HP TOUCHPAD: "It Looks Like An Oversized iPhone 3GS"

touchpad title image

Photo: Ellis Hamburger

HP’s first tablet running Palm’s WebOS software is launching tomorrow, hoping to give Apple’s iPad a run for its money.It’s the same price as the iPad ($499.99 for the 16GB version, and $599.99 for the 32GB version), but for now, TouchPads only have Wi-Fi built in.

We got our hands on the TouchPad for the first time today, and we’ve taken some huge pictures of it, many of which include an iPad as a point of comparison.

Click here to check out some huge pictures of the brand new HP TouchPad >

Keep your eyes peeled for our full review next week, but here are some initial impressions thus far:

  • When we turned on the device, it took us about 10 minutes to get it to connect to our Wi-Fi network. Once we did, it took another 5 minutes for our WebOS registration to go through.
  • The screen looks great, but the TouchPad isn’t ultra responsive. Even with only a couple apps open, there was noticeable lag.
  • WebOS 3.0 is wonderful. Messaging, notifications, and Synergy (bringing in Google and Facebook integration) are all a huge breath of fresh air.
  • The TouchPad hardware feels a year old. It’s the same size as the original iPad, and it doesn’t feel as fast as the original iPad.
  • Typing is tough because auto-correct is poor, double tapping the space bar to insert a period doesn’t work, and apostrophes aren’t added to words like “don’t.”
  • YouTube (Flash content) videos play inline as if you were watching them on your computer
  • We really want to like the TouchPad, but it’s less than impressive thus far. Check out the full review next week.

Say hello to the HP TouchPad hitting store shelves tomorrow.

It runs WebOS 3.0, the newest version of Palm's mobile operating system software.

The TouchPad looks like an oversized iPhone 3GS.

The front looks like the new Nook Simple Touch because of it's black bezel and black screen border.

There's a volume rocker on the right side of the TouchPad.

The top of the device has a sleep button and a headphone jack on the other side, which delivers sound from a Dr. Dre Beats amplifier inside.

If you hold the device in a portrait orientation, there are two stereo speakers on its left side. When you hold it one handed, your hand blocks the bottom speaker and it feels a little uncomfortable.

The TouchPad has a front facing camera for video chatting, and no rear facing camera.

Like the iPad, the TouchPad has a home button. It's the first WebOS device to have a physical home button since the original Pre.

The bottom of the device has a Micro USB charging port, or you can buy the Touchstone stand and charge inductively (no cables required)

The TouchPad is an absolute fingerprint magnet

It's truly smudge-tastic. We couldn't manage to remove all the fingerprints before our photo shoot.

The iPad 1 and TouchPad are very similar in size. Despite the plastic, they feel nearly the same weight in your hand.

Two good-looking devices.

The TouchPad feels a little thicker than the iPad, but maybe it's because it doesn't taper in the way the iPad's back does.

The TouchPad's corners are much rounder than the iPad's.

Two super-glossy screens that will make reading outside a pain.

Two very bright screens that both have the same 1024 x 768 resolutions.

300 apps vs. over 100,000 apps. But the TouchPad has a great new Facebook app!

One cool feature we saw early on in WebOS 3.0: add you Facebook account, and all your pictures download into your Photos app.

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