staff were going “hawk” the TouchPad.

    HP blitzes Best Buy for TouchPad debut

    Hewlett-Packard is sending staff to about 100 Best Buy stores beginning Friday to hawk its TouchPad device…There will be HP employees on hand at TouchPad kiosks in Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) stores through the end of the year in an effort dubbed “Top Gun.”

    source blacklisted: bizjournals

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    Posted: 01 July 2011 07:41 PM #27

    the traveling snake oil guys are at Best Buy



  • Posted: 01 July 2011 09:39 PM #28

    So I just now listened to the first 10-20 minutes of ThisIsMyNext podcast. First Topolsky talks about how he didn’t even try to fully use the Flash component of the tablet because he knew that he wouldn’t be able to do some things and that it would do the things it did poorly. In other words, he’s grading on a great big old fat curve. Where’s all the talk about “the real web” and the “full browser experience”? Topolsky just gave Flash a pass because, hey, you know, everybody knows that Flash doesn’t work well on a mobile device.

    Then Topolsky talks about issue after issue after issue with the TouchPad, almost all of them having to do with the user interface. He claims he begged HP to delay the sale of the device for at least a month so HP could work on these issues. Then he gives the device a 7.5 in his review. Really? A device that buggy gets a 7.5? What did you give the iPad, a 12 out of 10?


    [ Edited: 02 July 2011 12:18 AM by FalKirk ]      
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    Posted: 01 July 2011 10:06 PM #29

    Topolsky deserves to be called out on this one.  Totally falling for potentialware.

    Run the damn Flash and take off the damn 0.5 point (your journalistic integrity demands a score deduction of some kind)  because we all know it sucks.  Dancing around limitations equals an unfair review.

    Keep on dreaming of that utopian future if that makes the UX seem better.  Here and now is where it’s at, and that’s why iPad gets to show how the right product at the right price can meet with the appropriate amount of success.


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  • Posted: 02 July 2011 12:22 AM #30

    Mav - 02 July 2011 01:06 AM

    Topolsky deserves to be called out on this one.  Totally falling for potentialware.

    All of Apple’s competitors are SO far behind that - and I think this is human nature - all the reviewers are bending over backwards to give the non-Apple products the benefit of the doubt.

    But how does that help the consumer? When the reviewers cheat in order to inflate the scores of non-competitve products, what they are really doing is cheating the user who is reading the review and relying upon that review’s advice.