09
Feb
0,1468,i=290294,00

HP's recently announced TouchPad is a genuinely exciting device - there's no question about that. In fact, with such features as a dual-core Qualcomm CPU and the fancy new "Tap to Share" technology, it might just be the most serious competition Honeycomb tablets will face in the first half of 2011, aside from a certain Apple product.

But is it enough to cause you, dear Android Police reader, to second-guess the XOOM or G-Slate? I know it isn't enough for me - and here's why.

146907-HP_TouchPad

Just look at the TouchPad - its design makes it clear that what HP has created is essentially the iPad's twin sister. 9.7-inch display? Check. Resolution? 1024x768, just like the Apple tablet. Unnecessarily large bezel? Also included. Heck, even the TouchPad's name is reminiscent of the iPad!

Clone issues aside, the TouchPad's hardware is actually pretty decent - it sports a 1.3MP front-facing camera, a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon APQ8060 dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16/32 GB of storage, and a 6300 mAh battery. Pretty amazing stuff... until you realize that the XOOM matches or exceeds every single one of those specifications. And that leads into my next point: the XOOM is just the beginning for Honeycomb tablets.

When the TouchPad launches this summer as HP's sole webOS tablet, Honeycomb will already power at least two (but probably many more) slates. The one-size-fits-all model may work well for Apple, but let's face it: Hewlett Packard simply doesn't have the same reputation. Besides, even if quantity isn't an issue, quality likely will be - if the XOOM is what manufacturers are able to create using currently available technology, just imagine what they'll be able to dream up by the time summer rolls around!

So that's one area where the TouchPad will be crippled at release. But here's another, perhaps more important issue: software. Google went back to the drawing board with Honeycomb, and what it came back with was nothing short of mind-blowing. HP... well, from the looks of it, they've mostly just scaled up the existing version of webOS. Sure, they've made a few tweaks here and there (i.e. the redesigned email app, the revamped notifications system, the aforementioned "Touch to Share" feature, and the new keyboard), but the deck of cards-based homescreen, the app launcher, and the overall look and feel of the OS... they're all the same.

There's also the matter of third-party apps. I hate to say it, but it would be hard to overlook webOS' history with apps - namely, developers have tended to shy away from the operating system. Meanwhile, Google has already showcased several tablet-specific apps, and their track record is decidedly more impressive than that of HP/Palm.

Of course, I could be wrong here - after all, webOS has a great user interface, even if HP hasn't done a ton of work to make it more tablet-friendly. But I think I'm pretty confident that that won't be the case - the XOOM and other Honeycomb tablets will absolutely run circles around the TouchPad when it launches.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think via the poll and the comments below.

Are you getting an HP TouchPad?

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Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

  • joes

    It certainly looks interesting, but I'm more interested in seeing what Toshiba has to offer. The XOOM is DOA at $799 for me especially without the option for a wifi only model. It's not that I can't afford one, but more of why would I? I would like to know what one is going to cost though just for comparison's sake.

  • http://www.twitter.com/xAndroidAddictx Yoshi

    I will never switch from Android

  • Canadian Droid Fan

    I agree with joes... I'll wait to see what other Honeycomb powered units are out there... LG, HTC, Toshiba... Wifi would be a must for me. At $799... I would just stick with my laptop, at least until it dies, and then see what's out there.

  • Doug Fiedor

    I want my tablet to be the larger version of my EVO and right now that looks like the Xoom.

  • http://blog.mobosquare.com/ Inman

    whatever i belong to android

  • Nathan

    WebOS is an amazing OS. but if your already with android there is no reason to get any WebOS tablet.

    Same reason why if you own an iphone your better off with an iPad.

    So anyway, i think it's a great device, but me want some honeycomb!

  • John J

    I'd rather root a NOOKcolor for $250.

  • Eric

    The problem with HP's TouchPad is, they are 'maybe' to late. They had more chance if they released it last December. This summer they have a lot more competition of Android tablets and the new iPad 2.
    They can only succeed if they can convince developers that it is easier to build WebOS application, because this is merely HTML5, CSS and javascript, then Android or iOS applications. And there are a lot more web-developers than Android and iOS developers.
    So I think that the focus of HP must be on web-developers and the development of WebOS applications, will the TouchPad succeed. So if they make a video which shows what the TouchPad can do, they must also show how easy it is to build a program.

  • bk

    I still believe Notion Ink will be the best. They have some growing pains right now but keep an eye on them, they are fighting their way up. oh btw
    I "heart" Android!

  • Andre

    Without compelling phone hardware, I don't see how HP can ignite enough developer interest in WebOS to carry over to tablets. The Palm team seems to have gone out of its way to avoid the slate form factor that so many consumers want (with only a spy shot of one on the horizon), and the front qwerty form factor was relegated to low end phones that are being EOL'ed. They could've had so much more traction if they had released a front qwerty phone for the business market, like they did in years past with the Treo line.

    Since I'm on Sprint, I've had to move on to Android for lack of new WebOS phones on the carrier. I figure I'll go all Android for my next tablet, and buy a Transformer.

  • http://mgamerzproductions.com Mgamerz

    This post is so irrelevant now, huh?