Tag Archive | "touchpad"

Changing My Tablet Loadout, Iconia A100 is My New 7 Incher — Video Impressions and Photos

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Early last week, I received my notification that my HP TouchPad order was going to be one of the final production run we have all heard about, and that it was expected to ship in 6 to 8 weeks. This stuck in my craw for a few reasons. I had seen the charge from HP flutter back and forth between pending and then disappear for several days. I thought HP was actually trying to fulfill my order out of current stock. While the TouchPad is a case outside of the norm, my usual schtick is not to let people hold onto funding for an order for product that I am not going to receive for several weeks. When I put my order into the HP Small & Medium Business site during the TouchPad firesale, I originally received a notice of intended shipment two days later, so I thought I was ordering from stock. None of this is to say that I cancelled my TouchPad order because I felt HP had dropped the ball. I cancelled my order because I had lost interest in the TouchPad in the face of not getting it immediately, and I had other issues to deal with as well.

While I was ecstatic at getting HoneyStreak to run on my Dell Streak 7, the experience was not without its issues. HoneyStreak is a custom ROM that implements Android 3.2 Honeycomb on the Dell Streak 7. The major thing that was corrected was my Streak’s constantly dropping Wi-Fi connection, but I also received a boost in battery life. However, I lost a few things like the external SD card reader. Keeping the Streak 7 as part of my kit became called into greater question as the number of apps that I wanted to run as part of my routine were found to be broken or partially functional under the Honeycomb ROM. I experienced problems with Gallery, IMDb, and then Google Books. At the end of the day, the partial functionality of my collection of apps on the Streak 7 went beyond what I was willing to bear. My plan had been to run HoneyStreak on the device until my TouchPad showed up, then replace the Streak 7 with the TouchPad. When the HP date moved 6 to 8 weeks to the right and my problems with the Streak 7 increased, I decided it was time to make a different call.

Before I go any further, let me say that the issues with HoneyStreak were likely not insurmountable. I did not hit the XDA forums to see what issues others were having or what work-arounds had been figured out. For all I know, there was an updated version of HoneyStreak available. DJ_Steve, the code’s primary author, has been curating the build since he got his hands on 3.x earlier this year. However, the demands of school have been increasing, and, for the devices that I am going to employ, there is just not as much time to tinker. Loading the custom ROM was a cool thing to do during one soft-spot in my summer semester schedule, but I could not afford continuing maintenance and tinkering. I needed something stock, which is really where I live anyway. So my conundrum was: a Dell Streak 7 which was borderline unusable with its stock install, a custom ROM load that was not sufficiently functional when interacting with some of my more important (or at least frequent) apps, and the planned replacement suffering a 6 to 8 week delay in delivery.

The decision I made was to first cancel my HP TouchPad order. I decided I would be better off taking that $150 and  putting it towards a device I could get my hands on now. I then ordered an Acer Iconia Tab A100. I was very satisfied with my Acer Iconia Tab A500 so far, so the concept of the same device in a 7-inch form factor was appealing. While I awaited the arrival of the A100 from TigerDirect, I flashed the Streak 7 back to its stock install. Well…almost. I actually replaced some of the image files with some from the Wi-Fi stock install. I am not sure exactly how much difference there is, or if that difference even matters, but I will say that for the short time I had with the Streak 7 after the roll-back, I was no longer seeing the Wi-Fi disconnects that I had been before. I also saw a trend indicating even better battery life than I had seen when the device was running Honeycomb. I can only say that I saw these improvements as trends that hopefully prove to be truly improved functionality on the Streak 7. After the rollback to the stock OS image, I only had about 12 to 14 hours with the device before I handed it off to a potential buyer to demo over the weekend.

