07/06/2011, 03:47 AM
Hi, I just thought I would tell you my story of my experience with the new HP TouchPad after I used on for about an hour at my local Walmart.
Ok so here is a little background info:
I am 17, and I have owned a Pre Plus and a Franken Pre 2 both of which were/are on Verizon. My interest in WebOS came after I had - had a Motorola Droid for around 9 months. I was quickly becoming disinterested in Android and after looking at WebOS in Youtube videos I decided to jump the gun and buy myself a Pre Plus. But this isn't an auto-biography, so I will get with the TP business.
I had to work til close at 12 last night and as I got in my car I decided to drive out to my local Walmart and take a look at the TouchPad. To my dismay they had yet to even put out the display unit so I had to ask if I could play with one and the woman was happy to oblige and did as I asked. My Walmart is huge and I was the only person in the electronics department (or in site for that matter) and she said she was bored as hell so you get the idea. She opened a brand new TouchPad out of it's nice, white packaging and powered it on. She said corporate told them to still push the iPad as much as possible. The device powered up in about (my tired brain was probablly wrong) but I guessed around 16 seconds which I thought was pretty good but I don't really care about boot times so I don't really know if it is. She said she herself hadn't any training with the device and that not many people in the department did. She actually asked me if I could show her stuff about it because she liked tablets and things of that sort. I'm getting off track, sorry. Her pupils widened (dramatization) when she saw the card UI in action. She said it was "way cool" but she didn't like the launcher. We both agreed that the launcher wasn't well designed and sloppy looking. I held the device for a solid half an hour and it was pretty hefty (too me) compared to the iPad 2 and was obviously thicker. I didn't like the weight but the thickness wasn't an issue in my eyes because it felt right for a tablet of it's size. I really liked the material the device was made from, compared to the iPad 2 and it's brushed metal backing which made the device ice cold. The screen was pretty bright but I did notice the device took a while to load pretty much every application. Besides loading mishaps WebOS itself performed quickly and efficiently especially with all the big cards. The sound on (maybe just this unit) seemed ok but it wasn't what I was expecting. I tried it with earphones, however, and it sounded absolutely beautiful.
A couple personal opinions I don't like about WebOS 3.0 - the notifications just aren't the same feeling, BUT I am not dumb and I understand the bottom-of-screen sliding notifications would be a bit odd on such a large screen so I can it slide. One thing, a very small thing, but I won't let it slide - WebOS 3.0 doesn't have the curved edges on the entire screen. I think it's tacky that the cards have them but when you enter the application they kind of just disappear and it's not very graceful. One last thing, I don't like the background image on the taskbar but that's just nitpicking so whatever.
The browser on the unit was really, and I mean blazing fast. I loaded a Youtube video in seconds, played a stupid flash game, and the download speeds were glorious. (Just an FYI, I was connected via my Pre 2 hotspot and the browser was faster on the TouchPad via Wifi than on my actual phone so I guess that gives you the idea.) The virtual keyboard is the best on the market (in the tablet world) and is more than what I hoped. The keys are large and they are all designed and placed perfectly. Animation on the unit was gorgeous. One thing I would like to delve into more is how unpleasant the launcher is. In my personal opinion, it's very disorganized and VERY un-graceful. I hate blank space on anything and the icons aren't that big so when you have just 10 applications on a page it looks tacky. I think they should have created a script that centered and spaced the icons depending on number of applications. I also think that it would have looked better if the page selection bar was in a more tab-like design and centered in the bar. The applications, however, are very organized and well thought-out. The touch-to-drag bar feater in applications is genius on HP's part and the applications look professional with a side of playfulness. The ff camera looks much nicer than any other tablet I have used but I am still puzzled as to why you wouldn't have a camera application or atleast a video chat client. I also am very disappointed HP chose not to include a back-facing camera. I know it's weird to take pictures with a tablet but it's not so much function as attractiveness and feature-filled that draws customers to a product. Who cares if it's too heavy to take a picture with a tablet, the consumer likes it when they have that option regardless if it's not necessary. They (for whatever reason) had the album "Born This Way" loaded onto the device (which was a HUGE excitement for me because I'm a "monster") As much as I loved it I was still really surprised and more I almost thought I was dillusional because I was very tired but I asked her if she was seeing what I saw and yeah anyway it was there. I tested out the music application and it is SOOO amazing. I dramatize that because I am a designer and I love to collect ideas from other designs and HP did an amazing job on the music player. It's very simple and it looks gorgeous on the unit.
So before I go I will just leave a Pro/Con list incase you hate reading dumb stories:
- Big, bright screen
- Good sound
- Fast, functional
- WebOS 3.0 works really well, and looks really cool on the unit
- Slow applications
- No duel-camera
- No video chat client/camera application
- Ugly/disfunctional launcher
And that is my experience with the new HP TouchPad. Feel free to leave opinions/comments below.
P.S: I tried a couple Google Chrome web applications and they worked great so if you ever feel the lack of apps try getting the URLs to your favorites.