updated 07:30 pm EDT, Wed June 29, 2011
HP TouchPad struggles in early reviews
Early reviews of the HP TouchPad have surfaced and have suggested an uphill battle for the first webOS tablet. At least three reviews have all concluded that the TouchPad is heavy, sometimes sluggish, and limited by its current influence to a smaller selection of apps. Battery life was a problem for many, and in the case of the WSJ, managed just six hours on a charge where an iPad 2 gets over 10 hours.
WebOS 3.0 is considered the strongest point of the tablet through its intuitive design and real multitasking. Bugs and periodic sluggish performance nonetheless marred the reviews. HP indirectly admitted to a rushed release and promised an update coming in three to six weeks that would fix most of the outstanding issues.
The absence of a rear camera was regarded as more a nuisance than a real issue in the Engadget and Laptop reviews, but everyone criticized HP for leaving out basic software. Its front camera only currently works with the built-in Skype integration and has no stand-alone camera app or significant third-party app support.
An iPad level of display quality and strong audio were still highlights. At its best, the TouchPad is pleasurable to use. As it was coming into a market where competitors like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 were much more portable, had more hardware features and ran many more apps, however, a reviewer like Walt Mossberg couldn't justify it as a clear pick.
"Despite its attractive and different user interface, this first version [of the TouchPad] is simply no match for the iPad," he said.