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Reviews

Review: HP TouchPad Go 39

by Derek Kessler Tue, 27 Dec 2011 12:02 pm EST

Design:
Smooth and sleek, the TouchPad Go is the original TouchPad, but smaller. It’s an understated kind of look.

Feel:
Solid. And small. The TouchPad Go was clearly designed with Go in mind, it’s the kind of tablet you can throw in a bag and go.


 

8

out of 10

Performance:
It’s fast and relatively stable, a real portable multitasking powerhouse. But is it hampered by a smaller screen?

Quality:
Despite going smaller, HP does not seem to have gone cheaper. The Go is still just as powerful (if not more so), and it certainly feels better than the bigger TouchPads.

The unannounced and never-released TouchPad Go, HP’s 7-inch webOS tablet. Going smaller doesn’t mean you have to compromise.

   The Good

 


Despite having a smaller screen, HP didn’t skimp on the internals. The TouchPad Go is just as powerful, if not more powerful, than every other webOS tablet and every other seven-inch tablet.

   The Bad

 


The TouchPad Go is actually pretty thick for a modern tablet, the cameras both are quite poor, and application support is still lacking in comparison to the competition. Oh, and it never was and never will be released.

   The Conclusion

 


webOS 3.0 actually works at this smaller size without compromise. Seven inches isn’t the perfect size for everything, but for somebody who is traveling around a lot, the size makes a lot more sense than the bigger ten-inch TouchPad. But the fact that this tablet will never see the light of day puts a rather large damper on the party.

Inside this review...

Background

Video Review

Hardware

Display

Cameras

Performance

Audio

webOS 3.0.5

Size

Conclusion

App Review: VoogleXL 8

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Fri, 04 Nov 2011 7:19 pm EDT

Following in the footsteps of their last application under the Voogle banner, webOS World, the creators of Villo.net, have recently pushed out a new app for TouchPad owners, appropriately called VoogleXL. This latest app to grace our TouchPad app catalog is a nice, clean-looking alternative to the GVoice app by Eric Blade, even while it does have some small glitches that could be worked out. At $1.99, it's not only an affordable solution for bringing Google Voice to your TouchPad, but is considered a "Must Have App" time and time again in the reviews by other VoogleXL users.

But how did it hold up in our own tests? Hit the break below to see some screenshots of the app in action and find out if it's a good fit for you.

Category:

Review: White 1.5GHz HP TouchPad 57

by Derek Kessler Tue, 01 Nov 2011 8:18 pm EDT

Design:
Look at your black TouchPad. Imagine the plastic back being white. Tada.

Feel:
Pick up your TouchPad. Same shape. Same weight. Same so-so build quality and body flex.

 

7

out of 10

Performance:
The extra processor oomph barely benefits the expereience.

Quality:
Bang for your buck, it's hard to justify a purhcase of the White TouchPad. It's only marginally better when it should be worlds better.

The HP TouchPad, but in white with more speed. Kinda.


   The Good


The white case isn't a giant display for your fingerprints. And it's faster, by a bit. Most of the time...

   The Bad


If you thought the Pre3 was rare, you should try finding one of these. Desipte the extra processing power there's very little added benefit.

   The Conclusion


Many complaints were lodged about the performance of the original HP TouchPad with its 1.2GHz processor. Subsequent updates to webOS have smoothed over many of those issues, making webOS a generally pleasant experience on the TouchPad. Offering only more storage, 25% more theoretical processing power, and a different color, it's hard to justify the existence of the white TouchPad, let alone purchasing one.

Inside this review...

Background

Hardware

Binning

Performance

White

Conclusion

Category:

Review: HP Pre3 103

by Derek Kessler Mon, 26 Sep 2011 7:32 pm EDT

Design:
Takes Palm’s old river stone obsession and kicks it up a notch. It’s smooth and rounded in a way that makes the original Pre seem clunky.

Feel:
River. Stone. There’s not a single flat surface. The keyboard feels great and responds well and the slider is the most refined we’ve seen from Palm or HP.

