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CES 2015: First look at the HP Sprout

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The new HP Sprout is a Windows 8.1 based PC with built in 2D and 3D scanner, and it is amazing!

The sprout features an overhead scanner, a multi-touch flat pad on the bottom and an HD 23 inch monitor in the middle to eliminate keyboard and mouse use.


The overhead scanner includes 14.6 megapixel high-res camera as well as Intel RealSense technology to allow 3D scanning.

The user can place items on the 20-point trackpad and 3D scan them for use on the PC for various purposes such as visual design and 3D printing.

On display with the Sprout were several 3D printed items including a functional chainlink capable of lifting a significant weight, printed in around 30 minutes. This really shows the possibilities of 3D printing not just for rapid prototyping, but also for fast manufacturing.

Both the monitor and trackpad are touch-enabled, so 3D items on-screen can be manipulated using the hands, and navigation is fast and simple.


The PC features 8GB of expandable memory, and a 1TB hard drive, and of course has a 4th generation Intel Core i7-57905 processor for speed.

I have to admit this device is very fun to use. Being able to scan-in already existing objects and then change them on-screen to have different dimensions and colours, or use the image in the design for a poster was really cool. 

HANDS ON: HP ElitePad 900

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HP Elitepad.jpg

The HP ElitePad 900 tablet has started shipping this month and last night I got my hands on a device and its range of accessories.

The tablet is a Windows 8 Pro device weighing around 700g, 9.2mm thin with a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel gorilla glass screen. The device has an Intel Atom processor with 2GB of memory, while the tablet comes with either 32GB or 64GB of storage, with an option to expand with a micro SD card slot. The device also comes with the option to have mobile connectivity (3G).

The tablet has what seems like a silver frame and feels rather light without its expansion jacket. It's nice to hold, and its casing is made out of aluminium which, while stylish, may not be the best choice for the enterprise where it could experience unsightly scratches.



However it is the tablet's accessories which piqued my interest. You can purchase an Expansion jacket for around £80 which adds USB and HDMI ports, while even providing longer battery life when combined with the Jacket battery (for another additional £80).


When the device is sat securely in its Expansion jacket it is quite weighty and much larger, this seems a bit strange as it's surely expanding its technical specs not its size? I also found that the plastic material leaves finger prints which cheapens the overall effect. This wouldn't be so bad if it was a robust protective case, but it hasn't been dubbed as shock-proof.



The dock (available for around £100) is very heavy and stable, kind of reminding me of a door stop. Just place it on your desk, wire up a monitor and a keyboard and you will be able to drop your tablet onto your desk when you get to work in order to seamlessly move from on-the-go working to the office environment.


So if you wanted to kit your workforce out with one of these devices as well as the accessories. It would cost nearly £900 per person, and that's not even including another added extra in the form of Productivity jack, which includes a keyboard, connectivity ports, SD card reader and adjustable viewing angles.

Quite a pricey sum of kit, and would only surely be feasible as a complete laptop replacement, which with the processor makes it a decent basic laptop replacement giving it similar specs as a netbook. 

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CES 2013: HP launches new Sleekbooks, IPS monitor and a portable storage device

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It's going to be a busy week for hardware, gadgets and gizmos, and HP isn't intending on missing out on the launches.

The company has launched new notebook PCs, an IPS monitor with Beat Audio and a portable media storage device.

HP Pavilion Sleekbook - touch and non-touch

The HP Pavilion Sleekbook and the HP Pavilion TouchSmart Sleekbook are HP's latest offerings in the Windows 8 notebook market. And if you hadn't already guessed it, the TouchSmart version is indeed touchscreen.

Both products offer a 15.6-inch diagonal HD screen, powered by AMD A-Series APU, with up to 1TB of storage. Including HDMI ports and USB 3.0 and 2.0 for connectivity.

Cleverly, the Sleebooks feature HP CoolSense, which adjusts cooling levels according to personal preference, no more hot laps from overheating laptops, which is exactly what is happening to me and my old HP machine as I write this post!

The TouchSmart Sleekbook will be available from February 3 at $649.99 and the standard Sleekbook will be available a little sooner from January 13 at $479.99.

