HP Takes Aim at iPad, Honeycomb with TouchPad

For the second time in just over a month, someone other than Apple held a flashy event to introduce a tablet computer.

This time, it was HP introducing it's new WebOS-powered tablet, the TouchPad. Last month, Motorola introduced the Xoom, powered by Honeycomb, the newest version of Android.

Both new tablets hope to steal market share from Apple, whose iPad is just one year old but is already considered a must-have device by gadget geeks.

HP bought Palm last year to get a foothold in the tablet and mobile space. The company had spent three years building its own tablet, decided it wasn't any good -- so it shelled out $1.2 billion for Palm.

Was it worth it? Here's what critics are saying about the TouchPad, which is expected to hit the market this summer, and doesn't have a pricepoint yet.

  • Silicon Alley Insider's Dan Frommer says the TouchPad is dead on arrival: "While the TouchPad is not a complete disaster -- it looks pretty nice, and seems to have good software -- it is NOT a significant threat to Apple's iPad. We still expect Apple to dominate the tablet market for years to come."
  • But SAI's Matt Rosoff thinks the TouchPad can beat the Android tablets: "Retail distribution. An HP spokesperson explained today that thanks to its huge PC and printer businesses, the company has 8% of shelf space in consumer electronics retailers. That lets HP get the TouchPad in front of millions of customers who are walking through stores like Office Depot and Best Buy."
  • Devindra Hardawar at Venturebeat says the TouchPad exposes an iPad weakness: Poor multitasking. "Unless Apple significantly revamps iOS for the iPad, it's going to be blown away by HP's upcoming WebOS TouchPad tablet when it comes to multitasking. ... The next time a notification interrupts a life or death game of Angry Birds, I may just have to catapult my iPad out the window ... We expect some major software updates from Apple with the next version of iOS, but it's unclear if multitasking on the iPad and iPhone will be improved.
  • Blogger Robert Scoble says the TouchPad exposes Android: "What did HP just do? Showed it can bring some innovations that Apple hasn't yet shipped. Totally made the other, non-Apple players on the board look lame. Made a major Apple fan (me) think twice about buying another iPad."
  • Endgadget provides a handy-dandy chart comparing the features of the major tablets: "Stacked side-by-side, it's clear Apple's entry is lacking a bit in both memory and front-facing camera -- not that we expect that to be the case for all of 2011. When it comes down to it, what'll set these slates apart will be the platforms and the software themselves -- should make for an interesting summer, no?"

What's your take? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Contact Us