 

8

out of 10

Performance:
Finally, a hardware capable of backing up webOS to its full potential. GHz can buy happiness.

Quality:
It’s the best webOS phone we’ve ever seen. It’d be a worthy contender, if only you could actually get one.

The HP Pre3. The best webOS smartphone that never was.


   The Good


webOS finally gets hardware worth of the software, with a 1.4GHz processor running the show. The screen is bigger (but not large by modern standards) and gorgeous, and the build quality is blessedly solid.

   The Bad


Good luck finding one. In typical webOS fashion, there are rough edges and oversights with the software, and the lack of polish can detract from the experience.

   The Conclusion


This could have been the great hurrah for webOS smartphones. The Pre3 could actually have stood a chance against the might of the iPhone and Android behemoths. Instead, it’s not even made it into the arena, let alone the ring. It demonstrates what the Palm team was truly capableof building a great smartphone with the right resources at their backs. Too bad the support wasn’t there too.

Inside this review...

Background

Hardware

Display

Keyboard

Camera

Performance

Audio

Battery life

webOS 2.2

Mojo Apps

Enyo Apps

PDK Apps

Touch-to-Share and TouchPad pairing

Conclusion

Category:

App Review: A1 Tasks Pro 3

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Sat, 17 Sep 2011 10:00 pm EDT

When PreCentral user bedhan asked on a recent comment thread about where to find a great task manager on webOS devices, I knew that we were on the right track. As the first of several task management apps that we'll be reviewing here on PreCentral, I wanted to take a look at my personal favorite, A1 Tasks Pro, and show you guys what is so great about it. While it might not have all of the features that some users, including bedham, might be looking for, A1 Tasks Pro by A1 Development is perfect for people who want to see their progress with each project updated as they finish individual tasks.

App Review: MLB.com At Bat 11 10

by Jonathan I Ezor#IM Wed, 14 Sep 2011 3:57 pm EDT

As the Boys of Summer head towards the Fall Classic, and magic numbers start lowering, baseball fans who want to catch every last minute of the action and pour over every stat and piece of news, will still find At Bat 11 from Major League Baseball's MLB.com a useful addition to their TouchPads. At $4.99 (the app was released in mid-season and its price reflected that fact), it offers a variety of ways for baseball fans to follow their favorite teams and players (and revel in rivals' misfortunes). (Those who aren't fans of U.S. baseball, though, will likely find both this review and the app less than useful.)

At Bat 11 is a TouchPad-only app, with typical Enyo sliders and other design elements. There are three major sections of the app: Scoreboard, News, and Standings. Scoreboard (which updates in real time) offers both summary and full pop-out scores going back to March 31, 2011 (Opening Day for the regular season--preseason stats aren't shown). Tap on a game, and you get a choice of animated Gameday simulations of pitches and hits (archived games offer a wrap-up instead), full box scores, game summaries, video clips and a diagram of the field and players' positions on it.News is just that: stories (including video highlights) and opinion pieces from MLB.com's own staff. Standings is also self-explanatory, with both divisional and Wild Card stats for both leagues.

Category:

App Review: QuickOfficeHD 61

by Jonathan I Ezor#IM Mon, 12 Sep 2011 1:37 pm EDT

The ability to edit Microsoft Office documents on our webOS devices has been promised to us "soon" literally since the original Palm Pre announcement at CES in January 2009. Later, the read-only version of DataViz' Doc Open bundled with earlier webOS devices included a splash screen telling users that that DataViz did "plan to release Documents to Go for webOS," but that plan was apparently derailed by disputes with Palm and ultimately cancelled when DataViz was purchased by RIM. HP (which had purchased Palm) then struck a deal with QuickOffice to bring its reading and editing suite to webOS, and the Pre 2, Veer and TouchPad launched with that app in read-only form, with editing again promised for the near future. When HP cancelled webOS hardware and put the future of webOS overall at risk in mid-August, QuickOffice had still not released the editing version of its webOS application, and users worried that it never would. Happily, QuickOffice finally came throguh on the 2+ year promise by Palm and HP when the free upgrade for editing (called QuickOfficeHD) came to the webOS 3.x TouchPad (though not webOS 2.x phones) on August 29th. We have now had a chance to try it out, and the verdict is mixed.

