The Good The HP TouchPad uses Palm's unique WebOS interface and delivers Adobe Flash-enabled Web browsing, Beats audio enhancement, and impressive compatibility with third-party calendar, messaging, and e-mail services.
The Bad The TouchPad has a thick, smudgy design, offers no rear camera or HD video capture, includes a limited app selection, and its unique cards system of multitasking isn't as fully utilized as it could be.
The Bottom Line The TouchPad would have made a great competitor for the original iPad, but its design, features, and speed put it behind today's crop of tablet heavyweights.
HP could have taken the easy way out. Like many computer manufacturers today, HP could have easily jumped on the Google Android bandwagon, lobbed out a Honeycomb tablet, and called it a day. Instead, through hard work and some key acquisitions (most notably Palm), it set out to create an entire ecosystem of mobile hardware and software that could truly rival Apple's.
The HP TouchPad is one result of this effort. In a tablet market that is more or less split between Apple and Google, the TouchPad offers a refreshing alternative with a distinctly different take on how these types of devices should work, and how users interact with them.
Priced at $499 (16GB) and $599 (32GB) with no option (yet) for cellular data service, the HP TouchPad isn't priced like an underdog. It has the app catalog of an upstart, though, with a selection of native tablet apps that numbers in the hundreds and around 8,000 WebOS apps in total.