iPad investigate

In defeat, the HP TouchPad turns into a hit

The HP TouchPad's legacy will be unfulfilled potential and going out in a blaze of fire-sale glory. Read Jason Hiner's obituary of Hewlett Packard's short-lived tablet.

When Hewlett-Packard abruptly pulled the plug on its upstart iPad competitor, the HP TouchPad, it looked like a sad ending for a promising product that HP once called a single step in a long journey. However, within 24 hours, HP slashed the price of the TouchPad to $100 and suddenly the product was the hottest thing in tech.

I was as shocked as anyone on August 18 when HP announced that it was committing seppuku on the TouchPad. In June when I met with HP representatives in San Francisco, they were as bullish about their new product as any company I've seen in recent years. They felt confident they had a hit on their hands and they assured me that this was only the beginning of what they were going to do in the tablet market.

"HP is committed to being on this journey for a long time," said one of the TouchPad product leaders.

Once I got my hands on the product in the days before the official launch, I had two reactions. First, I was impressed by how functional it was -- easily the most productive tablet for basic business functions. Second, I was shocked by how bad the hardware and form factor were. With its bulbous, plastic casing, it felt bulkier and cheaper than the original Apple iPad from 2010 -- let alone the slender iPad 2 that had just been released in the spring.

The HP TouchPad just didn't feel very impressive when you picked it up. Plus, once you started using the TouchPad, it became clear that the hardware wasn't always powerful enough to handle the software. And then, there was the issue that it didn't have the entertainment or games that consumers want in their tablets. That led me to predict that gadget reviewers would pan the TouchPad -- and they did -- and consumers would likely reject it -- which they did. Nevertheless, I called the TouchPad an excellent choice for business professionals, and I still stand by that.

The HP TouchPad had potential as a business device. Photo credit: Jason Hiner

Once the TouchPad launched at the end of June, it became clear within the first month that consumers weren't buying. At the same price as the iPad, there was little motivation to purchase a tablet that didn't have the same options in multimedia and third-party apps as the iPad. The superior productivity and Web browsing weren't enough to attract the masses.

By early August, HP slashed the price of the TouchPad by 100 bucks to $400 for the 16GB model and $500 for 32GB. It didn't help. By mid-August, word leaked out that Best Buy was sitting on a huge glut of unsold of TouchPads. Consumers were holding out to see if the price would go any lower, while tech industry watchers were waiting to see what HP was going to say about the TouchPad at the company's Wall Street earnings call on August 18.

Still, no one expected new CEO Leo Apotheker to pull the plug on the whole thing. But, that's exactly what he did. At the earnings call he dropped the bomb, saying, "Our WebOS devices have not gained enough traction in the marketplace with consumers and we see too long of a ramp-up in market share... Continuing to execute our current device approach in this marketplace is no longer in the best interest of HP and HP shareholders."

The move is part of a strategic shift by HP to get away from the computer hardware business and become a software and services company. All WebOS devices are being scrapped and the world's No. 1 computer-maker is looking to spin off its PC business -- that was the other big surprise from HP last week.

The HP announcement immediately turned those unsold piles of TouchPads into $400 doorstops destined to collect dust or get disassembled by a recycler for the scrap metal. However, the next day HP and its retail partners slashed the price of the TouchPad to $100 for the 16GB and $150 for 32GB, and it almost immediately became the hottest product in tech.

There were reports on Saturday of long lines of customers waiting for Best Buy to open so that they could buy the TouchPad. Multiple Best Buy locations reported selling out and not having enough for customers who were ready to buy one (quantities were limited to one per customer). At Amazon, the TouchPad quickly jumped up to grab the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the leaderboard of best-selling tablets.

The meteoric rise in TouchPad demand after the big price cut tells us a couple things -- 1.) The public saw value in the TouchPad, just not at the same price as the iPad, and 2.) There's still a wide open opportunity for a low-cost tablet maker to sneak in with a viable product and grab a lot of market share.

As for the TouchPad itself, this whole dramatic fiasco pretty much guarantees that it will become a popular tech trivia question and possibly even a cult favorite among technology collectors in the future. That's fine, but I'll admit that I liked it better as a product that could have potentially moved tablets in a more productive direction.