App Review: incredible! 11

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Fri, 09 Sep 2011 8:58 pm EDT

It has been more than a year in the making, and incredible! is finally ready to hit the catalog. Geoff Gauchet (the developer also known as "Zhephree") has sent us the final version of his social streaming application for the TouchPad to show you what all of the hype is about. He also wanted us to let you know that incredible! is on its way to the webOS App Catalog right now, and should be available within the next few days. This is the very same app that we raised over $1500 earlier this year for, and now we finally get to answer that question, "Was all of the hype worth it?"

HP Pre3 unboxing 159

by Derek Kessler Wed, 07 Sep 2011 6:05 pm EDT

As far as unboxings go, this one’s a little bittersweet. It’s the HP Pre3, and the phone’s release has been so truncated by HP’s decision to cease building webOS hardware that we had to import the phone from the UK. But here it is, with its bigger 3.6” screen and front-facing camera, with its 1.4GHz processor and Touch-to-Share communication coils. With its svelte curvaceous body and fantastic keyboard, the Pre3 is the phone that 90% of the webOS community was longing for, and at long last, it’s here but in a way that hardly anybody can get one.

So… the bittersweet unboxing: it’s actually pretty standard as far as Palm-derived fare goes. The Pre3 uses the same box as the Veer and Pre 2 (losing the angled corner of the Pre and Pixi boxes) and is stacked exactly the same way (phone on top of manuals on top of charger and headphones) as every webOS phone to date. The charger and headphones haven’t changed one bit from the original Pre – still even bearing Palm branding.

The Pre3 itself is nine tenths of a millimeter thinner than the Pre2, though it weighs in at 11 grams (7.5%) heavier than the Pre2.

The front is faced with a single piece of Gorilla Glass, which like the Veer, is ever so slightly curved. The only opening in the glass is a small centimeter-wide slit for the speaker grill, though with the right lighting you can see the front-facing VGA camera and light and proximity sensors to the right. Slide the Pre3 open and you’re greeted with a Pre-style keyboard that’s just a few millimeters wider than its predecessors, but worlds apart. It might not be the holy grail of keyboards (that trophy is permanently installed in Waterloo), but it’s still a marked improvement over its predecessors.

The back of the slider’s top half is faced with the trademark mirror, and the back on the phone is simple enough with a soft-touch black finish punctuated by the 5 megapixel autofocus camera, flash, and secondary microphone at the top and the unnecessarily-wide speakerphone grill at the bottom. The left side of the Pre3 holds the dark chrome volume rocker, with the headphone jack on the top left ringer switch at top right, and the power button wrapping around the corner. A lone Micro USB port punctuates the right side of the phone.

All-in-all it’s an attractive but understated packaged. The Pre3 doesn’t scream sex, but it certainly doesn’t scream ugly. Build quality seems solid, with minimal “Oreo” wobble for how long the slider’s travel rails have to be.

We’ll be putting the Pre3 through its paces over the coming days so we can give you a proper review of the flagship webOS phone that never was. In the meantime, head on past the break for a quick gallery, and of course, the comments.

Category:

Review: Three HP TouchPad sleeves 16

by Jonathan I Ezor#IM Fri, 19 Aug 2011 10:59 am EDT

With HP's announcement that it is discontinuing production and sale of webOS hardware including the brand-new TouchPad, those of us who intend to keep our TouchPads anyway are even more concerned about damage than we were when we thought replacement hardware would be available if necessary. With that in mind, and given that the TouchPad remains a powerful mobile productivity device, perhaps one of these three sleeves (all for sale in the PreCentral Store) may be a good choice. Each offers unique features that will appeal to particular types of users and uses.

(Continue on past the break for the full reviews)