HP’s TouchPad has received a $50 discount as well as a new version of their WebOS firmware.
As TechCrunch reports, WebOS 3.0.2 boasts some new features and will take advantage of the ‘over-the-air’ update system, meaning the tablet will download it automatically.
The latest firmware boasts a number of changes, but the discount is perhaps more enticing for new buyers. The reduced price will last until September 10th, and both versions of the device have been reduced by $50. The 16GB tablet now retails at $449, while the 32GB version retails for $549.
The TouchPad is HP’s first tablet effort running the webOS operating system that it acquired when it purchased Palm back in June of 2010. Many users and lovers of webOS’s blend of beauty and functionality have been waiting with baited breath to see how it performs on a tablet.
While webOS has been praised by almost everyone who has touched it on a phone, it’s had trouble grabbing a large chunk of the smartphone market share thanks to lackluster hardware and limited app selection.
Has HP managed to take the best of webOS and implement it on the TouchPad while avoiding the pitfalls that have plagued the platform in the past? Is the TouchPad a compelling option compared to market leader Apple’s iPad 2 or the less impressive Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablets currently available?
When you first lay eyes upon the HP TouchPad, everything looks very familiar – almost scarily so. When viewed from the front with the screen off, you are almost transported back to January 2010 when the original Apple iPad was revealed. The TouchPad features a 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768 pixel, IPS display front and center, just like the iPad. The screen itself is just as good as the iPad’s, it has good color reproduction and viewing angles. It has a thick, nondescript bezel that surrounds the screen, within which is a home button and an embedded 1.3-megapixel camera. The home key is eerily reminiscent of the iPad’s home button, though it is oblong in shape and has a glowing notification light built into it.
Around back is a vast sea of glossy plastic that is very similar to the back of the iPhone 3GS. It is rounded and glossy and prone to fingerprints. If you are particular about the cleanliness of your gadgets, the TouchPad will be a fingerprint nightmare for you. The plastic gives a somewhat cheap feel to the TouchPad as well; it certainly does not have the quality feel that the iPad 2 or the Galaxy Tab 10.1 exhibit.
In the hands, the glossy back and heavyweight (the TouchPad weighs a stout 740g/1.6lbs) make the TouchPad a bit difficult to keep a handle on. It is rather slippery and the weight makes it difficult to balance on a lap and type with two hands.