Also read

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

72 comments
GreyGeek77
GreyGeek77

If the HP TouchPad was worthy of fire-sale prices wouldn't HP's desktops, laptops, notebooks and netbooks be as worthy? They won't have any more or less support than HP's tablet, although they will be able to run Windows or Linux and take advantage of apps available under those platforms.

donstrayer
donstrayer

History shows that mediocre technoglogy often wins the battle for market share. I'm not saying that the Touchpad and WebOS were superior since I never used one. But look at numerous examples. Beta was killed by inferior VHS in analog video tape. IBM claimed the early PC market although their product had no advantages other than the IBM reputation and acceptance in the business world. MicroSoft claimed the PC OS market although MS-DOS was inferior to CP/M. Digital Equipment Corporation had arguably the best mini-computer technolgy and was once the number 2 computer company behind IBM. I once heard a Gartner analyst say that DEC was a great engineering company but they'd market sushi as cold, dead fish. How true. Compaq bought DEC and killed their great technology, such as the VAX architecture, OpenVMS, and the Alpha chip. HP bought Compaq and all but killed the Compaq brand and technology. Now HP is moving toward the service and consulting market, as IBM did, and killing or spinning off products that don't fit that model and don't have market share, no matter how good those products are. I guess we consumers get what we deserve. When we go for trendy flash and mediocrity, that's what we get.

aiellenon
aiellenon

I would have bought several of them to give as holiday gifts this year, but did not hear about it (I was out of town without a tablet or computer available, except one pc I was cleaning viruses off of all weekend) until monday late afternoon. kind of upset about the issue. I guessed they would cut prices again, but was expecting a $200/$250 or $250/$300 price point.

tripplec
tripplec

HP was clearing some via GREYTECH.COM yesterday while they lasted. I order the 32GB model since there is no SD support or other memory options for storage.

pikeman666
pikeman666

So you get some bit of gadgetry that has been panned by critics, won't have new aps, and may not ever have source code released to public domain. It still costs more money than I will throw away. And when it breaks you can't get it fixed. And now it's a "hit"? And they lose $206 on every one that's sold? Why don't you write something about how wonderful the deals are at the junkhouses where you can get orginal iMacs for $29? Or surplus Dell Optiplex with Pentium IVs? And as far as HP "the company" goes, the whole lot of directors VPs and morons who spent billions on this fiasco ought to be fired.

darrenhowe
darrenhowe

Yes, the design was outdated before it even hit the shops and yes, surely, whoever signed off on a product that wasn't even going to be as sleek and attractive as the original iPad - let alone the sleeker, more attractive iPad2 that they knew would be hitting the shelves at a similar time to their own product launch - probably needs to rethink his/her career choice. But ask yourself one thing, "Would such an epic fail have been as likely if the consumer hadn't also been asked to put faith in yet another alternative OS?" If recent history has proved anything, it's that the consumer electronics market can only really support TWO main operating systems. If Bill Gates & Co had got their way that number would probably be ONE, but luckily Apple dragged themselves out of the mire just in time to rebuild market share with OS X. They then leapfrogged that achievement by virtually reinventing the idea of a mobile OS when they launched the first iPhone. Google then pulled off a field-length touchdown pass with Android, grabbing so much alternative market share so quickly. Blackberry, unsurprisingly, has been feeling the pinch, but has such a large installed user base that they have a justified reason to press on and defend that market share. So with a OS giant such as Microsoft already scrambling to wedge themselves into fourth place, just what did HP think was going to be so groundbreaking about another - proprietary - OS, that it would make people want to invest in a piece of hardware that had neither price point, nor feature set, to boast about? In such a tough and ridiculously fast-paced market, they chose to fight two major battles (hardware and OS) when they could have fought just the one (hardware) and also increased their strength by joining forces with either Google or Microsoft, and licensing the OS.

paul
paul

I looked at buying one, just to be a surfing applicance, but it looks like I missed out. It was never going to be a competitor to the iPad, but $99/??89 is a good price for a hand-held web browser.

anysia
anysia

They were no longer for sale. And then, by the time I got to Harvey Norman they all gone. I was rather miffed,a s I wanted this tablet so I could port my Palm programs over to it. I swear, HP bought Palm only to put them out of business and to seriously piss consumers off.

