My chosen Tablet - TouchPad

It has been an interesting couple of weeks in the technology world. One of the interesting things that happened if you didn't, by living on and island, catch it was the HP Fire-sale after killing of their phone and tablet hardware business. I was one of the lucky people to stumble onto the SlickDeals HP Touchpad thread. I was lucky enough to snag a 32 GB TouchPad for $120 after some discounts. This was surreal in that I was not looking to get a Tablet after we just got HP's rival tablet a few weeks earlier in our household. Anyway at the end I ended up getting the Touchpad for cheaper than the Kindle I had purchased earlier in the year. You can catch some of my comments on the Kindle here: http://beyond.vima.co.za/2011/03/what-texts-may-come/. Anyway lets get into the TouchPad and my experiences.

Hardware

The hardware is decent. The display is good, the dual core processor also means its zippy. It feels heavier than the iPad 2 but I will try to keep the comparisons to a minimum (probably will fail at this). The audio is one of the best things about this. Even my better half exclaims that her iPad 2 doesn't have a chance in competing against the Beats Audio speakers. This will be one of the sad things about the product being killed of by HP, there was so much potential. Anyway potential is nothing if not utilized correctly. HTC bought Beats so we should be getting excellent sound in their hardware in the future. The battery live is also decent. I charge every couple of days, not daily like my phone. I use the TouchPad less than the phone.

Software

TouchPad Arrives

TouchPad Arrives

This is really the important aspect of the whole experience. After using the iPad 2 I knew that there were things that I really loved utilizing on the Tablet form. It is great for internet browsing, while not being a laptop. I also have enjoyed reading my news through the great apps on the iPad 2. From the outset I know that the comparing the apps for the TouchPad to the iPad's ones was going to be hard. They are just two different beasts. I will come out and point out the things I like. The notification system for the TouchPad is great and unobtrusive. It really is fresh air after using iOS devices. iOS 5 will fix this problem though. I like the mail application and the great Tablet Facebook application. I dont like that there is no great Twitter client as yet. I use SpazHD at the moment. It's okay, but not great. I am used to using Twitterific on my MacBook so Spaz is like punishment, it still lacks so much and is slow. Anyway there might a savior soon that I will wait for. Now as I have a Kindle I was happy to find the Kindle App on the TouchPad. It is great and now I can enjoy multimedia books from Amazon, I have quite a few of them.

TouchPad Kindle App

TouchPad Kindle App

Having the Kindle app also sets up a problem. Now I have some duplication, even though I still use the Kindle for most of my reading as I can read without light being actively blasted into my eyes. On the E-Ink Kindle I still enjoy Dave Pell's Delivereads, which you should get if you have a kindle (http://delivereads.com/). I have also installed pReader, which is a homebrew app, to read my epub ebooks. It works okay. The application works. Its not slick, its not flashy, it works. This is a common theme with a lot of the Touchpad apps that I use.

With Music I have been able to enjoy Pandora radio (even though its the phone app running on the TouchPad).

Pandora WebOS Phone App

Pandora WebOS Phone App

TouchPad Music Player

TouchPad Music Player

The bundled music player is capable and again it was a sobering experience to be able to drag and drop music into a folder again. Wow its been a while. I did opt to use SongBird ultimately to manage music. I have a lot of apps installed on the TouchPad. More than what I thought I would have available but I really end up doing a few things on the tablet. I check my email, I read tweets, I read books, I read papers (a lot) and I read news. With that I listen to music. I am sure as time goes I will find more apps and more ways to get things done on the Tablet. The software is still well supported for the moment. There is also a lot of work being done to port Android onto the hardware.

As a side I have also been able to enjoy the free versions of iMaverick on the Tablet. A little sweet sin of mine 🙂

iMaverick Opening Up

iMaverick Opening Up

Thats it. It was short. Not comprehensive. There is way way way more that can be said. This is just my experience. I like my tablet a lot. It has already done a lot a mileage with me and I have hacked it a lot to get it to be what I need.

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