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HP TouchPad vs Apple iPad 2

Posted: , posted by John V.


Interface and Functionality:

Being on the cutting edge of technology, both tablets are undoubtedly modernized with their dual-core processors – it’s a 1GHz Apple A5 CPU with the iPad 2 and a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with the TouchPad.  Right off the bat, the iPad 2 shows off its more responsive performance and doesn’t really stutter to a crawl at any point. Oppositely, the HP TouchPad works great when it’s actually being cooperative, but it doesn’t exude the same fluidity to match the iPad 2. Moreover, we experience some random bouts of slowdown, lock ups, choppiness, and crashes with the TouchPad’s webOS 3.0 platform. Overall, there’s no kidding that these two are powerful enough to handle just about anything handed to them, but the iPad 2 takes the edge in terms of general responsiveness.

Visually, the two opposing platforms aren’t built from scratch, but rather, they employ the same look and feel of their smartphone counterparts – while still being optimized for the tablet medium. To tell you the truth, we absolutely love the straightforwardness and simplicity offered by iOS and webOS – but even more when they have very low learning curves. However, webOS 3.0 incorporates more gestures with its operation and keeps things flowing with its engaging experience.

Going for so long without multi-tasking, it’s definitely refreshing nowadays to find a form of it available with Apple’s iOS – and even though it works with the iPad 2, it’s not the best implementation we’ve seen. Knowing that, we have to applaud HP for its take on the ubiquitous task of presenting a sensual experience with multi-tasking on the TouchPad. In fact, we like its more dynamic and engaging approach, while seamlessly works with other elements like its cards system and stacking feature. Ultimately, multi-tasking in webOS 3.0 isn’t an astoundingly new experience, but when you compare it to iOS, it’s by far higher up in the totem pole.

In addition, the notifications system with webOS 3.0 is fashionably preferred since it’s unobtrusive and accessible via the status bar. In comparison, iOS has by far been notoriously resistant to change seeing that it utilizes the same exact notifications system that’s been available with the platform since day one. Thankfully, this will be fixed with iOS 5.

Speedy typers will undoubtedly love the instantaneous response with the iPad 2’s on-screen keyboard, but we do like that the webOS 3.0 keyboard features the convenience of a dedicated row for numbers. Besides that, our speed can sometimes be limited with the TouchPad mainly because it’s marred by random delays that can be rather frustrating at times. And even though both on-screen keyboards present suitable layouts to make it comfortable to type, we prefer the more consistent and stable experience of the iPad 2 by far.

On the surface, their respective email apps might appear to be the same in terms of layout, but the iPad 2 actually features a tiered format, while the TouchPad relies on a three-panel interface. Nonetheless, they’re both functional at their core in viewing and composing emails, but the TouchPad’s useful organization with its rearrangeable presentation is indeed preferred. However, it’s rather strange to find the TouchPad missing out on features like threaded conversations and the ability to multi-select messages, which are increasingly becoming standard amongst email clients with most devices.

Placing our attention on their organizer apps, there isn’t anything drastically different between the two. Interestingly though, we like how Synergy plays a crucial role in bringing together some of the TouchPad’s core apps – like having access to social networking profile information within the address book. With the calendars however, there’s no denying the amount of unused space found with their layouts, but the iPad 2 manages to separate itself a little bit with its organized looking day view.

Internet and Connectivity:

As we mentioned already, the iPad 2 radiates a more responsive performance with its general operation, but the same can be said about its web browsing experience as well. Complex web pages load up faster on the iPad 2, though, the slower time put up by the TouchPad can be related to it loading up Adobe Flash content in the background. Regardless, we’re still seeing more fluid looking navigational control on the iPad 2 – such as kinetic scrolling and pinch gestures. Obviously, the TouchPad doesn’t have the same level of responsiveness, but it’s nothing that bad at all because it’s still more than acceptable by any means.  Additionally, the TouchPad has the prestigious feature of offering Adobe Flash support to give us that desktop-like experience. 

Currently, the HP TouchPad is only available in Wi-Fi form, but we expect to see various cellular enabled versions in the near future, which is something that’s currently offered with the iPad 2. Connected to the same Wi-Fi network, we didn’t notice any major differences with signal strength on both tablets. Moreover, the same can be said about their Bluetooth connections as well. Surprisingly, the iPad 2 seems to get a fix on our GPS location much faster than the TouchPad seeing that it takes 10 seconds to get an exact fix – with the TouchPad taking roughly 20 seconds.


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