TsarNikky
TsarNikky

It was so thoughtful of HP to not tell computer users of their new philosophy of getting out of the consumer hardware marketplace. The end result is that those of us who bought scanners, printers, or other hardware with the thought (now totally wrong) that HP would be around to support them, have been abandoned and are left with "orphans." Having been shafted twice, they don't get a third time.

sharpear
sharpear

Is this what they renamed the HP Slate to? I was hoping for much better out of the HP slate to see this crumble to pieces. HP has never been good with supporting a product, but if I can finally get my hands on one I would like to see what their WebOS was about.

Sdiaz57
Sdiaz57

I'm one of those guys who lived the change 30+ years ago when the first calculators arrived. Pretty soon the HP 25c took the leadership as one of the best calculators, followed with other models like the HP41c. At that time HP was recognized as one of the best brands in technology. It surprises me a lot the anouncement the HP wants to drop of the hardware business, when HP born was related with hardware. To me, it's clear the company has undergone a severe lack of direction and puts it's future in high risk. I as an ex-loyal consumer see the company isn't worth anymore and I'm sad of that since HP was part of my professional life. Personally I believe the stockholders are not technolgy enthusiast and leaders as Steve Jobs while they approved the catastrophic direction of Leo Apotheker which resulted worst than Carly Fiorina.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

Most thought it was an expensive e-reader, but it is a computer. The iPAD does no more than suffle papers. The HPpad could due your taxes. Yes you could most likely do your taxes on a iPAD, but it is not much different than a pencil and paper. You could not get one to use H&R Block software to find your deductions. The HPpad could. Most just wanted a iPAD clone at cheaper prices, just so they could fit in the idiotic IN big wig class of Students with no brains just fancy shirts with fancy logos on the chest. And that is all the Apple Dork class are. They may be the first to invent but those brains have wealthy paychecks. The Apple Dork group only where the shirt with the iconic upper class logos on them. I got into the computer croud when the Intel 4004 was arriving.

mwclarke1
mwclarke1

I am holding out for a more robust linux version tablets, current ones are great but waiting to see what is next. Do not never want any WebOS, Windows OS version on a mobile device, support and updates are usually terrible, And not going down the i anything road

elangomatt
elangomatt

I am still hoping that Amazon will be that first viable low-cost tablet option. They need to hurry up and get it to the market though, the longer the wait, the less chance I think any new product in this market will have a chance.

mjc5
mjc5

The HP Pad story is the reason to buy Apple. For all the hoopla and iPad and iPhone killer this and that - Apple isn't going to suddenly stop production, drop the remaining units price to almost nothing, then decide they are getting out of the hardware business altogether.

wnematollahi
wnematollahi

I'm with mckinnej. Once HP separated what is now Agilent, they went down the tubes. They have been building devices with inferior hardware for years. After the horrible HP PC and printer we bought in '99, we will never buy another HP product. HP will go out of business, as they should, and Apotheker and his cronies will collect their golden parachutes as rewards for incompetence, hatchet work, disingenuity, or some combination thereof.

mckinnej
mckinnej

I've never been a big fan of HP since they spun off their test equipment division (which was how the company got started), but their recent actions seem downright irresponsible to me. Their consumer PCs were generally adequate for typical users, but loaded with excessive crapware. They're on my "avoid at all costs" list now.

Virgil Tracy-Island
Virgil Tracy-Island

Most of the people I know who are buying at about 120 GBP here in the UK for the 32Gb model are gadgeteers who can't wait to start hacking it for Linux/Android. I think that tells you more about theTouchPad's failure to launch. Price and form factor, yes, but a lot had to do with the perception of WebOS.

mfa
mfa

...They're charging $375 for the 32GB this morning...

richvball44
richvball44

would people part with up to $150 worth of product that won't be supported by the vendor or have any applications written for it??? Were they really selling ?? If we are in a down economy it doesn't make sense for people to throw their $$ at something that is obsolete before they even buy

elangomatt
elangomatt

As far as I understand, they are trying to spin that part of the company off into a separate company. I think they want to do something similar to what IBM did with their Thinkpads. IBM no longer makes the Thinkpad, but they sold that part of the company off to Lenovo who now makes thinkpads. Presumably, the support of current products would also go to whatever company buys the PC part of the company.

