back to article HP TouchPad 9.7in WebOS tablet

HP has learned from Apple. Not simply by mimicking - or judging it to be the correct size in any case - the iPad's 9.7in screen defined dimensions, but by avoiding the obvious operating system: Android. Hardware being what it is, the only true way to differentiate your product is the user experience, and WebOS allows - as iOS …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Unless it's a lot cheaper than the iPad this is destined to go the same way as the Pre. the iPad like it or not is hte market leader, this is no different to the android clones, it has to be a lot better or a lot cheaper (or both) to get market share.

    The touching together is nice, but ties you to hardware, and theres no way I'd swap my Iphone for a Pre.

    Maybe I'll wait till the clearance sales start on them.

    1. Mark 65


      In addition, my 2c:

      1. Late to market with a lacklustre (albeit anecdotal) processor is a no-no especially when the current crop such as the ipad will be moving on to the next iteration not too far from now.

      2. No SD, why? It is such a simple way to make the storage more flexible at little extra cost. You only have to look at the ipad lineup to know that it's only a simpleton that pays £80 extra for more space when £40-50 would get a high-performance (sandisk extreme pro 45MB/s) SDHC card with the same space or just over £20 for a lesser model. Make the slot SDXC and it's a real winner.

      Some times I wonder whether these companies really want to depose the ipad or if they think they can just saunter in, toss up any old shit, and walk away with the spoils. Apple are control-freaks but I still haven't been swayed by what the competition is offering.

    2. HP Cynic


      Hmm I think it's the same price as the iPad.

      Beyond it daring to have a unique OS, decent multitasking and "Touchstone" there's nothing here to wow me.

  2. hamoboy

    Was this a Touchpad review?

    After reading this once, I went back and counted, and the reviewer mentions Apple, iPad, iPad2, iPad3, iOS and iOS5 30 times throughout the review... I can understand comparing it to an iPAd or and iPad2, but what's with plugging iOS 5 and the iPad3 when they haven't even been released yet?

    I don't even own any WebOS gear, I just wanted a review that talked about WebOS.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Review policy

      at The Register should mandate that any reviewer of tablets couldn't make one if they own any Apple products.

    2. Mark 65


      No it wasn't a review. It was a preview based on a hands-on at a launch event - the clue was in the it under the title. It would be really stretching it to put a score to that.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Other reviews

    From other reviews I gather that this thing is a lot slower. Shame, I would have liked to have seen HP battle it out with Google. Let's hope WebOS can gain some ground before Windows 8 comes along.

  4. SteveBalmer

    The TouchPad isn't the mythical 'iPad killer' - no tablet yet available is.

    Asus Transformer says hello.....

  5. Robert E A Harvey
    Thumb Down

    Too little, too late, too expensive.

    The review pretty much confirms my experience at a demo in an US airport.

    Nice software, easy to use and nice crisp graphics.

    Sluggish CPU, no memory card slot or usb host. And no USB bulk storage mode. And the pre3 magic touch means nothing if you can't get your hands on a pre3

    Sad now. Wanted better.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    What concrete reason is there to "not trust" Google with your data compared to Apple or any other company? That's the sort of comment that really does need to be backed up with some sort of evidence.

    1. RichyS


      Maybe because Google pass your data through their many many algorithms with a view to selling more adverts.

      Apple and HP do not.

  7. Chris Shearman

    Still seems to be missing the killer feature ...

    which for me would be multi user accounts on a single tablet device.

    Tablets, unlike phones are used by more than one person, esp in my house anyway. I'd like a tablet OS that allows me to keep my apps, shortcuts, email/calendar log ins, progress on angry birds etc separate from those of other family members....

    1. Lamont Cranston

      I think O2 had the right sort of idea

      with the Joggler (bleh!) - family use, so it functions as a shared calendar/noticeboard. Still, it wouldn't hurt to give people the option, would it? Unless it mucks up instant-on, or whatever.

      The troll in me says you're just worried about hiding your porn!

    2. Gil Grissum

      Multi-User? Not in my house.

      Multi- User? Have fun with that. Not in my house. In my house, everyone has their own PC, Phone, Lappy, or whatever and no one touches mine. Learned the multi-user lesson a long time ago. Viruses, Spyware, and availability are issues when sharing kit. Something I just don't do. Kid wants a tablet? Get a job and buy your own. My name isn't Santa and I'm not any Sugar Daddy.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Multi-User? Not in my house.

        "Multi- User? Have fun with that. Not in my house. In my house, everyone has their own PC, Phone, Lappy, or whatever and no one touches mine."

        I was waiting for the "we all have tablets" response from someone.

        "Viruses, Spyware, and availability are issues when sharing kit."

        Kit which isn't properly multi-user kit, that is.

  8. Christopher Rogers

    Hardware again?

    WebOS could be great, but once again, the hardware is going to sink it. Surely HP could bring their A game to slapping Apple?

    I'd be a WEBOS fanboi if the hardware was worth it.

  9. Mikel

    Dark venue for demo

    Equals poor screen contrast in bright light.

  10. jai

    Deja vu

    > "like a product that's just behind the curve"

    Somewhere in HP offices there's a whiteboard with 'Lessons learned from Palm Pre' written at the top and nothing else beneath it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    "HP is paying [surely, 'persuading' - Ed] some big names"

    No, almost certainly paying - Nokia already doing it for the Ovi store from what I hear and likely MS are as well. The catch 22 of launching a new platform is the lack of apps: no-one will buy an app-dependent product without 'essential' apps available. No-one will develop for a new platform until it has enough scale to make it worthwhile. HP need to throw a few $m at app makers to 'prime the pump.