HP ENVY 27-inch IPS Monitor with Beats Audio

This In-Plane Switching (IPS) monitor is able to provide a viewing angle of 178 degrees horizontally and vertically, meaning it is easier to share content with a group of people. The monitor also features edge-to-edge glass, and a stylish aluminium base. Additionally, the monitor is a mere 13.95mm thin at the top of the device.

The monitor also has built in Beats by Dr. Dre speakers for "studio quality" sound. 

Available February 3 for $499.            

HP Pocket Playlist

As we keep putting pressure on our smart devices to consume more media, these devices are proving popular to extend internal storage, Buffalo offers a portable storage solution for those large amounts of data, which I found really useful when I took a look at it recently.

HP's offering requires no internet connection and serves up to five mobile devices at a time. The device which stores up to 16 full-length movies, 7,600 songs or 10,000 photos, also includes a one-month subscription to PlayLater, a DVR app for online content. With this app you can cache videos from over 50 online websites for playing later without an internet connection. 

Available from February 15 for $129.

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HP announces four Windows 8 ready PCs

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Four computers have been added to HP's portfolio of Microsoft's Windows 8 ready devices. You can expect the next few months to be full of vendors offering products taking advantage of the operating system which will be available from 26 October, but let's have a look at the specs on these new PCs.

The HP Envy 23 and Envy 20 TouchSmart 

The HP Envy 23 and Envy 20 TouchSmart AiO PCs both offer 10-point multi-touch technology (which can sense up to ten fingers), designed specifically to work with Windows 8.

The HP Envy 23 and HP Envy 20 TouchSmart PCs offer 23 and 20 inch diagonal HD displays respectively, and are equipped with the latest Intel processors, optional ExpressCache and solid state drives (SSDs), with up to 3 terabytes of storage. The ExpressCache SSD option provides users with fast boot-up and application start times.

Additional features include, HP TrueVision HD webcam, HP Connected Photo, HP Connected Remote, and HP Connected Music, as well as Beats AudioTM.

Synching functions for photos and music will also allow customers to stream media from a smartphone to their PC, while HP Connected Backup allows customers to seamlessly access and automatically back up files online for every day search, retrieval and access.

Hp Envy20.jpg
Hp Envy23.jpg

The HP SpectreOne

The HP SpectreOne is the first AiO PC to join the HP Spectre portfolio. At 11.5mm, the HP SpectreOne is the thinnest AiO PC in HP's portfolio, and claims to be one of the thinnest AiO PCs available on the market.

It features a 23.6 inch flush-glass full HD display and has a wireless trackpad with multitouch capabilities. However, surprisingly it does not fully take advantage of the new operating system like the above Envy products, which have touch screen functionalities. 

As well as the latest Intel processors, an NVIDIA 1-gigabyte graphics card, optional ExpressCache and optional SSD, it also delivers connectivity with HP's TouchZone near-field communication (NFC) technology. With HP's TouchZone NFC technology, users simply tap a smartphone or NFC tags on the base of the HP SpectreONE to instantly transfer content or login to the PC.

Hp Spect.jpg

The HP Pavilion 20

The HP Pavilion 20 PC is the value product of the four. A powerful non-touch AiO PC with a 20 inch diagonal HD display, HP TrueVision HD webcam, HP Connected Remote, HP Connected Photo and HP Connected Music. 

Hp Pav.jpg

All products are expected the hit the US later this autumn, with the HP Envy 23 TouchSmart and HP Envy 20 TouchSmart AiO PCs at starting prices of $999 and $799, respectively. While the HP SpectreOne is expected to cost $1,299 and the HP Pavilion 20 will start at $449.

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Four years in the making: The best of the best.

Faisal Alani | No Comments
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karate-kid2.jpgHaving created this blog and nurtured it for the past four years, I've decided to put the best blog posts/videos from the best on one page.

Diary of an outcast: Apple's Special iPad 2 Event
I will start with my favourite post, the infamous Apple event. I had been invited to Apple events before but somehow started getting missed off the list. I hate Apple so it was no surprise that they didn't want me there. Safe to say that after this post not only was I missed off the list but Computer Weekly never received an invite from Apple ever again.

iPhone Vs N97
This was the first big video project that me and David (video editor) put together. At the time I was so happy that I'd got the N97 I decided to make a video pitting it against the iPhone while mocking Apple's advertising campaign. Little did I know that the N97 would prove to be the worst purchase I've ever made in my life.