GreyGeek77
GreyGeek77

I started writing software professionally in 1978. Since then I have seen some very outstanding tools and products fall by the wayside because their creators did not have enough ad money or they weren't willing to lie about their creation to counter the exaggerations and lies told by their competitors. Unfortunately, many of those companies with sufficient ad money and a willingness to lie, or do other illegal and/or unethical acts, rise to the top. Especially those willing to bribe Congress.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

You could not pay me the original retail price to take that piece of MAC garbage. Now if you paid me that amount each week I could put uop with the smell. As you can tell I'm not a per-programmed or brain washed MAC-head. But I did use a 6502 in my Atari 800 8bit computer back last century.

seanferd
seanferd

At least, not with the leadership it had at the time. What happened is U.S. American Business Practices.

bwexler
bwexler

Sdiaz57 I agree with you my first HP was the 67 I got for my son. Next 22c business calculator. Then the 37 and 38 were junk. I had my HP 12C for over 20 years. First HP Laserjet (the original) is probably still working. I no longer have an HP calculator or printer. I to believe it is is sad to see the demise of a once great company.

adolf
adolf

You think you are smarter than anyone else, don't you? How comes you don't know how to spell.

GreyGeek77
GreyGeek77

I was thinking about getting a iPod Touch 4th Gen to see what all the excitement was about. Unexpectedly, I was given one as a gift last Xmas. Not having 3G I soon learned how uncommon public wifis are, slow or fast. I also learned how slow and painful a virtual keyboard on a 4" screen is to use. Dragon helped, but it doesn't cut & paste in to every other app. If you have big hands and/or fingers, or have shakes due to age or other causes, the virtual keyboard is virtually impossible to use. I can use it as an e-reader under certain conditions, the pro radar weather map is decent, it makes a great internet radio receiver (for 5 to 6 hours, longer if you turn off the wifi and notification services), and my five and 10 year old grandsons think it is a great game machine -- Angry Birds, Sharks, road racing, shuttle landing, etc. I keep it charged up for them, when they come to visit. My son got a 10" iPad. The virtual keyboard is bigger ... almost acceptable. Other than that it's like my iPod.

GreyGeek77
GreyGeek77

Take a look at Acer's Iconia A500, which sells at Amazon for $466. 10.1" 1 GHz Dual core CPU with 1GB of RAM, not single core with 512MB. 16 or 32 GB storage Wifi 2 USB ports (can use a removable HD) Bluetooth mini-HDMI port Android OS v3.1 3260 mAhr battery for up to 7 hours of life 5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash 2 MP secondary camera GPS Accelerometer, Gyro up to 32GB microSD 800 x 1280 pixels, 10.1 inches multi-touch stereo speakers easily rooted and more... It's not an iPad2 but at almost half the price it can do things the iPad2 can't.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

Could it be that he started feeling wrong about feeding the public all this Apple crap, and he no longer wanted to brain wash the buyers that he was the Computer God.

GreyGeek77
GreyGeek77

You never know. Jobs is ill and may not be long for this world. Meanwhile, Wikipedia shows that Apple has recently discontinued the following products: * iPod 1st Generation (scroll wheel, mechanical buttons) * iPod 2nd Generation (touch wheel, mechanical buttons) * iPod 3rd Generation (touch wheel, touch buttons) * iPod 4th Generation (click wheel) * iPod 5th Generation (click wheel, larger screen) * iPod U2 Special Edition (monochrome 4G, color 4G, and 5G) * Harry Potter 20 GB Collector's iPod (color 4G and 5G) * iPod photo * iPod+HP (sold by HP) * iPod mini 1st Generation (grey labels) * iPod mini 2nd Generation (color labels) * iPod shuffle 1st Generation (USB connector) * iPod shuffle 2nd Generation * iPod shuffle 3rd Generation * iPod nano 1st Generation (black and white) * iPod nano 2nd Generation (aluminum) * iPod nano 3rd generation (aluminum) * iPod nano 4th generation (aluminum) * iPod nano 5th generation (aluminum) * iPod Hi-Fi * iPod touch 1st generation * iPod touch 2nd generation * iPod touch 3rd generation *iPhone (original) all models *iPhone 3G all models *iPhone 3GS 16gb & 32gb models *iPad (original) all models Apple's plan appears to be similar to Microsoft's: get consumers onto the product treadmill by a constant stream of updates, dropping support for discontinued devices. And, once they are customers treat them like mushrooms. This is because essentially all corporate business models these days are premised on the idea of "growth", and not just monotonic or geometric growth, but exponential growth, i.e., making the most profit in the least amount of time. It is a model which can not but lead to periodic boom and busts, and we just happen to be in one of the worst, of not the worst economic bust since some speculators met under a tree in colonial America.

