by Gray Graham
The Touchpad is the latest entry into the tablets wars currently ruled by the iPad with many challenges coming from a slew of Google Android powered tablets such as the Motorola Xoom. It is one of the few tablets that does not run on iOS or Android but instead powered by webOS that was created by Palm before it was acquired by HP.
It has the same approximate dimesions as the iPad, but in a much larger body that looks more like a laptop screen than a tablet which will bring us to the over all design. The back of the Touchpad looks just like a laptop back complete with the plastic glossy black finish that does nothing but show finger prints and smudges. It makes it look like something that you do not want to actual use that belongs to someone else.
The webOS interface is pretty handy because you can stake apps in decks to group them for easy access, however you don't actually get to decide how that occurs so you can not always place them where you want. It's biggest feature is the fact that you can actually multi-task unlike either the iPad or any Android tablet so you can have multiple programs running at the same time. This is the one feature that will make it very useful for business people and move it more into productivity than entertainment.
If apps is your thing, then you may be out of luck, since right now there is not a large app developer community although there is probably more than enough for the average person, just understand you will not have bragging rights with your friends.
Getting back to the design, the Touchpad is missing many features that are found on all other tablets on the market like a rear camera for taking pictures but has features no one needs like working with a HP Pre 3.
Like so many times in the past HP seems to have missed an opportunity to do something great with the Touchpad. It does not top any other tablets out there not even the RIM Playbook. In order for the Touchpad not to be one of the many devices HP has come up with over the years that were failures they are going to have to seriously work on the design so that it appeals to what people actually want and not what HP wants to sell to them. Since HP is used to making more than one product at a time, I am sure a better update is coming shortly, if not then you can expect the Touchpad to get left behind in a hurry.