It was an interesting week for prospective tablet buyers, as HP all at once decided to discontinue WebOS and all products based on it, following with a firesale of the failed HP TouchPad. The 32GB version was marked down from $499 to $149, and the 16GB from $399 to just $99. Incredible savings!
And people ate it up. Including me. I ordered a 32GB version when it was briefly available for order from Best Buy online. I got a confirmation of the order, but not shipping yet, so I still have to wait and see if the order even goes though.
The problem with the TouchPad is not the hardware – it sports a dual core SnapDragon 1.2 GHz CPU, with 1GB of RAM. If it was an Android tablet, it would probably be the fastest one out there. It is certainly faster than the horrendously inadequate iPad 1, but the GPU will be much slower than the one on the iPad 2. It has a nice screen (albeit the same low resolution used by iPad), and good battery life (although it is quite a bit heavier than the competition)
The software itself isn’t bad either. In fact, WebOS has more functionality than both iOS and Android. Ask any true mobile tech nerd, and they will tell you that WebOS is by far the superior OS to use – it has a ton of homebrew developers working on it, meaning plenty of free, if hard to acquire software. In that way, it reminds me of the last days of using a Windows Mobile 6.5 device before eventually switching to Android. It probably contains the most robust web browser of all, which I’ll have to wait and see for myself.
The problem is, tablets aren’t defined by the software or hardware. The two most important things to tablet sales are:
1) Availability of apps, and ease of use (App Store and Android Market)
There is only one company that makes a tablet that has both a huge selection of apps that are easy to buy, and Magic* – obviously it’s the one that has sold tens of millions of units. Android is halfway there, with a very good application market, and in most ways a superior OS. But without the Magic*, nobody really cares for or wants a tablet.
I recently upgraded from an iPad 1 I got in a trade for some work. I HATED it, due to the horrible hardware specs, so just last week I upgraded to an iPad 2 which I actually quite like wit iOS5 installed (but find frustrating when trying to browse the web – like it or not Steve, you don’t have a full web browser unless you support Flash). But make no mistake, it’s not a TOOL it is a TOY. It is great for reading, playing some games, watching videos, tweeting, etc. But that’s all it is, a toy. And not a lot of people want to spend $400+ for a toy they don’t really need (tens of millions will spend that much for Magic* however, that much is obvious).
Anyway, I should receive the TouchPad in about a week, which hopefully is enough time for developers to figure out a way to install Android on it. The hardware is there, but I honestly have no interest in messing around with WebOS. I have been using Android for over a year now, and I don’t want to switch. In fact, I am hoping it makes for a decent iPad 2 replacement – we shall see!
Here are today’s batch of hardware reviews:
- Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- SteelSeries Spectrum 7XB Wireless Headset Review @ Real World Labs
- August 2011 Frostytech Top 5 Heatsink Chart @ Frostytech
- Kingston HyperX 240GB 6Gbps SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gelid Icy Vision Rev. 2 VGA Cooler Review @ eTeknix
- TP-LINK AV200 Powerline Adapter Starter Kit Review @ ThinkComputers
- Gigabyte GA-A75-UD4H Review @ techPowerUp
- Rosewill ZAIO RCX-ZAIO-92 CPU Cooler Review @ Tweaknews
- Diamond Radeon HD 6770 XOC Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Corsair Carbide Series 400R chassis review @ Hexus
- Strontium Gamma Series 115GB Solid State Drive Review @ tweaktown
- Zalman VF3000F GTX 570/580 GPU Cooler Review @ Techgage
- Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD Intel Z68 Motherboard & 20GB SSD Review @ PCSTATS
- Kingston Wi-Drive Review @ HotHardware
- ADATA Classic Series CH11 1 TB USB 3.0 @ techPowerUp
- hermaltake Chaser MK-1 PC Case @ DragonSteelMods
- NZXT Phantom Full Tower Chassis Review @ eTeknix
- ASUS Crosshair V Formula review @ guru3d
- Asus Maximus IV Extreme Motherboard Review @ Ninjalane & Tweaktown
- Xigmatek Pantheon Computer Case Review @ Tweaknews
- Fractal Design – Define Mini reviewed @ Metku