Sunday, July 3, 2011

HP's TouchPad: A Promising Tablet That Needs More Polish - TIME

HP's TouchPad: A Promising Tablet That Needs More Polish - TIME

When Apple unveiled the iPad in January of 2010, it left a gaggle of other consumer-electronics companies suddenly anxious to get into the tablet game. Very, very anxious. So anxious, in fact, that some of them set deadlines for themselves that made it impossible to ship fully-baked products.

That was certainly true of Samsung's original Galaxy Tab, which ran an operating system designed for phones, not tablets. And Motorola's Xoom, which debuted without several of its key features and with a buggy version of Google's Android Honeycomb operating system. And RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, which was just a mess.

Wait for the TouchPad until HP could release something that felt refined, not rushed? That didn't feel like an imposition — it sounded like a great idea.

The tablet starts shipping this Friday. For the past week, I've lived with one that HP loaned to me. And while I found lots to like, I also discovered that the extra time that the company took hasn't paid off in a perfectly polished product. Actually, the TouchPad I've been using is downright buggy, and suffers from a shortage of key apps. Which is why my advice to anyone who wants to buy a tablet right now remains unchanged: Get an iPad 2.


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