HTC Desire HD Review
David (who stars in this video) and I wanted to do something different and create a cool video review. This is what we came up with.

Sadly once we started recording David (and the department he worked for) were made redundant. It didn't effect the video but it wasn't a happy time for us. Having cleared out his desk he set up at home the next day to finish it. This was our last hurrah and the last video I made. Very proud of it.

What is the best mobile OS around?
At this point, no one wanted to be in any of my videos. The company was starting to cut back on them and so I tried to play four roles with four outfits and a moustache before I got told that what I was doing wasn't a productive use of my time. Honestly, how could they say that?

This video used to have a voting element that has since been removed because we couldn't afford to pay for the server the flash sat on.

The most ambitious video we ever tried.

Video: The future of business cards, I'm not taking the Poken
There was a girl I was desperate to go out with at my work. I needed to do a video to have a reason to talk to her but the only thing I'd been sent was a Poken. No phones or cool gadgets. Somehow I persuaded her to help me make this video. We're still together :)

Video review of the wiimote like Gyration Air Mouse
This video is pretty much when I realised that I can be funny. What people don't realise is that filming didn't take long but discussions between David and I on what was funny took forever.

He would stand there saying "That's not funny" every time I cracked a joke or did something stupid. Or one of my favourite lines of his was "You might think that's funny, but it isn't".

Video: Palm Pre vs the iPhone - The big debate
I had 2 weeks before Christmas to do a video armed with my wit and a white wig that was left over from a very bad 'Back to the future' spoof I'd made where I played the Doc. That video was so bad that the company we producd it for sent us a letter saying that if the video ever saw the light of day, they'd sue my a** off. 

David went on holiday with a week left of editing/filming to do so I didn't have anyone to tell me that what I was saying wasn't funny and some of the editing is a bit off. It's still a good video but we felt it was rushed.

Video: I heart iPad - Dating website matches man to iPad
What do you do when you get your hands on an iPad before the UK release? Write a review. Then what? Make a video about having a special relationship with it. Yep, not sure why.

The HTC and Google story: A love affair and a tragedy
Lord knows what compelled me to write this. Had I taken more time to craft it, I think it could've been great but when I read it now I feel it's rushed. Still good, where the idea came from I'll never know.

Video: Flip Mino HD review
This video took 84 takes. For no reason at all I couldn't stop laughing during recording. We got in trouble because it was meant to take a couple of hours but took almost two weeks.

Video: Zeemote review - Is this the future of mobile gaming?
I did this video because Zeemote said that they'd give me a free phone if I reviewed it. So...

GeeklyWeekly Sexy Halloween Special
Wow, how bad is this video? It doesn't even have anything to do with gadgets!!

Review: The HP Probook 4530s. It may be stylish but is it a practical choice for business users?

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Kicking this off with an analogy, the HP Probook range is the step-brother of the more consumer focused Pavillion line but the full-brother of the Elitebook series. Leaning more toward the business sector, the Probook range looks and performs more like an Elitebook but you can see that some of the Pavillion's influence has also rubbed off on it. 

The 4530s, one of the newer Probooks, steers well clear of looking cheap and tacky, there is a full 360 degree view video toward the end of this post just to prove this point. The brushed aluminium finish and strong yet simple styling means it wouldn't look out of place on a boardroom table. Measurements of 37.4 x 25.6 x 2.87 cm and a weight of around 2.36kg mean you shouldn't have any problems lifting it onto the table either. 

The 4530s isn't big or heavy enough for me to say that it could cause you a problem if you had to lug it around on long journeys. It was a piece of cake for me carrying it to and from the office via the tube, but it can become a mild inconvenience. 

The spill resistant keyboard, which thanks to the width of the laptop features a separate number pad, seems Macbook inspired. Not only does it look good, it feels great too. When pressed, there is no cheap or loose clicking, just a soft, responsive feedback. 

DSC_0003.jpgThe 3.6 inch Synaptics multi-touch touchpad below the keyboard is positioned perfectly and performed excellently. Three-finger swiping, object rotation and zoom pinching worked well but after extended periods of use the tips of my fingers became sore. 