blarman
blarman

Those who know more history on HP will point out that HP's descent began with the hiring of Lou Platt - predecessor and mentor of Carly Fiorina. Under Platt, HP's manufacturing and product development began to be less of a focus. It was under Platt's tenure that things like the HP internal purchase program (which allowed employees to purchase HP equipment at cut-rate prices) was terminated. Further, it used to be the policy of HP that profit-sharing was quarterly and it went to every employee - down to the janitors. Platt started cutting that program back to just the Managers, and Fiorina restricted it to VP's. They also did away with the division picnics: huge field days with games for the kids and tons of free food and ice cream sponsored by HP every year. These two also cut way back on R&D. When Hewlett and Packard ran HP, R&D ran 12% of the gross revenue of HP. By the time Carly was ousted it was below 2%. Instead of the HP-standard 5-year warranties on products such as hard drives, HP turned into a consumer electronics manufacturer and cut its warranties to one year, reducing its quality as well. And instead of hiring and retaining only the best, they began laying those top minds off. My father worked for HP for 22+ years and I worked there for almost 8. The company that my father worked for is long gone, and the tech industry is worse off because of it.

Al_nyc
Al_nyc

I recently bought a high end HP laptop. When I got it and started to use it I quickly found out that some idiot decide to put the touch pad off center from the keyboard. That means my palm kept hitting the touch pad and that caused the cursor to jump around. I called them up and returned it, even after they offered me a discount to keep it. It's as if they didn't test the computer before releasing to the public.

danekan
danekan

they're fulfilled and shipped by amazon, but they aren't actually selling them. it's like going on ebay but ebay is shipping it to you.

maj37
maj37

Actually Amazon doesn't appear to be selling them at any price. When I looked all of the units were from Amazon sellers not Amazon itself, and Amazon doesn't control those prices.

danekan
danekan

i can't imagine it'll be too long before Android is available for this device... (though I question how stable a "home brew" Android project can be). There are tons of uses out of the box though.. e-reader is mentioned often. You can't buy a digital picture frame these days for $100 with wifi... go out and look, kodak sells similarly spec picture frames for $200... i've used it for skype, it works decently well... There is an app catalog that's actually quite extensively stocked, there are thousands and thousands of apps... and HP pretty makes it very easy to hack into developer mode so you can add pretty much any home brew anything you want, it really couldn't be easier. In 10 minutes I was able to add in and download a third party app downloader that has about 500 more programs available (many of which are of use to me). I can see this working out really well for someone that's older who may not need a full computer or full Also as far as the performance... it's all in the software. The processor on this is actually faster than the Ipad though. There is a tip out there on the web to disable some of the extra logging HP added in, it does very extensive logging on a constant basis. For most users that's just not necessary and would free up some resources.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Jason hit the nail on the head. The HP TouchPad is functional and extremely productive for basic business functions. It's form sucks. Pricing it in the iPad range was like trying to sell a Jeep Wrangler at Ferrari prices. Only an idiot would buy a substandard tech HP when you could get everything you dreamed of in an Apple for the same price. And it makes a nice cheap ebook reader. But just because you can't win a Grand Prix with a Jeep Wrangler doesn't mean it won't work, and work wonderfully, toodling around town picking up groceries or even going 4 wheeling once in a while. You drive it until the warranty runs out, or it breaks beyond fixing. And considering the hobbiest potential, they might be fixing them for a long time. Certainly just throwing them away when they fail would be stupid; not when you can put them up as broken on eBay for people to part out.

wilback
wilback

I don't know if I'd go for the $150 32GB model, but for $100 for the 16GB you get an e-book reader, something that can handle basic web surfing, play flash videos, and handle your email. None of these things should require any significant upgrade or support for at least the next couple years. Even in this depressed economy there are still a lot of people who consider $100 an impulse buy worth taking a chance on. Much longer shots might be that HP sells the WebOS division to somebody who will support the ecosystem, or they might open source the project. Maybe they might release enough info on the hardware to allow somebody to put android on it.

