Mossberg: HP TouchPad ‘simply no match’ for Apple iPad 2

“A small army of multitouch tablet computers has been launched this year to take on Apple’s iPad, which has managed to sell 25 million units and attract 90,000 tablet-specific apps in just about 15 months, and is already in its second generation, the iPad 2. So far, none of these contenders has gained any significant traction with consumers or app developers,” Walt Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“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,” Mossberg reports. “It suffers from poor battery life, a paucity of apps and other deficits.”

• The tablet’s hardware is bulbous and heavy compared with the iPad 2
• It’s missing… a rear camera or even a camera app for taking videos and still pictures. (Front camera can be used only for video chats.)
• TouchPad’s battery life was only 60% that of the iPad 2
• TouchPad will launch with just 300 tablet-optimized apps and only 6,200 webOS apps overall, most written for phones and only 70% of which can run on the tablet, in a small, phone-size window that can’t be expanded. (Versus over 425,000 apps that can be expanded to iPad screen size and over 100,000 iPad-specific apps)
• On various occasions, the email app failed to display the contents of messages, the photos app failed to display pictures, and the game “Angry Birds” crashed repeatedly. All of these problems required a reboot of the device to resolve.
• I found the TouchPad grew sluggish the more I used it. Again, a reboot was needed to restore normal speed.
• 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.
• The TouchPad’s auto-correct didn’t insert the apostrophe in some common words… Also, I found it much harder to correct words, because there is no magnifying glass or similar effect to help you precisely place the cursor.

Mossberg reports, “H-P stresses that webOS is a platform and that the TouchPad is just one iteration of it. The company plans to add the operating system to numerous devices, including laptops, and hopes that this scale will attract many more apps. And it pledges continuous updates to fix the current shortcomings. But, at least for now, I can’t recommend the TouchPad over the iPad 2.”

Read more in the full review, including the few positives Mossberg found in HP’s iPad wannabe-but-isn’t, here.

MacDailyNews Take: People don’t want half-assed prototypes, they want iPads.

Oh, iCal’s icon is bouncing:

“In the tablet world we’re going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus.” – Eric Cador, HP Senior Vice President, Personal Systems Group – Europe, Middle East and Africa, May 23, 2011

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
HP claims TouchPad will oust Apple iPad, become #1 tablet on market – May 23, 2011
HP unveils iPad clone called ‘TouchPad’, new Pre phones; to bring webOS desktops and laptops – February 9, 2011


  1. When is someone going to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over the false claim that this device and Fandroids can usably run Adobe Flash? I have yet to see one able to do so on a broadband WiFi, much less a 3G connection.
    Advertising a feature that doesnot work in regular consumer use seems like a no-brainer for bait & switch. Promise Flash capability and deliver something very different. If Apple delivered vaporware ( as in non- functional ) the howls would be all over all media.

    1. That’s just what it is. Anyone who brings a mobile device to market will have to undergo comparisons to the iDevices in the same class.

      They’d all fall well short of the mark in the same fashion as the original iPad would if it were compared to iPad 2.

      Like you said it’s a start and now everone can take a breath. HP will continue to refine this product and improve it with each iteration.

      This device will not be a kin-like failure. It will be good enough.

  2. I really don’t think iPad will have any real competitors until some one like Amazon comes out with one. Reason being it that the biggest value in the iPad is content, movies, music, books apps, etc… Until someone can rival the iTunes store there will be no competition.

      1. Can I ask what you us yours for? Most of the people I see with them are using it as an entertainment device. I think presently it’s primarily a consumer device though I think that will change over time as more and more ways are found to write content creation software that takes advantage of multitouch.

        1. No need to wait, scottm4321: iMovie, GarageBand, the iWorks suite, dozens of drawing and sketching apps, dozens of image editors/manipulators, and lots more. Get and iPad and get creative.

  3. My wife absolutely loves her iPad, but still can’t understand why it doesn’t offer Flash. Many sites she visits, or links she is sent by email require it. I’ve tried to explain why they left it off, but as a novice user, she just knows that she’s missing part of the web experience. Sigh.

    1. I use Skyfire when I REALLY need to see that [Cr]ash-based video. It works fine. I just hate watching my iPad slow to a crawl and the battery life get sucked down the drain.

  4. Coming from Mossberg, a known lap dog for non-Apple phones or pads, means the TouchPad must be quite crappy. However, HPQ jumps more than 3% while AAPL barely stays above water. Do the so-called Wall Street experts read any news before they invest?

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