HP TouchPad webOS tablet
HP TouchPad review: The HP TouchPad has plenty of potential, but suffers from a bulky, uninspiring design, a lack of third-party apps and questionable performance
- webOS UI suits tablet form factor
- Core apps are well designed
- Account support is impressive
- Bulky and thick design
- Sluggish performance
- Limited third-party apps
It's a shame the HP TouchPad has so many issues in its current form, because it's an impressive device to use on the whole. It does boast some class leading features, and its interface is in our opinion the best we've seen on a tablet device. But a chunky design, sluggish performance, a lack of dedicated apps and software that is still very much a work in progress makes it tough to pick over competitors.
The TouchPad's standard apps like e-mail are well designed and use a handy panel feature that makes use of the whole screen. However, opening and extending panels is achieved by tapping a tiny control at the button of the screen, a strange design choice given the fact you are working with a 9.7in sized display. HP's Synergy feature groups contacts from multiple sources in a single application, and out of the box the TouchPad impressively supports Dropbox, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft Exchange, MobileMe, Photobucket, Skype, Snapfish and Yahoo accounts. However, you can only view documents — you can't edit or create Office files on the TouchPad, which makes it unsatisfactory as a business tool. Though we expect features like this to come with software updates, the fact remains that the TouchPad is currently well behind its competition.
The HP TouchPad has two of the best sounding speakers we've heard on a tablet, and the device is easily able to fill a small room with decent quality sound. However, its syncronising software (HP Play) is still in beta, doesn’t support photos and videos, and is clunky to use. The HP TouchPad is also slow to mount as a USB drive when connected to a PC or Mac.
Without a doubt the biggest hindrance to the HP TouchPad's effectiveness is performance. Despite boasting hefty specifications — a dual core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor being the highlight — the HP TouchPad is sluggish to open apps, often takes a few seconds to respond to presses on the screen and generally feels much slower than most other tablets currently on the market. Its accelerometer is also way too touchy, so much so that even the slightest tilt will rotate the screen when you don't want it to.
HP TouchPad: Other features
The HP TouchPad has a front facing, 1.3-megapixel camera, and with built-in Skype support, you can make video calls over the service directly from the TouchPad's messaging application. However, the TouchPad does not have a rear facing camera. Though we suspect most tablet users would not be too fussed with the absence of a rear camera (after all, does anyone really want to take photos, or record video with a 9.7in tablet?), but the fact remains that almost all of the HP TouchPad's competitors have dual cameras.
One very cool feature of the HP TouchPad is exhibition mode, which is basically a fancy name for a big digital clock. In addition to a clock, exhibition mode can display photos in your gallery as a slideshow, your calendar agendas and Facebook. The Facebook mode shows your friends’ latest status updates, with a tiled background of profile pictures. The HP TouchPad also has "Touch-to-share" technology, which enables users to share content, read text messages and even answer phone calls from a compatible HP smartphone by simply tapping the devices together — however given that HP is yet to release these phones in Australia, we weren’t able to test this feature.
Disappointingly, the HP TouchPad is a Wi-Fi only device with no 3G connectivity option, though a 3G model is likely to be released at a later date. Curiously, what looks like a pop-out SIM card slot on the right side of the TouchPad is actually where HP has chosen to print the serial number of the device.
HP claims the TouchPad's battery is good for eight hours of Web browsing, and nine hours of video playback. In reality, the numbers we achieved were a little less than that, but still quite respectable. We managed roughly seven hours of sporadic use before the battery ran out on most occasions. No, it's not good enough to hold a candle to the iPad 2's impressive battery, but it's about on par or better than many Android tablets on the market.
The HP TouchPad will be sold through Harvey Norman in Australia from 15 August, but it can be purchased now from online store MobiCity.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 2 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 3 Parrot Mambo Drone review
- 4 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 5 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
- Samsung wave makes a splash at Mobile World Congress
- Sony finally back in the black (but not thanks to PlayStation)
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- TV buying guide: What to look for when buying a TV in 2016
- Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus plans: Optus vs Telstra vs Vodafone vs Virgin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSAP ERP ArchitectNSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (UNIX/Windows) 161028/ITA/003Asia
- CCTest Engineer - .NETNSW
- CCAgile Business AnalystVIC
- FTMobile DeveloperAsia
- CCProject Manager - Payroll SystemsSA
- CCBuild and Release ManagerNSW
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Full Stack Java DeveloperNSW
- CCApplication Support DeveloperVIC
- FTDigital Optimisation and Analytics SpecialistNSW
- CCChange ManagerQLD
- FTDevOps EngineerVIC
- CCTesting Capability LeadNSW
- CCProgress DeveloperQLD
- CCContract IT Helpdesk Support (Lotus Notes) 161007/ITHS/vmpAsia
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- CCDemand ManagerNSW
- CCQlikview DeveloperNSW
- CCWeb DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Architect | Perl | Linux |MySQL | Infrastructure | TelecomNSW
- CCFront End Developer - Mid LevelNSW
- CCQA Test Lead- Digital, Mobile, UX, AGILE, CloudNSW
- CCNetwork Capacity PlannerVIC