08/07/2011, 01:32 PM
As the proud owner of a MacBook Pro, iPhone, and iPad 2, it's safe to say I love Apple products. But when people call me a ******, it ticks me off: I don't just like Apple products because I'm some brainwashed zombie; it's because I admire the elegance, design, breadth of apps, and focus on the user experience that their products embue.
That being said, I'm always curious about the other products in the technology space... is this Android phone more likely to suit my needs? is there a better tablet on the market than the iPad?
A few months ago, a product that we now know as the HP TouchPad piqued my interest. After reading so many laudatory reviews about webOS on mobile phones, the fact that it was now coming to a 10" tablet made me that much more interested. Plus, the fact I never really had the chance to take the OS for a true test drive was making the TouchPad starting to look like a more viable option.
When the TouchPad reviews started hitting the interwebs, it was definitely disappointing to discover that the performance was sluggish and overall "not worth the money (at $499 for the 16 GB)." The consensus seemed to be that perhaps if HP worked out the kinks software-wise and shaved $100 off the pricetag, it'd be a win.
Fast forward to this past week: HP releases 3.0.2, the promised software-bug-fix extravaganza, and moreover offers $200 off the tablet (40%!). With a 14-day return policy as a safeguard, I couldn't help but resist the deal on the 10" tablet. At 300 bucks, this thing's gotta be worth it's value, right?
Here's where I stand right now after two days of fiddling around with this thing:
* The bezel/cards UI is awesome.
* Syncing music with HPPlay is super simple-- wouldn't mind the workaround whatsoever.
* It's pretty damn hefty. Makes my iPad 2 feel almost lightweight.
* The screen and iPhone 3G-ish style back attract fingerprints like its their job.
* There is a paltry selection of apps.
* BeatsAudio means nothing.
* Skype integration is neat.
* iPhone apps are iffy at best when scaled to the iPad. webOS phone apps are not even manageable when scaled to the TouchPad (basically, no x2 button).
But, as an iPad owner, I'm kind of confused what I can do with this thing:
With my iPad, I enjoy news apps like Pulse, Reeder, and the New York Times. As far as I can tell, there are no such apps for the TouchPad (yes, I know there's USA today but c'mon). And while there is a New York TImes phone app, it does not scale full-screen which is miserable.
As an iPad owner, I enjoy playing games like NFS and Cut the Rope. Again, a far as I can tell, there are no superb TP games.
As an iPad owner, I love consuming media: HBOGO, Netflix, Hulu +, etc. But again, as far as I can tell there are no viable options (flash performance is slow, sorry).
Aas an iPad owner, I can read any ePub I desire... control my Apple TV... using the iWork suite on the go. Can I do those with the TouchPad (minus control Apple TV, of course)?* (* serious question)
I guess I'm just kinda confused with what I can/should be doing with this thing. Are there some killer apps I'm missing? Are there nifty features that truly help it stand out?
I want to like this thing, I really do, but as it stands now I'm going to be making a trip back to Best Buy sometime in the next twelve days.