There are four USB ports, two either side, which is a little disappointing for a business laptop however one port offers a high-speed USB 3.0 connection. The Probook also features ports for Ethernet, HDMI, VGA, power, smart card adapter, and a Kensington lock slot.  When it comes to the front there is an earphone and microphone jack plus a 6-in-1 memory card reader. 

DSC_0004.jpgThe Probook also comes equipped with a DVD SuperMulti Drive and Bluetooth 3.0. 

The 4530s possessed a HD camera capable of 720p video, but the fact that it is not Skype HD-certified detracts from it a little, although it still delivered a high level of video quality. More than enough for video presentations provided you have a fast enough internet connection. 

The 15.6inch screen, which has a resolution of 1,366x768, has good viewing angles and, depending on your line of work, this could either be a good or a bad thing. The Probook could enable your co-workers to sneak-a-peek of any deal you're about to break 

On the plus side, if you fancy a liquid lunch in the beer garden, or have to take a look at some figures on the train, the Probook's screen deals well with direct sunlight. 

Inside, the 4530s is powered by an Intel Core i5-2410m that runs at 2.3GHz, however, when needed Turbo Boost can kick in, increasing the speed up to 2.9GHz. There is 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive (7200rpm). 

The hardware list isn't overly impressive but, thankfully, the fact this HP is able to fire up Windows 7 Professional in under a minute shows they are put to good use. 

The performance level of the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 chip is a little below average, so this is certainly would not be the laptop of choice for designers. That said, if you go for the pricier model, the AMD Radeon HD 6490M graphics chipset, which comes with either 512 MB or 1 GB of dedicated memory, means that the 4530s would have no problems should you decide to spend your lunch hour playing World of Warcraft while you munch on a salade niçoise. A nerdy yet sophisticated combination that I think you'll find to be delightful. 

The overall media performance of the 4530s is let down a little by the speakers. Whilst they can deliver a decent level of volume, the quality is questionable. There was barely any detectable bass and firing it up full whack resorted in substantial distortion.  

The Probook 4530s with its six-cell battery can power run for around 5 hours of very light usage, a little long than you would get from a consumer laptop.

The big selling point of this laptop and the reason it potentially makes a good business laptop is that it is very security focus. HP Protect Tools, a well renowned security suite, allows the user to setup and manage passwords for Windows and web services. 

There are a number of authentication methods, from face recognition to fingerprint ID and a smart card adapter. The fingerprint ID function is excellent, it allows you to actually select and identify the finger you are scanning. So, in theory, you could set it require a scan of a finger from your left hand and a scan of a finger from someone else's right hand. You could also put it in a suitcase and handcuff it to your wrists if you wanted the authentic secret agent feel.  

There is also a Drive Encryption tool, making the drive unreadable should the Probook be lost or stolen. Additionally, there is also a programme called Computrace, which can remotely delete your data and track your system down. Then, as if all of that wasn't enough, just to be sure, you can also enable a BIOS-level password. 

Other tools that could prove useful in the business environment include the HP Power Assistant. This helps the laptop monitor power consumption, reporting usage back to IT managers. The HP 3D DriveGuard tool parks the hard drive when sudden motion is detected, significantly reducing the risk of any data loss or damage. 

Finally, HP QuickWeb 3.0 allows you to get online without the need for Windows. QuickWeb is opened by pressing a button located on the grille above the keyboard. It offers you various info, weather, news, stock prices and a calculator. 

As I briefly mentioned previously, there are lower and higher spec versions of the 4530s available. The cheapest being a 2.1-GHz Intel Core i3-2310M CPU model, with 4GB RAM and a 320GB 7,200-rpm hard drive. 

Available direct from HP at £622.80, the Probook 4530s is a fairly priced, security conscious, long-life alternative to current business laptops. Graphical and media performance, along with the screen quality, stop short of being below par but, with its impressive hardware and strong yet functional styling the 4530s could make the switch from being perched on a desk in an office to your lap as your slouch in a beanbag without any problems. 

I have to point out (it's part of my job, you see) that I think there are equally good, if not marginally better all-rounders out there. The new Dell Inspiron 15R for example and the ASUS P52F, which for around £100 less is rather similar, only having a smaller and 5400rpm Hard Drive. 