    "Somewhere in HP offices there's a whiteboard with 'Lessons learned from Palm Pre' written at the top and nothing else beneath it."

    :-) I really like the Pre when i tried one but it was underpowered and the hardware felt really cheap. Are we onto tragedy or farce now? HP can make decent hardware - their Elitebooks are comparable to Thinkpads - but to make someone choose something other than an iPad you going to need:

    - something that feels as good to hold,

    - is as quick and snappy to use

    - an OS that's as good/has a few unique features.

    Multi user accounts would be one of those three.

    Finally, completely valid to compare features of OS5 - this is a pre-launch product and by the time anyone is actually ordering one OS5 will be on iDevices (and Apple could even surprise people and launch the iPad3 this year.)

  12. Gil Grissum


    Hardware? Lackluster. Web OS? Meh. Apps? What apps? No SD card? Seriously? Neither HP nor any Android vendor is going to make any traction against the iPad without memory expansion, no lag hardware performance, and quality applications. Just like with the Pre Plus, HP is too little/too late with lagging hardware and a user experience that isn't wowing anyone. They were supposed to be more focused on their tablet product than the smartphone but it looks like someone in R&D goofed here.

  13. Toastan Buttar

    Software availability is hugely important

    It could be argued that the Acorn Electron was a superior machine to the Spectrum. But which machine had a huge selection of, well let's be honest, games? Which machine flew off the shelves and which machine sat in warehouses?

    All iOS devices sold today are backwards compatible with the vast majority of apps in the App Store. Certainly, a bit of stratification is beginning to appear with iOS 4 and the faster hardware of new machines, but there is still a huge number of very worthwhile (and often free-as-in-beer) software just waiting for anyone who buys an Apple device. It's also true of Android, too, but Apple definitely had the head start.

    I think HP are being overly optimistic if they don't see an established software library as a big incentive for consumers to choose the popular option.

    * The boffin looks a bit like Uncle Clive.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    But they said...

    "Beyond the branding, there's not an awful lot of difference between, say, a Motorola Xoom, a Toshiba Thrive and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10."

    But they said that Android was fragmented! They lied to us!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Ah poor, poor HP


    technical jargon-ish name that inspires the technicians who thought of it with poor marketing hook n snatch into consumer brand recognition and full of me-too-ism (iOS?)

    Result: reinforces Apple's lead in the field and HP as a wannabe

    Why not, say, UDo? (get the noodle?)

    1. DZ-Jay


      You know, in Spanish, when pronounced as spelt, it sounds very close to "huevos," which is the word for "eggs" (or b*llocks, if you must).

      I'm just saying...


  16. tonyoung

    Only one person ...

    .... got it right (plus the reviewer, almost) - the Transformer is almost THE complete tablet in my opinion.

    It has all the connectivity that the HP lacks, it runs Android 3.1, it has removable storage, it has a GREAT screen (widescreen, though), a zippy processor, cams back and front, plenty of apps - and quality construction.

    Most of all, there are MILLIONS of Android users out there, who'll quickly take to the OS and the apps - no retraining necessary! And the multitasking 'just works' to paraphrase.

    I just don't get the 'product differentiation' issue which you believe requires yet another OS - what about all those PC's out there running XP/Vista/7?

    If you don't want or need to be a fanboi, it's got to be a Transformer, for the keyboard and battery life, if nothing else .... try one.

  17. Tony Paulazzo

    Flash (saviour of the universe)

    >there's not an awful lot of difference<

    Looking at the pictures I'm surprised Apple hasn't hauled them into court already over look and feel.

    >the 4:3 ratio is the ideal for tablets<


    >there's no memory card slot... TouchPad's screen looked less crisp than Apple's... the touchscreen felt less sensitive than those of other tablets... My first-gen iPad feels smoother<

    In other words, utter fail - back to the drawing board... Either be very cheaper or create something better than the competition.

    >WebOS is way more cloud-centric than iOS<

    Which is great, until everyone is paying per Mb for internet access, or the American government close huge swathes of it down chasing piracy with Thor's sledge hammer.

    >Adobe Flash-equipped, natch - browser<

    Plus 1 (thanks Google+).

    >communicate with HP's WebOS 2.0-based smartphones<

    Very RIM like.

    Jeez, is anyone trying to innovate in the market anymore? Whatever happened to the Notion Ink Adam? In all honesty I might have gone for this tablet but for the missing SD slot, that just smacks of corporate greed.

    So now the market awaits the Amazon tablet with trepidation and hope, and as more times goes by I get further locked into the Apple eco system as I spend more on apps, wondering what the ipad 3 will be like...

    Smiley for the contentment induced by my ipad first gen (except for the missing Flash and SD support).

  18. Patrick 14

    I like the Pre

    I like webos.

    I have owned most brands and models of phones upto the iPhone 4 Which i got got secondhand.

    I have gone back to the pre. yes I did like the iphone but I find the pre works and gets the job done with no fecking about.

    and unlike android when you close an app. its closed.

    Over clocked cpu to 1ghz and freetether installed.

    Also unlike android the cpu can play games etc. buy a low spec android mobile like lots of people do and they expect it to run just about everything in the market.

    I want a 7" webos tablet. but for now will make do with my Dell streak 7" wifi

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