“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.]
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