HP Touchpad Review & Latest News: $50 Rebate Offered

Just as we got ready to publish this HP Touchpad review, HP announced it’s now offering a $50 instant rebate on the Touchpad. The rebate, according to HP, will be available from today until September 10th, 2011.

Now on with the review:

With the launch of the HP Touchscreen last month, it seems the company is using their major sales feature of a real live touch screen for the so called flagship product.  Touch Screen?  Isn’t that last year’s news?  So what makes HP’s tablet worthy of attention in the market where hundreds of tablets are swirling around the tech world, competing for market status with a lot more than the almost “old hat” touch screen feature?

Well, HP Touchpad boasts a glossy 9.7” “multi-touch” screen, which allows a user to zoom maps, photos and other pages by simply spreading two fingers across the screen diagonally to enlarge the page, or narrowing the finger spread to shrink the image.  In addition, rotating the fingers causes the tablet to turn 90 degrees…

Although Touchpad is similar to the iPad and the plethora of Android tables, there are a few things that promise to put HP Touchpad on the map before long.  It is reported though that a lot of the features promised by HP are labeled “coming soon” and not available on today’s tablet.  So if patience is a virtue practiced by many tech-savvy buyers and past loyalties to the company mean anything, then the tablet is by all means, a tablet-come-lately possibility.

WebOS software that runs Palm Cell phones is the software used to run HP Touchpad but is brand new for tablets and therefore there may not be many apps for this system.  However, HP points out that there are about 300 apps readily available for their Tablet wherein Androids have about 232 currently.

Some apps available on both Touchpad and other Androids are the Kindle app, Pandora and Angry Birds but other popular apps are still not available such as, Flixter or IMDB, Pocket God, etc.  Google apps like Google Mobile, Google Earth or Google Voice are also not available at this time.

It is thicker than the iPad at about .75 “ thick, and somewhat heavier at 1.6 pounds That extra bulk can become uncomfortable if the user is holding it for hours on end.

It includes a camera for chatting but unlike Toshiba’s Thrive™, it does not have a back cam.  It can find its own location through Bing Maps nearby Wi-Fi hot spots but it does not have a real GPS.

The Touchpad battery lasts about 8 hours on a single charge but falls short to the iPad’s 10 hours.  Finally, although Touchpad boasts a warp-speed chip, it is somewhat slow when rotating the screen at about 2 seconds to complete the action.  It is also reported to be a bit slow opening certain apps and animations are sometimes unstable in reaction to uncertain finger swipes.

Price-wise the HP Touchpad is competitive at: $500 for the 16-gig model, and $600 for 32 gigs model.  With the $50 instant rebate that HP just announced, that makes them down to $450 and $550.

Compared to the Thrive™, the other newest tablet on the market that offers three models of 8-gig for about $429, 16-gig at about $479, and 32-gig model at about $529, it would be more the buyer’s interest in features and functionality as deciding factors rather than price.  What’s the better deal?  Buyers decide; reporters just report the facts.

Consumer Expert P. Ellen Manley

I'm a regular person who is passionate about writing... any kind of writing. I used to write short stories as a child. That brought me to a 35 year career as a business writer and instructional designer and developer as well as a developer of user guides, manuals, and instructional classroom aids for corporate trainees.

Upon retirement, I tackled the first item on my bucket list -- to write a novel. It took many months of thought, planning, outlining, and ultimately sitting at the keyboard for months but finally, I did write my novel. So now I'm a regular person and retiree who has reinvented herself as a published author of fiction!

I love researching everything and anything to satisfy many facets of my very curious personality, so it was only natural that I advance that love of research into reporting on the happenings of the day, weeks and months as to what's new on the shopping lists of merchandise buyers for fashion, and technology. Why not add to that, entertainment and the most layered and complex world of music.

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