You can see and hear some of my early impressions of the Acer Iconia Tab A100 after the first 24 hours of use in the embedded videos below. I do some comparisons between my other two Android tablets, the Motorola Xoom 3G and the Acer Iconia Tab A500. My apologies for the low resolution  and framing. The only thing I had available to shoot video with this weekend was my Sony point-and-shoot camera. I have also dropped some pictures in for viewing. So far, I like what the A100 is bringing to the table in its 7-inch form factor. It is a huge improvement over the Streak 7, and a good compliment to my current set of mobile gear options. I will be posting later short-term and long-term reports as the device gets put to more use.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5qA3KBJ3w0

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r_v3DGsS4o

 

HP Touchpad Demo

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We’ve just had a demo of the HP Touchpad and will be giving you that video later. Smoothness could even be one step up above the Xoom we tested earlier but of course what’s the future for the development ecosystem? Is this range of products good enough to make it work? We’ll head back to see if we can get our own hands on later.

Early Thoughts on the HP Touchpad from Chippy and Thomas

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Thomas and I watched the HP event as close as we could this evening (Credit to Engadget and Twitter!) and I think it’s fair to say that we were both impressed with the might of the announcements. The main event for us was the launch of the Touchpad and after just a few hours of mulling over the specs, hands-on and information, we’ve put some thoughts together for you.

WebOS Touchpad

Chippy Says:

It’s slick, it’s powerful and it’s the underdog. The HP Touchpad, announced today, is getting a lot of support from the online community this evening. Or is it just the bloggers and twitterers going mad to get their early SEO and follower-optimised articles and keywords in?

It’s targeted directly at the iPad with a similar look and, we suspect, a similar price but there are a few differences to point out. Number one, of course, is the operating system. ‘True’ Multitasking (some of the UI features are targeted towards true window-multitasking) and a good track record of usability and speed. It’s an operating system, however, that doesn’t have the application database that the iPad has so it will have to draw users (and devs) in by other means.

  • Webcam
  • Dual-core 1.2Ghz CPU
  • 1GB RAM

Storage, screen, weight, battery and sizing seem very similar to the iPad.

You’ve got the micro-USB port and BT 2.1 of course so at least the OS is more open to physical connectivity and there’s that touchstone technology (if you’ve got both a pre, a touchpad and the touchstone accessory – or is it BT3.0 near-field – you can do some neat tricks too) but that’s about it. The key feature is really the OS brand and the CPU and with the iPad 2 coming up, that CPU advantage is likely to drop away. You’re left with an OS, applications and content choice. Both iOS and WebOS appear to have a productivity angle. Both, to be honest, are going to be slick devices. At the end of the day, the HP Touchpad is going to be for the people that want an iPad, but don’t want an iPad! I doubt many Google users (mail, maps, talk, reader users) are going to be tempted away from Android if it does look less impressive although yes, there’s a growing number of new customers out there still trying to make a decision.

Could pricing be the answer? It has to be in my opinion because unless HP can ramp up a serious amount of devs and apps before launch, it hasn’t got enough to give it long-term momentum.

Thomas Says:

The Touchpad is a very nice looking device, powered by the compelling webOS and backed by one of the worlds biggest PC manufacturers. So, why do I remain sceptical?

Firstly, it’s not about the device, it’s about who uses them. iPhone users are familiar with iOS and are much more likely to choose the iPad. Android users are generally familiar with Android (duh?) and even with the various custom user interfaces I can see Android customers to be more familiar with a Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom or any other Android tablet. The same can be said for any platform,  however this could never useful to HP with the webOS platform in it’s current state, thanks to it’s limited user base.

Secondly, not only did Apple and Google have a large number of users on-board when they announced their tablet platforms, they had developers too. Both Apple and Google can both boast a well stocked application store, something that HP / Palm can not.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish HP every success with their new webOS products, but in terms of tablets your average consumer will only be willing to spend big money if they’re buying the best available product. Much like the early days of Android, users won’t flock to webOS till the platform is right, never mind the product.

I’d say selling the Touchpad in vast quantities will be an upward struggle for HP, unless of course they can keep the pricing down. Buy one Pre 3, get a Touchpad half price - any takers?