HP reveals Pre 3 UK pricing

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pre3.pngMany eyes have been focused on the HP Pre 3, especially since the HP Touchpad firesale and it now seems that, possibly by accident, HP have revealed the UK pricing for the webOS handset.

A HP representative said they will not be receiving or selling and Pre 3s directly and that the price currently being advertised is only a recommended retail price. They also said they were unaware of any large high-street chains that would be stocking and selling the smartphone at that price, which may be why the 'find a local retailer' button is not currently working.

After the Touchpad's price was slashed it went on to become the second best-selling tablet on the market. Going on that evidence, a major reduction in the price of the Pre 3 would mean that they would sell out, and fast.

Video review: Palm Pre 2 - too little too late or the start of something?

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Palm Pre 2It's been a couple of years since the Palm Pre was released. Since then HP has bought Palm, then announced they wouldn't release any more phones and then released more phones.

So the biggest release of the current crop is the Palm Pre 2. Looking very much like the original Pre it sports WebOS 2.0.

Is the familiar boring or an old friend?


The Palm Pre 2 comes with 7.9 cm (3.1 inch) multi-touch screen at 320×480 resolution. The screen is clear and the colours are vibrant.

Looking at pics and movies on the device is quite nice despite the small screen.

The camera gets an upgrade to 5 megapixels with LED flash which is welcome but not too impressive. The camera isn't bad but compared to Palm's rivals it's, like a lot of things on this phone, looking dated. Eight megapixels is becoming the standard.

Inside you're looking at a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM. This is... about average sadly. The fact that the operating system is so quick and so good at handling multiple apps means that it rarely struggles.

Storage-wise the phones internal drive has been doubled to 16GB.

Overall you're looking at one average phone. Genuinely there's nothing to write home about here and while none of the internals will significantly harm your use of the phone, it's still a major factor hindering it from being one of the top handsets on the market.

Some of the issues with the original Pre have been rectified with the Pre 2. The battery life is significantly better lasting a couple of days compared to the original Pre's 'up to a day'.

The inductive back panel comes with the Pre 2 whereas you had to purchase it for the Pre but you still need to buy the Touchstone charger.


I hate to sound horrible (do I?) but this phone looks no different to the original Pre and then the Pre Plus. Seriously, my thoughts back then are the same as now.

The curved screen has been changed to a flat glass one and the slider is smoother and stronger.

It looks ok. Nothing special, not cool and kind of dated. The keyboard looks like a kid's toy, and I think the screen is too small.

I don't hate it. I just want so much more when I spend hundreds of pounds on a phone.

Why can't Palm come up with some new designs instead of tweaking the original? Surely we've got to the point now where they can make significant changes.

Granted some people like a QWERTY keyboard, similar to the Blackberry Torch with the slidey, but this is strictly a business phone. It's a smartphone still aimed at consumers.

The screen is, for me, too small. I find 4.3 inches to be a great size with 3.7" the minimum but this falls way too short at 3.1".

Watching movies is OK, but browsing the web is hindered.

Palm Pre 2

WebOS is by far the best multitasking operating system there is. The thought put in by Palm to develop WebOS means that it's easier to use than any other.

The main strength is the fact that after opening an application, you hit the home button and then you have the apps appear as 'cards'. You can look through the apps and pick the one you want to use while the others stay running in the background.

In order to close an app, you simply flick the 'card' off the screen. It's that simple. The other thing is you can have around 8 apps running at a time before you start to feel serious lag and encounter problems. Something the iPhone wishes it could do.

The quality of the apps is up there with Apple, although the choice is still limited (see below). Nevertheless the apps that are available are of such quality that when you get a good one, you're not going to need to try many.

WebOS also has the ability to integrate information from different sources such as Gmail, Yahoo!, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Microsoft Outlook (via Exchange ActiveSync). The calendar is also clever and integrates calendars from multiple sources.

Compared to the other operating systems, WebOS is the one that I feel is easiest to use as well as being the most fun. I don't mean fun in a games or widget way, I mean fun in that the way you interact with the OS, such as flicking apps off the screen, is a joy and not a chore.

What's new in WebOS2?

There have been subtle improvements such as the ability to group cards, like adding them to a folder. It's just a neat way of organising your apps.

