By now, tablet PCs are fairly de rigueur in almost any household with a need for fuss-free technology. Initiated first by Apple with its legendary iPad launch in April 2010 - barely 15 months ago - the market for tablet devices has swelled tremendously with major technology players launching a range of devices operating on Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Windows 7 Operating Systems (OS).
The latest player to jump into the fray is computer giant HP. Its tablet device the HP TouchPad runs on a proprietary HP WebOS 3.0, and comes with a 9.7 inch diagonal flush capacitive multitouch display, support for Adobe Flash, a virtual keyboard and instant-on access.
Coming in with two storage options - 16 GB (S$699) or 32 GB (S$799), the device weighs in at only 740 grams with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability. Sadly, there isn't any mobile broadband option although I've been told its easy to synch the device with a handphone for web access.
What are some of the features of the HP TouchPad?
1) Easy multitasking. This is probably the strongest feature in the device which allows you to move from one task to the next quickly with a fairly easy interface.
2) Synching of calendars, messages, photos and emails from Facebook, Google, Microsoft Exchange and others from the cloud.
3) A universal "Search" box that allows you to search anything - online or offline.
4) Support for Adobe Flash Player when browsing the web. A must for Youtube-holics!
5) Skype video calling with a front facing 1.3 MP camera and digital microphone.
6) One stop viewing of photos from sources like Facebook, Snapfish and Photobucket.
7) Decent sound quality with Beats Audio, and accompanying headphones (sold separately).
8) Access to multiple emails.
9) Ability to lock the screen easily so that it doesn't keep shifting - a boon for those using the tablet while lying on the bed!
Conceived like a game, its recent launch event for the TouchPad at Klapsons Hotel (thanks to Pat and team at GoodStuph for the invite) offered a chance to experience the tablet in "real life" scenarios. One could have a photo taken, have one's portrait drawn by a talented artist from OIC, experience the music quality on the device, or spin a wheel to win a prize.
The event was quite a star-studded affair (as consumer electronic device roadshows go). We swung to Jack and Rai performing their ditty, and witnessed guest appearances by Irene Ang and film auteur Eric Khoo.
With the tagline "Works Like Nothing Else", HP is clearly marketing the device as a lifestyle enhancement accessory (the other mantras it uses are "Friends Like Nothing Else", "Rocks Like Nothing Else", and "Thinks Like Nothing Else").
For those on the lookout for a mid-sized and mid-priced tablet device, the HP TouchPad offers a nifty performance with some useful productivity features. While the user interface isn't as slick or polished as the iPad or Android devices, it does quite a decent job as tablets go.
Visit the website or call 1800-278-0182 for more information on the device.