We’ve always had a soft spot for webOS: it’s a talented, gorgeous operating system that was ahead of its time on launch. But on the HP TouchPad tablet, it feels completely naturally – like this was what it was originally designed for all along.
webOS makes the transition to the larger 9.7-inch 1024×768 screen really well: the three pane email inbox makes full use of all the screen real estate, and car multitasking is utterly intuitive. Unlike with Android and iOS, you can see the state of each app, and cards of each type stack up in piles: for instance, you can have several emails open at once and all accessible from the cards screen.
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While some reports said webOS on the HP TouchPad felt a bit sticky, the early build we played with never faltered. We also got to try out the clever transferring skills with the new HP webOS phones: tap a HP Pre 3 or Veer to the HP TouchPad’s screen while a web page, and up it pops on the phone’s screen.
HP wasn’t too keen to let any journos put their sweaty paws on the HP TouchPad, but we managed to grab it for a quick handle: it’s much lighter than we expected, and we’re liking the plastic backing more than we expected. The screen itself, needless to say, is gorgeous.
Were webOS an operating system with the traction of Android, we’d have no qualms calling the HP TouchPad an iPad killer here and now: it’s impressed us even more than RIM’s charming BlackBerry PlayBook. But HP’s still a minnow in the mobile game, so we’ll have to wait and see: in the meantime, check out the hands on piccies right here.
Out Summer | £TBC | HP