Three areas where HP TouchPad trumps the iPad
June 29, 2011, 4:20pm PDT | Length: 00:05:08
Naturally, the biggest question about the HP TouchPad is how it stacks up against the iPad. TechRepublic's Jason Hiner explains the three areas where the TouchPad is better than the iPad.
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>> Sound effects The long anticipated HP TouchPad has arrived and of course, the number one question everyone is how it stacks up against the Apple iPad. I'm Jason Hiner of Tech Republic and instead of telling you the areas where the TouchPad has advantages over the iPad, I figured it would be more useful to show you. There are three big ones, and that's what we're going to talk about today.
>> So let's get to it. Number one: Multitasking, especially in email. This one shouldn't come as much of a surprise. If you're familiar with the Palm-Pre smartphone, then one of the biggest strengths of webOS is multitasking. Most mobile operating systems, including Apple's IOS struggle in this department because of the constraints of smartphone screens, battery life and arm processors. However, webOS does it better than any of them with a UI that makes it quick and easy to flip between apps and close apps, a notification system that provides at-a-glance information for messaging, calendars and system info and the ability to quickly interact between multiple apps and multiple windows within the same app. This is especially useful in the email app, where you can compose a new message while jumping back to your inbox to reference a couple other messages. Or even quickly copy and paste from one of those messages into the email that you're composing. Number two: The full web experience; the TouchPad offers web browsing that gets a lot closer to the desktop web experience then the iPad does. A lot of it has to do with flash capabilities but it also handles some of the other web code better then the iPad, even though both are based on web kit browsers. As for flash, I'm not a huge fan of flash and try to avoid it whenever possible, because it's such a resource hog. But there are large swathes of the web that are still based on flash and will be for several more years until HTML 5 becomes the standard. The TouchPad offers a much better flash experience than the buggy flash you'll find on android tablets. But it's not quite as smooth as the excellent flash experience on the 7-inch Blackberry PlayBook. Of course the iPad does not support flash at all. An example of how the TouchPad also works on some sites where the iPad does not is WordPress, the popular blogging tool. The WordPress web interface does not work on the iPad but it does work on the TouchPad. Using the WordPress web interface, I actually started my review of the TouchPad on the TouchPad itself with its expanded virtual keyboard and then continued it when I docked the TouchPad in landscape mode in the wireless docking station and wireless keyboard. Number three: Interaction between tablet and smartphone. The other area where HP has done some solid innovation is in the interaction between tablet and smartphone. Most of the professionals who have a tablet also have a smartphone. And there are times when it gets clumsy and confusing as to when to use which one for which task. HP has addressed this by letting you pair one of its smartphones with the TouchPad. I tested this with the Pre-III and was pretty impressed. It allows you take a call received on your phone and bump it over to the speaker phone on the tablet or take a text message from the phone and bump it over to the tablet's instant messaging app. There's also a feature called "Touch to Share" that lets you take a web page you have open on the TouchPad and share it to the smartphone by simply touching the phone to the tablet. This is fairly rudimentary stuff and its limited just to HP phones, but it's a nice start in bridging these two devices in some meaningful ways. Overall, I think the TouchPad's strength will especially appeal to professionals who want to use the tablet as a productivity device. These are primarily the folks who want to buy their own tablets and then use them for work. The TouchPad isn't perfect. It's a still little laggy once in a while. It's missing some key applications and it will need some better content deals to function as a media device. But it's arguably the most productive tablet yet, and the first one that can serve as a legitimate laptop replacement for professionals on the road. I'm Jason Hiner of Tech Republic, and for more on the HP TouchPad take a look at my full product review and extensive photo gallery of the TouchPad and its accessories. You can also find my blog Tech Sanity Check at sanity.techrepublic.com and you can find me on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonhiner. Thanks for watching. See ya next time. Music
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