That’s For the Win, for those not knowing shorthand. I looked that up a while ago as well. Anyway, why not ‘for the win?’ I heard such great things about the Linux-based WebOS operating system that HP uses. If you recall, when HP bought Palm, they acquired the OS used, WebOS. Many people regularly sing the praises of WebOS. After spending some time with the HP Touchpad, I am not one of them.
It started right away. Much like the way an iPad locks you down, you cannot activate/turn on the Touchpad until you create an HP account and connect to wireless. So in the office we have APs with a pre-shared key and a guest access with a browser authentication. After an hour, I finally conceded that I could not use either for initial setup. Ugg! So I took it home. Finally, after 30 additional minutes, it worked. Ok, so one VERY LARGE strike for the HP. It should NOT take that long to activate the device.
So I started playing around with it. Of course it comes with the basics apps. It uses Bing Maps instead of Google, but I do like Bing’s implementation of ‘Bird’s Eye’ maps in competition to Google’s Street View. Very cool. So that ends the good things I liked. It was not until day two I found the ‘button’ that would help me navigate around. Yes, I know–read the directions…but things should be more intuitive than finding something a day later. I also struggled to get apps closed. WebOS uses a panel where all your apps slide back and forth. I tried and tried and tried to close apps so I would not need to scroll through lots of open apps. Did not find out how. Someone in the office did eventually figure out that you flick them up, like the Palm phones, and not all can be closed, BUT intuitiveness beware…WebOS is not intuitive.
The Touchpad itself felt heavy compared to the Samsung Galaxy 10, even the Acer Iconia, which was heavy in its own right. It comes more like a square than rectangle as well, which is a weird shape to hold. Overall, we decided that we will not further entertain WebOS. If they do not iron out some of these usability issues, I think WebOS will go away very quickly.