final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Features Features are a touch category to review in terms of a tablet. Flash enabled browsing was the catalyst for my score. good
  • Display 9.7 inch display, same as the iPad, is not true widescreen. good
  • Battery life Very good thanks to webOS's excellent card "app management". There are no surprises as to whats currently running. good
  • Ease of use WebOS, as usual, is a pleasure to navigate. great!
  • Storage capacity Fixed 32gb but with multiple cloud services available the sky is the limit. great!
  • Design and form factor Little thick in comparison to even the original iPad. so-so
  • Portability (size / weight) Little heavy in comparison to even the original iPad. so-so
  • Durability Plastic all the way, while it may scratch easily on the back surface, it is pretty durable. As always, if you're concerned, buy a case. good
Detailed review
The HP Touchpad is a tragic device. It is the first time webOS can truly flex its muscle, in terms of processing power and display size, it was also discontinued 6 weeks after launch and will supposedly be the last of it's kind to come out from HP. Unfortunately the app eco system is well documented for its very thin support and in terms of Touchpad optimized apps you will find maybe a handful that are useful on a "need to use for this function all the time" activity.

The browsing experience is more than pleasant as flash is enabled out of the box. All sites I visited with embedded video may have need an additional 15 seconds or so to load, but after the additional time the video would play no problem making this particular browsing experience on the Touchpad slightly better than even Android or Apple tablets in this respect. In terms of flash enabled games, this is a very different story as most would display properly but functionality was almost non-existant.

The battery lasts a decent amount of time, keep in mind that if you plan on streaming any sort of media your results will vary but I would place this just below the iPad 2s excellent battery life but way ahead of most Android powered tablets life.

The hardware feels a little rushed in terms of bulk and weight, you can tell HP felt the sense of urgency to rush this to market as even with the additional bulk they skipped the rear facing camera as only a front facing one is included. Speaking of that, there is no "photobooth"-esque app available to show off said front facing camera. The only way to activate the camera, out of the box, is to use it with your Skype account, which I do not have.

Overall, I purchased this as a secondary tablet and within the first week of use it has taken over my day to day tablet use, mostly because I take it out more due to the low price of purchase. To someone who does not own an iPad or tablet I can fully recommend this device. Regardless of the continued support for software/apps, the browsing experience alone can justify a sub $200 price tag. This is a lower cost than most netbooks and with the ease of use I would say if you can still find them available do not hesitate to pick one up.
review history
Edited comment on Battery life
Display rating changed from 3 to 4
Edited comment on Display