When HP came out with the Touchpad I was all excited because the commercials made it look so cool and different. It showed that I could put it on my desk and have it rotate through photos like an electronic photo collage, keeping me entertained while I worked. It also showed that I could be able to use it like a scheduler and also keep it on my desk and just refer to my calendar throughout the day. As a busy blogger I like to see what is coming up and since I am also a visual person I thought, that’s really cool. Not only could I use the HP as a tablet to watch movies, read email, and play games, I was going to be able to use it as a better business tool, unlike how I use my Apple iPad now. Those commercials had me sold and I wanted one as soon as possible.
Well, that was before HP decided to discontinue the Touchpad. The articles I read mentioned that the operating system was not compatible with a lot of apps or that there weren’t going to be a lot of apps for it and HP decided they couldn’t make money and ditched the whole thing – or something like that. I was like, what the heck? This thing looked so cool. Over before it was even tried in the public court of law? Let us decide I said. Well, I got the chance to win an HP Touchpad and I have it in my hot little hands waiting to test out.
What you will never be able to know is just how cool the HP Touchpad really is. I have the all powerful iPad 2 and had the iPad original when it came out too so I can compare the two. I even have an Android tablet that I tested the HP against. I am not a fan of the Android system and I fell in love with WebOS from HP.
Remember now, I’m not expert, I am just sharing with you what I like about the HP Touchpad.
First, the HP Touchpad is so much more intuitive and user friendly. The keyboard is wonderful! It looks and works just like a regular keyboard with the row of numbers at the top where they are supposed to be. With the iPad you have to remember to press the .?123 button on either side of the spacebar to bring up the numbers. Then, to get extra characters there is an additional key to press. Then you have to press the ABC key to go back to the regular keyboard. Very annoying.
iPad keyboard with letters showing
Pressing the .?123 key brings up the number panel.
The HP Touchpad keyboard layout.
You can see that the numbers are at the top just like any standard keyboard. THey were able to place them there by making all of the keys smaller but it doesn’t cause any problem with typing. Much better layout.
Press the += key on the left of the spacebar to bring up extra character.
Another cool feature I really like is the Swipe feature. Just press on a window or app you have open and Swipe it up or to the side and it is gone and closed. So much fun and once again, intuitive. It even makes a cool swish sound when the application moves off the main screen.
The Welcome screen has the same Swipe feature. Just press the lock and Swipe it up and out of the way to start using your HP Touchpad. The Welcome screen also shows you notifications like if someone you were chatting with in Google chat left you a message, if you have new email and more. Yes, the iPad and Android have these same features but they just look way cooler on the HP for some reason.
The only thing so far that I found that the iPad does better is the weight and thickness. The HP Touchpad is definitely heavier and thicker.
iPad 2 on the left and HP Touchpad on the right (top of photo). The Touchpad is much thicker.
There are just too many cool features to mention all. Some of the things I really like are the menu at the top right that shows you the battery level and other things like Airplane mode, how you can zoom in and out of windows super fast and drag side to side much easier than on the iPad.
When you have new email or tweets you will get notified on the top right just to the left of the Settings. Press it to see what is new.
If you have lots of apps or windows open you will see them on the screen next to each other. You can drag them on top of each other to group them together – so cool.
I compared the iPad to the HP Touchpad because they are both about the same size and I happened to have one of each here to do a comparison with. Apple was the first out of the gate with the tablet but others are coming along to improve on that. I really don’t know why HP stopped production on the Touchpad but I’m sure it has something to do with money. Maybe they will bring it back once they find out how much the public likes it.
How to Install the Android System on the HP Touchpad
If HP stops supporting the WebOS operating system you can always try a crack to install the Cyanogen Mod on the Touchpad This will allow you to automatically pick whether to boot to WebOS or Android. Having Android on the HP opens up much more apps and possibilities. (Thanks to reader, Arena Thompson, for letting us know about this option).