The menu also gets an organisational update with the ability to group apps onto different screes and you can also remove screens.

The biggest improvement is the 'universal search' which has been renamed 'just type'.

And it's exactly that, you just start typing from the home screen and the option pops up to search the internet, your contacts and any other data, create a text or email etc.

SO if you were to write an email you would just need to start typing instead of opening the app first, very neat!

Apps... or the lack of them

If you look in the app library, there aren't a lot of apps but the apps that are available are good quality, but you have to pay for them.

It's kind of crap really. There isn't a huge selection of free apps to choose from which makes it costly.

Palm have been trying to beef up their app library for a few years now, their latest attempt is to make it easier for developers to port apps onto Palm. But the real change will come with HP's muscle.

HP are determined to make this work not only for the smartphone series but also their tablet range. It remains to be seen what will happen but HP will pump money into this and populate the app library.


I know I have spent most of this review pointing out what's bad about this phone and how it's not as good as others but I do still love it.

I loved the original Palm Pre and despite things not changing much since, the simplicity of the OS makes it a joy to use.

Would I buy one? Hell no. This phone hasn't moved with the times and I want my phone to be powerful in every department, to have a library of apps that give me proper choice.

I like using this phone for a day or two but I couldn't swap it for a top of the range Android or an iPhone 4 simply because it's limited.

So to answer my question above, is it too little too late or the start of something new? Well, it's definitely too small and too late.

If the next Palm smartphone matches the top of the range Android in terms of hardware and the app library gets an influx (which it looks like it will) then it'll be a force to be reckoned with because the OS is fantastic.

Until then, nope.

Video review: HP Touchpad - Ready for launch!

Faisal Alani | 2 Comments
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HP TouchpadIt's been a while since we first saw a Windows HP tablet in the arms of Steve Ballmer back in January 2010 at CES.

There were lots of oohs and aahs back then as Steve basically laid down the guantlet to other companies. Since then it has gone very quiet, in fact nothing happened.

HP looked at developing a tablet or as they called it a 'slate computer' but nothing came of it. As we all know they then went ahead and bought Palm. Not because of their Pre range but because of the Linux-based WebOS operating system that HP identified as the future of their tablet range.

Fast forward to the present and I find myself sat holding the HP Touchpad running on a tablet version of WebOS and looking markedly different to the device Ballmer held high over a year ago.

BallmerSteve Ballmer with a HP device running Windows 7 back in CES 2010,
the device never got produced


All these tablets look the same to me. Mostly black with a big piece of glass.

Only difference with the Touchpad is that this is Gorilla glass (yeah I love the name too). So it'll stand knocks and scratches.

What is Gorilla glass? Well, it's chemically tempered glass, immersed it in a salt bath and stuffed with larger ions in all the surfaces and put under compression.

Wha? It's tough glass, just go with it.

TouchpadDoes it look as nice as the iPad 2? Probably not but it's still nice looking. Very clean and cool.

Moving on to the screen; a 9.7 inch XGA capacitive, multitouch screen with 18-bit colour, 1024x768 resolution display.

The screen is good but it isn't great, it's hard to say but the colours don't exactly jump out at you despite the picture quality being quite high. It's not better than the iPad 2 but it's still quite good.

We'll see tablets released with retina display and Super AMOLED screens soon so I'm not sure how the Touchpad's screen will fare in the future.

The Touchpad is a big boy at 770g. Compare that to the Playbook at 400g, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 at 599g, iPad 2 at 601g and the iPad at 680g.

I'm not sure exactly why that is (maybe it's all that Gorilla who knows) but it's notably heavier than it's rivals.


The Touchpad boasts a dual-core 1.2 Ghz Qualcomm CPU and has a dedicated graphics processing unit so graphic rendering is quick. Most tablets will come out with a dual core processor but Palm's WebOS is well known for being able to handle having lots of apps open at one time.

And that's certainly evident on the Touchpad as I had almost twenty apps open at the same time without any problems. I played a 3D flight simulator using the Touchpad's accelerometer and it coped very well as I plummeted to the earth with a keenness that only a kamikaze pilot would be proud of.

In terms of connectivity you've got a micro-USB port, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1.

