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The HP TouchPad is Hewlett Packard’s first contender for the best tablet PC title. The TouchPad is the first tablet to be built on the WebOS 3.0 Mobile operating system. This is based on the Linux OS which became a hit through Palm’s Pre, Veer and Pixi phones. HP bought out Palm and have produced this enhanced version especially for their new tablet. The main feature of this operating system is its multi-tasking capabilities which allows windows or “cards” to be added to form a “stack”. The cards can then be shuffled through easily or thrown into the garbage once they are discarded. This added to its cloud capabilities make it an excellent business tablet PC.

The HP TouchPad is 9.7 inches in size and is fuelled by a 1.2 dual-core Snapdragon processor. The tablet comes with 1GB in built RAM and there are 16GB and 32GB versions available. The Touchpad itself weighs 1.65 pounds (750 grams) and proves to be heavier than the Apple iPad 2, Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy 10.1. The rear of the tablet is heavy plastic, glossy and susceptible to picking up fingerprint marks. There is also a hollow feeling when holding the tablet making it lacking in the durable and solid feeling that so many of its competitors possess.

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The front of the TouchPad has a sleek, smart design and the 1024×768 display looks similar to the iPad 2. It even has a button on the front which reverts you back to the home screen like the Apple tablets. The screen is made using the strong Gorilla Glass, specifically designed for hard wearing. The display proves to be bright with a nice viewing angle and compensates well for viewing by more than one person.

The HP TouchPad comes with inbuilt support for Adobe Flash as well as a USB connector for charging and attaching to your laptop. The slate also comes with HP’s Touchstone wireless charger as well as Dr Dre’s Beats speakers. The sound quality from this tablet really is the best we have heard on any the standard being much like HP’s laptops and desktop machines.

View the HP TouchPad 9.7 inch Tablet PC

One glaring omission from the HP TouchPad is the absence of a rear camera, this tablet only has a front one. This is great for video calling but when it comes to taking photos, this tablet PC falls extremely short.

Performance wise, we were disappointed by the time the TouchPad took to start up but once it is running, applications open up nicely and the multi-tasking ability works extremely well. At times performance was slightly sluggish but we expect HP to iron out these issues with further updates.

The battery life is more than respectable running over 8 hours with heavy usage. There are also the capabilities for email, calendar, Facebook, Twitter, printing, and Skype video calling. The on screen keyboard is also impressive with number keys visible on the top row – something missing from other tablets.

HP have provided their own App Catalog, and while the Apps out there are good, their number is extremely limited when compared with Apple and Android. HP will look to improve on this, but in our opinion this will never compete with its rivals.

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SPECIFICATION
1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-CPU APQ8060 processor
HP webOS operating system
9.7in (1024×768) XGA capacitive multitouch colour screen
front-facing 1.3MP camera
16GB or 32GB internal storage
rechargeable 6300mAh battery
3.5mm stereo headset/headphone/microphone jack
internal stereo speakers
802.11b/g/n WiFi
WPA/WPA2/WEP/802.1X authentication
Bluetooth
240x14x190mm
740g

Click here for the HP TouchPad 9.7 inch Tablet PC

VERDICT
If you are looking for the best business tablet, then we would definitely recommend the HP TouchPad over the Blackberry Playbook. It’s multi tasking facilities give it a user friendly approach and carrying out many tasks at once becomes effortless. If it’s apps you are looking for then you may want to give this tablet a wide berth and we were disappointed with the lack of a rear camera. With other tablets available on the market at a similar price, the HP TouchPad aims to be the best tablet PC but in our opinion falls slightly short.

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HP TouchPad, 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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