06/24/2012, 11:29 AM
I was just musing on my impressions of the TP after using it for the last 10 months, and I thought I'd post my personal Likes and Dislikes to see if anyone has any comments on them. Maybe I've been missing something!
Right up front I should say that I haven't yet installed Android. Currently WebOS meets my needs, and I don't want to mess with a good thing until I need to. While I have installed a few apps and patches using WebOSQuickInstall, I haven't installed Preware and patched the heck out of everything for the same reason.
My favorite things about the TP hardware in daily use:
1. The 10Ē screen with 4:3 aspect is the right size for a tablet. The only thing better would be a 12Ē screen with no bezel in the same tablet exterior dimensions, but nobody has that.
2. The Touchstone base with inductive charging and Exhibition mode. A fantastic signature feature that HP never really promoted.
3. Decent sound quality and decent speakers for a tablet (maybe a trade-off for the thickness, but at least itís something).
4. Standard microUSB port for charging and attachment as a removable USB drive. I hate custom connectors.
5. Flashing home button to let me know when I have notifications without turning on the screen.
1. It's a bit too thick and heavy compared to the iPad, and the plastic back makes it feel cheaper and more fragile (even if it is necessary for the inductive charging).
2. No memory card slot. Even my e-reader has a microSD card slot.
But overall I think HP made some good trade-offs on the hardware.
I like WebOS well enough, but I consider the operating system part of the background compared to the apps, so I don't really have strong feelings about it.
My favorite WebOS applications that I actually use on a regular basis:
1. Portable web browsing. The screen size, responsive pan and zoom, and general browser compatibility makes it usable for a portable web browser when smaller and slower tablets donít cut it. Flash support is a plus. Ok, itís not compatible with every site, but no browser is. Even if the compatibility problem will grow over time with no updates available, itís ok right now.
2. Email. I often check email on tbe TP because I donít want to turn on the computer, and the flashing notification light lets me know that email is waiting. I can easily check messages and swipe the ones I donít need to open off the screen. It connects to my existing email accounts, and I can open attachments if necessary.
3. Reading pdf documents. The TP is the platform I use fory reading pdf documents like magazines, newspapers and illustrated books. My e-reader is hopeless for reading pdf documents, especially those with a large page size and color photos. The standard QuickOffice pdf reader on the TP isn't adequate (what was HP thinking??), but the Picsel Smartoffice pdf reader is better, and the patches available to fix the standard pdf reader are even better (if only the dev team could fix the memory leak!). I thought Zinio might be good for subscribing to digital magazines on the TP when they first introduced their app, but it has critical shortcomings that they havenít fixed, and a large percentage of their content has become unavailable in the TP app.
4. Skype video calling. Itís not ideal: it works in portrait mode only, thereís a few bugs that will never be fixed now, and the echo cancellation isnít the best. But hey, it works well enough, and itís always available. The video quality is fine.
5. Pandora. I'm using both Apollo and Drew Sparkís Pandora Tablet, and both of these TP apps are very good, offering a very nice user interface. Sound quality of Pandora on the TP is good, especially on headphones or plugged into my computer sound system. Iím in Canada, so it takes a bit of trickery to use Pandora, but itís worth it.
6. Portable video player using Kalemsoft Media Player for playback and BHome Pro to access my DLNA servers. I donít do this a lot, but itís very convenient when I do. Kalemsoft supports the video file formats I use, and I love the link from BHome to Kalemsoft.
7. Zite for news. Good variety, works smoothly. The Vancouver Sun news app for the TP also deserves a positive mention because it still works fine and it gives me local news. I also use the WebOS news app for updates about the TP and WebOS.
8. AgendaZ for exhibition mode calendar. This is my normal default exhibition mode app. Would be great if only calendar synch with Google and Yahoo would work reliably! Unfortunately it doesnít, so I canít rely on the TP calendar being accurate. I have Glimpse, but since I don't use Twitter or follow a bunch of RSS feeds at once, I can't quite figure out what I would use it for.
9. Photo display in exhibition mode. I donít need a dedicated digital photo frame any more since the TP works better in every way, especially with the Touchstone dock and the SlideRSS app to display my photo RSS feed from Picasa Web.
10. AccuWeather for checking the weather report. I have it on my PC and my iPod Touch too, but itís quicker to check the TP, and itís a nice big clear report. It's a small thing, but I use it.
12. My go-to essential utilities for the TP: Commander for file management), and TBTransfer for wireless file transfer. Thank you WebOS independent developers!
Iíve experimented with many of the other applications and games available just for interest. I've spent more money on WebOS apps than iOS apps. But I just donít have a regular need for the other apps on the TP, so I donít use them much.
I donít do much internet video streaming on the TP, although I have to say that the Canuck TV app is good and Crackle works well as a movie site. I would probably do more video streaming if Netflix was supported, or if the Hulu patch didnít require using Internalz and wasnít mutually exclusive with a working app store. Some TV sites that use Flash work, and I have Video Flood to search for channels. Iíve even used Splashtop to stream Netflix from my PC to the TP. But overall Iíd rather download the video or watch streaming video on my TV with better quality.
I have several internet radio apps (TuneIn, Rad.io, Internet Radio HD Pro), but I seldom use them. I think the standard TP music player is quite good, and the Remix version is even better, but I use my iPod Touch more for music since it's more portable.
Thereís a few iOS apps I use on the iPod Touch that I miss on the TouchPad, but not many, and not a lot. It would be nice to have a SIP VoIP app, and Iíd like an IP camera viewer, but theyíre hardly essential.
For the $150 I originally spent on the TP (not counting the later Touchstone and apps of course), it's been a fantastic value and deserves a big thumbs up. And thanks for the ongoing developer support!