Otherwise you get a pair of stereo speakers and a single, front-facing 1.3-megapixel webcam.


Oh WebOS, the only operating system that is easy, fun and incredibly unpopular. Now with HP's backing and a couple of new outfits to show off it looks liek it'll finally get the attention it deserves.

If you've ever used a Palm Pre, you'll know that apps are launched and then held open as 'cards' where you can dip in and out of apps with relative ease, flicking each one off the screen in order to close them. Swiping horizontally cycles between cards and tapping a card restores that app to full-screen mode.

It also supports HTML5 and Flash. Pretty nifty.

Where WebOS falls down is in it's app library where there are a measly 8,000 apps (compared to Android's 150,000 and Apple's 300,000). That can be a problem but the fact that there are a lot of really high quality apps in there helps a lot.

If you have a great app you usually don't need another of the same kind or indeed you would rarely change it for an alternative.

That is definitely the case or the Palm Pre, but the apps built for the Pre work well on only the Pre. On the Touchpad they're tiny and take up around a quarter of the screen which is really frustrating. How many of the 8,000 are Pre apps is a question worth considering.

Pre synchronisation

Having said that, if you own a Palm Pre and a Touchpad then you will revel in the seamless synchronisation of the two.

If you want to share a web page between the two, all you need to do is touch the Pre to the Touchpad and page will cross over.

At the moment, this works for very simple tasks but HP has plans to move music and even videos in the same manner.

It's also worth mentioning that the Touchpad will have seamless wireless printing capabilities with HP printers. Yet another nice extra worth considering.


All-in-all, the Touchpad is a fantastic device. HP have really thought about how  they want to market the Touchpad and that coupled with Palm's user-friendly WebOS makes this a match made in heaven.

Personally I'm a huge fan of the WebOS and I think HP have the drive to get people talking about it which was Palm's downfall.

Apps might be a stumbling block but you'll have to consider how many apps you need or even how many apps you use. Don't get me wrong, apps are important but the apps currently on the Touchpad are of a high standard despite the quantity.

If you're bored with the flood of Android clones and want something that isn't an iPad then I would strongly recommend looking at the Touchpad.

See also:

Palm WebOS - Rising from the ashes

Faisal Alani | No Comments
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Palm WebOS

Palm webOSThe sad thing is, Palm's WebOS could have quite easily surpass both Android and iPhone had it not been for poor marketing.

WebOS is by far the best multitasking operating system there is. The thought put in by Palm to develop WebOS means that it's easier to use than any other.

The main strength is the fact that after opening an application, you hit the home button and then you have the apps appear as 'cards'. You can look through the apps and pick the one you want to use while the others stay running in the background.

In order to close an app, you simply flick the 'card' off the screen. It's that simple. The other thing is you can have around 8 apps running at a time before you start to feel serious lag and encounter problems. Something the iPhone wishes it could do.

The quality of the apps is up there with Apple, although the choice is still limited. Nevertheless the apps that are available are of such quality that when you get a good one, you're not going to need to try many.

WebOS also has the ability to integrate information from different sources such as Gmail, Yahoo!, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Microsoft Outlook (via Exchange ActiveSync). The calendar is also clever and integrates calendars from multiple sources.

Palm PreCompared to the other operating systems, WebOS is the one that I feel is easiest to use as well as being the most fun. I don't mean fun in a games or widget way, I mean fun in that the way you interact with the OS, such as flicking apps off the screen, is a joy and not a chore.

Sadly WebOS fails due to the fact that the company, Palm, failed in its marketing and couldn't keep up with the big boys.

This meant Palm struggled and was eventually bought by HP. this uncertainty hindered Palm's progress and now HP look like they will use WebOS for devices other than phones.

This also meant that the choice of phone was limited. The Palm Pre and Palm Pre Plus were probably the best Palm phones with the Palm Pixi and the Palm Pixi Plus the only other alternatives.

The Palm Pre and the plus version are very good but, a difficult QWERTY keyboard as well as some problems with the build quality of the hinge keyboard slips out with.

WebOS is by no means far behind iPhone and Android, at the moment anyway. In a year or so we'll know exactly what HP has install for this fantastic OS.

See also:

Other articles:



Quality of apps

Choice of apps


Palm's plight

Integration of apps

Choice of phones


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