GreyGeek77
GreyGeek77

Possibly, but HP is demonstrating that their profit margin in the PSG isn't large enough, so who would buy the spin-off? China already has enough manufacturing capacity, even if all they had to do was replace the "HP" logo on the buildings with one of their own. Perhaps HP isn't going to be the last to get out of the PC business. If so, the last company or two standing will have a monopoly which will allow them to raise the price on their desktops and laptops, two devices that enterprises around the world still believe are essential in their offices. I have seen clerks type at well over 100 words per minute on keyboards, but not on virtual keyboards.

GreyGeek77
GreyGeek77

"How comes"??? ROF, LLLLLL Pot, meet kettle. Actually, the OP knows the difference between "due" and "do". And, it is also obvious that while typing he didn't hit the "S" key hard enough. "dumbies" and "croud" are ... unexplainable, unless he was using phonetics. Besides a personal attack against the OP, what is the purpose of your post?

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

Spelling has always been some thing I've never been good at, I do have a bias against Apple, ever since the Atari ST. Atari paid Xerox for GEM, Apple just copied (aka stold use of the GUI interface). But Atari lost due to investing in the video game battle with Nintendo. And is it not Apple Geeks whom thumb there nose at any thing not Apple. I do not say the current Apple is a theif, they have invested much in what they have now. It is just that is how they started. As for brains, lets see if you had your skull split open by a drunk drivers car, lost all memory, and at the age of 29 have your brain be much like day one from birth. I do not say I'm smart, I just let people figure that out for themselves buy my actions and knowledge.

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

Try to get any technical support from this throw-away manufacturer. Believe this, while I won't be laughing at their response to you, you will certainly feel that they are.

elangomatt
elangomatt

Thanks for pointing out the Iconia A500, but at $466, I am not sure how you figure that it is half the price of the iPad2. Even if you go with the highest priced iPad2 (with a 3G connection) this isn't even half that price ($829). The base model of the iPad2 is not much more than this tablet at $499. I am looking to Amazon to release something in the sub $300 range (probably $299), at which point the people that picked up netbooks a few years ago will start thinking a cheap tablet is a good idea.

mjc5
mjc5

So, does IBM still make the PS/2? Do you even think I was trying to compare older Mac technology with the Touchpad, which was almost instantly abandoned? Apples and oranges.

sharpear
sharpear

@greygeek77 They may have discontinued making the products, but they are all still supported by Apple. Its just pointless to keep producing an older model when a newer model is going to be priced the same expense to them with updated Hardware. Where ever you got that Wiki article needs updated because there is a difference to Discontinuing a product and dropping support. The key point with Apple was selling the ACPP (Apple Care Protection Plan) Lifetime warranty on support for a product (I know because I sold a lot of them with my time at Apple and is the main selling point I gave to customers on why they should get it for the Ipods). I still have a 1st generation Ipod that I send in from time to time since I don't care for it as much and gets banged around. They have tried to replace the device for a newer model, but it's something I complain that I wanted my model back because when they give you the new one they don't change over the ACPP. If your serial number comes back on your Ipod or Iphone of Ipad different you need to make sure that the ACPP was switched over or they will attempt to collect again saying you don't have one. Its why I keep a list of all my product Serial numbers along with original boxes and receipts.

sboverie
sboverie

Interesting comments regarding the upper corporate mindset. On one hand, the product improvement cycle helps improve designs but on the other hand the older products are still usable but limited compared to current and future product offerings. On the gripping hand, the problem is expectations of growth that defy the business cycle. The expectations that the corporate execs have a special talent that justifies pay and benefits even when the corporation is loosing revenue due to the decisions of that talent. This is a current mind set that will set itself up on the expectations that growth can be continuous.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

The company your father worked for is still there - They just renamed themselves "Agilent" when they ejected the computer-printer side of the business. When that split occurred, they got the name - because it was already a well-known name with their consumer market, a market famous for buying "down to a price". Agilent got a new name, and kept building products "up to a standard". Probably just as well that they split up; the two aren't very compatible, philosophy-wise.

