6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

First Look: HP TouchPad

About Video Transcript

First Look: HP TouchPad

2:29 /

HP's TouchPad is an interesting new challenger to the iPad, but mediocre design and limited features hold back its potential.

Hey, I'm Donald Bell and this is the HP TouchPad. It's a tablet that runs Palm's webOS and uses a 9.7-inch screen just like the iPad, and the price is the same with the 16-gigabyte model going for $499 and a 32-gigabyte model going for $599. The hardware itself isn't that impressive. The thick, glossy design feels a little like a slippery imitation of the original iPad, and if finger smudges ick you out, you should know that the back of this thing looks like a crime scene just minutes after you take it out of the box. Also, there's no camera on the back, though you do get one on the front. Personally, I'm fine without it, but it's something that every other tablet offers that's in this price range. Now, there are some hardware tricks that are pretty cool. There's an optional dock that can charge the tablet regardless of how it's placed. HP also sells a Bluetooth keyboard if you prefer typing on something with real keys, and if you have one of HP's phones like the Pre 3, you can physically touch the devices together and transfer information. It's pretty cool. Really, though, it's the software that makes this tablet unique. If you're looking for something beyond the iPad or Android, this is one of the few options out there that really approach the tablet from a different point of view. One of the main differences is the home screen which is treated like a desktop. Each open task is represented as a stack of cards which you can rearrange or throw away. What's interesting is that the stacks here aren't specific to each app, it's specific to each task, so you can be reading an e-mail, opening up web links, and those e-mail and web pages are all gonna be stacked together as a single task. If you want, though, you can pull aside separate e-mails or pages by dragging them out of the stack and treating them as a separate task. It's a neat trick, and for some it's really gonna feel like a more natural way to manage your work on a tablet. One other thing that makes the TouchPad unique is that it makes a real effort to be compatible with a wide range of services. On the Accounts page, you can link the TouchPad to everything from Facebook to Skype, Dropbox, AIM, and lots more. Those linked accounts are integrated right into the apps that you'll use them with, so your photo app will pull in your Snapfish account, the messaging app will pull in your Google Talk account, and the calendar will fold together your Facebook and Google events and it all just works together. So that's a brief look at the HP TouchPad. For more details, be sure to read my full review on CNET.com.

New releases

McLaren P1: Harbinger of the hybrid supercar revolution (CNET On Cars, Episode 58)
23:31 30 January 2015
McLaren P1 on the track and on the street, CNET Style. How engines get their names and what it means. Also: CNET's Top 5 cars of last...
Play video
The LaCie Mirror is perfect for narcissists
2:14 30 January 2015
CNET editor Dong Ngo totally likes what he sees when looking at the one-of-a-kind LaCie Mirror portable drive. And that's because (you...
Play video
Rid your Android quick settings menu of oddball toggles
1:17 30 January 2015
CNET's Dan Graziano shows you how to fix one of the most annoying features in Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Play video
Beats Pill XL: Bigger Bluetooth speaker justifies its premium price
1:25 30 January 2015
We weren't such big fans of Beats' original Pill, but the company's jumbo-sized model is well designed and performs much better.
Play video
Facebook using beacons to show location 'tips'
2:50 30 January 2015
Social network's new app feature sends location tips to your feed using GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth beacons. Meanwhile, your home Internet...
Play video
Testing out 'Insane Mode' in the Tesla P85D, Ep. 190
4:28 30 January 2015
This week we get all nostalgic with the Prynt smartphone case that makes your iPhone work like a Polaroid camera, we learn some scary...
Play video
Nvidia G-Sync is a smooth move for PC games
3:01 30 January 2015
The right graphics card and a G-Sync monitor can make games look better.
Play video
2015 Honda Fit EX-L
5:12 30 January 2015
The third-generation Fit no longer looks like the cheapest way to build a car. Brian Cooley takes it for a spin and finds out if its...
Play video