HP TouchPad vs Apple iPad 2
Since the HP TouchPad obviously lacks a rear camera, we'll have to gauge the quality of their front-facing sensors by using their respective video chatting clients. Specifically, we used FaceTime on the iPad 2 and Skype video chat on the TouchPad. Using a Wi-Fi connection, we’re impressed by the quality of both to tell you the truth – albeit, there’s a subtle amount of choppiness with the TouchPad. At the same time, the TouchPad has better detail over the slightly more pixelized video with the iPad 2. We also find audio quality to be impressive on both seeing that they’re in sync to the video and clearly audible.
On the surface, there isn’t much flashiness evident with either music players, but they’re more than ideal with their functional layout. In fact, they boast a similar two-panel layout and quick access to their on-screen controls when browsing through our library. Jumping to another app while a song is playing, we can still control the music players by using their respective mini players, which are undoubtedly accessible at any time. In terms of audio quality, we’re baffled at first to find the iPad 2’s single speaker producing the same loud volume tones coming out of the TouchPad’s two speakers. Luckily, their tones are very pleasing to the ear without sounding too sharp or irritating.
watching the same movie trailer, the only difference in performance between the two is the superiorly brighter appearance of the iPad 2’s display over the TouchPad's one. Offering stereo support with its two speakers, the audio experience when watching movies on the TouchPad is seemingly better due to its slightly more surround feel.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot to expect with their Gallery apps because they lack any sort of deep sharing and editing functions – though, we’re still presented with the usual set of navigational controls when browsing through images. Again, we find a similar layout with their respective photo viewing gallery apps, but there’s a recognizable amount of erratic choppiness with the TouchPad’s operation when browsing through photos.
Although both tablets are available in both 16GB and 32GB capacities, it’s only the iPad 2 that manages to shake things up by offering a massive 64GB variant.
It's a pretty decent treat that we can achieve video-out with the iPad 2 by using an optional digital AV adapter. Not only are we able to stream high-definition videos to our television set, but we’re also given a mirrored experience that allows us to experience the iPad 2 on the big screen. Sad to say the least, we don’t get this kind of functionality with the HP TouchPad.
HP obviously decided a YouTube client isn't really needed right now, seeing that the TouchPad can handle the main YouTube site. However, we think it still would’ve been nice to see a dedicated app on board; like the one featured on the iPad 2. Optimized to fit the iPad 2’s tablet experience, its YouTube app is especially satisfying with its tailored layout and laundry list of features.
At first, one would think that Google Maps on the iPad 2 would deliver a more refined experience than Bing Maps on the TouchPad, but in reality, they’re actually quite the same with their basic set of features. Naturally, they provide things like driving, walking, and transit directions, but there are no voice guided turn-by-turn directions with either. Regardless of that, they’re sufficient enough in giving us quick instructions in getting around from point A to point B.
tablet-optimized apps for the iPad 2. However, that doesn’t mean that the TouchPad is out of the race because we’re enamored by the healthy amount of quality apps available with webOS 3.0 from the onset – and they’re well thought-out for a new platform.