GreyGeek77
GreyGeek77

All the cut backs you mention, finally ending all the "saved" money going into the pockets of upper management and large stock holders, is symptomatic of the greed that controls essentially all corporations these days. The people at the top rape the company and its employees for their own short term benefit. The affects spread right up to the stock market -- the thinking is that if a little greed is good a lot of greed is better. HP's move to the software and services business model says more about the use of patents to make quick bucks suing folks who actually produce hardware and software creatively using patents that are so vague they could read on ringer washing machines.

danekan
danekan

on recent models i've seen, their touch pad is off center with the KB as a whole, instead it's centered to be directly below the keyboard. as in, it's not in the center of the laptop, but it's centered with the qwerty aspect of the keyboard by being below the space bar ... (the keyboard itself has an extra row of keys on the right for page up/down/etc/arrows... whereas dell puts these on an extra top row of the KB instead of on the right) We have hundreds of them this way and i've never heard anyone complain about that, but it's an interesting point that I've never even noticed. What I have noticed is 3/4 laptops I deploy from HP all have some random, often unreproducable, problem that nobody else has. The simultaneous rollout of Win7 has a lot to do with it, but not everything, there are without question completely random hardware issues on this platform that I've seen. (Elitebook 8440p is what I have the most of right now)

tkejlboom
tkejlboom

Android and WebOS are pretty shells on top of Linux. You don't get much more homebrew than that.

jaygee_z
jaygee_z

I'v e played with one, and i don't get the exteremly productive line as compared to iPad, or Android. Limited apps make productivity limited as well. Everybody has email, contacts, and web. No office for the touchpad (unless you count google docs). No remote terminal. What are people basing productivity on that the touchpad has, and the iPad / Androids do not have ?

danekan
danekan

my SO and i bought 2 at best buy... we were literally the first in the store after their press release saying they were selling them, but they still didn't have any 16 gb in stock so we got 32. considering there's no expansion slot, I thought it to be a good idea regardless. i think I actually bought 3, but 2 we got in person at best buy and one is pending w/ officemax still. I have plenty of friends who are wanting it now at the price paid. I'd buy a few more at that price if I could in fact, they're selling for double on Ebay, and actually moving.

elangomatt
elangomatt

Higher desktop prices might actually be good for the market overall. HP is getting out because the profits are so razor thin. Fewer players would reduce competition and allow profit margins to rise a bit. The higher profits would make it more attractive to become a seller again and at the very least, higher profits would keep the big players in the market. Desktops and laptops will never go away, but gone are the days when those formats will be on the forefront of the computer business.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

To say I do not like Apple, and never have. And as for my errors it is just to prove I'm not perfect, some may say far from it. I'm just trying to do my best when they said I'd be lucky to get past 3rd grade education with the damage to my brain. They did many PET scans to learn as much as they could. And the PET scanner was what my brother use to build along with NMR and Ultrasound scanners before he joined Lockheed Martian building Mars spacecraft. I taught him how to use computers in the 70's.

james.vandamme
james.vandamme

So why didn't they just put some nice clean distro on it? Ubuntu Unity would have been fine, and 34,785 apps might have been enough. They could have sold thousands at $300, millions at $200. Oh wait, this is HP.

Jonas Christoffersen
Jonas Christoffersen

I havent seen the HP TouchPad, but use my iPad all the time for work. I couldent dream of using it to write a longer document or even Terminal Services. We do have a product that can use RDP to create a remote Desktop session to my Office PC but Windows in traditional Office use and a Touchscreen with a small keyboard just dosent work well together. We use the iPad for Meetings, email and calender making short notes and reading documents and presentations all that kind of thing. So if you look ad a TouchPad or any tablet for that matter to rival or compare to your desktop, you will always be disapointed.

tkejlboom
tkejlboom

Touchpad has way way way better e-mail, especially for exchange integration. I use the Xoom for my work and play and the Touchpad for work e-mail, calendar, schedules, coordinating meetings... blah blah

jwhite
jwhite

Why in gods name does Jason still "stand behind" his recommendation for this shoddy product for "business users" when it was still $400-500 at that point? What is the rationale there? It seems to duplicate the iPad's feature set in only a couple of areas - poorly! For the same price! I can see the value of the device at $100, but I still think this reflects poorly on Jason's opinion - or was HP advertising on TechRepublic at the time? Anyone know?