It’s getting harder for iPad competitors to live.So much so that rival manufacturers hesitate to launch their tablets.
HP itself has been developing its product for more than 5 years and its launching only happened now, this July 1st.And without much publicity.
All by social
It would be fairer to compare the HP TouchPad with tablets running Android, such as the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and Motorola Xoom.
In that case, the TouchPad would be a competitor of respect.For a very simple reason: webOS has shown itself to be better than Android Honeycomb.
And there’s more: the HP tablet operating system has been tailored to those who are always connected on social networks and sharing photos, music, and videos.And this can be a good motivation at the time of purchase.
Always the iPad …
But the iPad is there, and has become a benchmark in comparison with new products. (The numbers impress: Apple owns 74 percent of the tablet market, has sold more than 25 million units, and its iPad app store has just hit the 100 apps mark).
So the next question is: Does the HP TouchPad have tools to compete with the Apple tablet?
Let’s look at its key features:
To begin with, it is necessary to say with all the letters: this HP is kind of heavy.Well, to justify that your price is lower then?Neither is it, you pay for it the same as you would pay for the iPad ($ 500).
My conclusion is that HP has decided to focus all its efforts on the webOS operating system.Time will tell if she is right.
To complicate matters, HP decided to eliminate some common features on other tablets.It has no rear camera for photos, or for recording videos.Just a front webcam.
It’s true that this is not of great importance, and no one should choose a tablet for the camera.But it is also an item less than the competition.
Another negative point is the autonomy of your battery:it does not reach 60% of the capacity of the iPad.According to tests conducted by the technology section of the Wall Street Journal, while the iPad reaches 9 hours continuously running a video on the Wi-Fi connection, HP would not be more than 6 hours.
The heart of this tablet is a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon, 1.2GHz.But do not get excited: this does not necessarily mean a much faster tablet.Apple offers a 1GHz “only” processor, but the iPad delivers maximized performance for almost every major task (browsing the web, playing video and games, etc.).
By choosing a “home-made” operating system ( webOS ), HP knew about the difficulties it would have in offering its applications compared to what Apple and Google stores offer.
Now this is wide open: as Apple reaches 100,000 iPad applications, HP enters the market with a meager 300 apps.The company may even argue that it has more than 6,000 applications, but almost all targeted to run on smartphones.And the worst: only 70% of these can run on tablets.
One of your most important applications, QuickOffice has the ability to read documents, but not to edit them (as it happens on iPad).
There’s still an application for streaming videos (for movies or TV shows).HP does not yet offer a store to download music and videos, but this feature is promised to be released soon.
There was no other:on August 16, HP announced that it had given up the webOS system.
Browsing the web with HP is a good experience.Unless you’re using Flash.In this case it may have the connection truncated or even hang.Again, as we said above, these are problems that should not occur in the final tablet.
Operating system/interface:here is your strong point
Of course, to enter such a competitive market, HP would have to have some differential.And it’s here in your interface.See the video below.
The webOS screen does not work with the icon concept.Instead, it uses frames (windows), something very similar to the new Windows for tablets .
In comparison to Android Honeycomb, webOS seems to be much more organized and intuitive.And this is no small thing.I would say more: it is one of the most important items in choosing a tablet.
Applications stay in these windows.When you touch one of them, the application fills the screen and is ready to be used.Besides, working with them is intuitive and uncomplicated.
The idea is to interconnect the tasks.A photo window, for example, may be linked to Facebook.
HP has a solid structure in Brazil, after all it was one of the first companies to sell high technology products in the country.But we are talking about PCs, Laptops and printers.Regarding the TouchPad nothing is known yet.
Already the strategy of Apple is quite different.It gives a certain support to its entire product line, and invests heavily in mobile devices (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad).Its assembler is being built in São Paulo, which facilitates the warranty in case of exchange of parts, etc.
Admittedly, these early versions tested are still part of a prototype, but nothing justifies some crashes: applications that do not show the content of emails;Photos that do not appear;Games that lock at all times.Would it be a hardware or operating system problem?
HP should certainly solve these problems in the products offered for sale.
The criticisms made by experts have been harsh.Almost all of them in relation to the lack of applications.
The bet on a proprietary operating system of its own can prove to be a major strategy of the American company.If it does not work, it may also be the end of your tablet.
But we can not be hasty either.HP is a very strong company and may gradually address this lack of applications.For example:providing structure and a good financial return for developers (small or large).Thus gaining a market share not yet exploited by competitors.
But for this HP needs, at the very least, to believe in your product.
On the HP website, TouchPad does not exist.And this may just be a clue that the company does not really believe much in their product.
Even on HP’s hotsite the tablet does not receive the treatment worthy of a great worldwide launch.
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