HP TouchPad vs the iPad 2: And Fight!

HP recently announced that their Touchpad tablet computer will be available for order on June 19, with prices identical to a similarly configured iPad 2. Sales of the TouchPad will be looked at closely as the answer to a very big question: Did HP make a mistake paying 1.2 billion dollars for Palm?  Palm’s share of the smartphone market has been dropping steadily.  According to ComScore, for the three months ending in Feb 2011, Palm had 2.8 percent of smartphone sales, a decline from 3.9 percent the quarter before. When HP bought Palm, one of the prime assets was considered to be its well-reviewed WebOS software, which the TouchPad uses.  Prior to and shortly after the purchase, HP was taking a multiplatform strategy to tablets, planning on offering the same tablet in Windows, Android, and WebOS versions.  Then HP announced that it was dropping both the Android and Windows versions and concentrating on WebOS.  The wisdom of that choice will also be seen in the TouchPad sales figures.

So how does the system itself compare?

Feature Apple iPad2 HP TouchPad Winner
Processor Apple A5 dual core 1ghz Snapdragon 1.2 ghz dual core Tie
Screen Size 9.7 inch 9.7 inch Tie
Screen Resolution 1024×768 1024×768
Screen Proportions 4:3 4:3 Tie
Size 7.31×9.5x.35 (24.3 cu.in) 7.48×9.45x.54 (38.17 cu. In.) IPad 2. Apple’s thin profile wins.
Weight 1.3 lbs 1.6 lbs iPad2
Battery Life ’10 hours’ ’10 hours’ Tie
Cameras 0.3 mp front, 5 mp rear 1.3 mp front Although HP has a better front-facing camera, it has no rear facing camera at all so advantage Apple
Carriers at Launch Verizon, AT&T None (AT&T in future)
Network 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth. WiFi, Bluetooth.(future 3G or 4G)
iPad2 unless you are certain that you want a wifi-only device.
Storage 16,32, or 64 gb. 16 or 32gb
iPad2 for having a 64gb option.  HP should have included a SD card slot to fix this.
Tablet-Specific Apps 60,000+ 100+ IPad2 (note 1)
Price (note 2) $499/599 $499/599 Tie
Multivendor Platform No No Tie
Flash Support No Yes

(note 1) As a relatively new OS it would be expected that WebOS would have fewer apps.  However, unlike Android, WebOS is a single vendor platform, so when (or if) developer support is more of an open question.

(note 2) Comparisons are for a 16 and 32 gigabyte wifi-only configurations, the only ones available at present from HP.

The bottom line is you have got to really want WebOS to think that this is a better tablet.  Pretty much everything else is a push.   Is WebOSreally that desirable?  It does have a smooth interface and flash support and some nice built in utilities for basic functions.  It also has a nice notification system, which Android also has and which iOS has just announced that it will be adding in version 5.  One of the reasons people shy away from Apple is that they are uneasy about being tied into just one company.  But WebOS is pretty much HP only.  Will they feel like they are jumping from one single vendor lock-in to another?

Those simply looking for a non-Apple solution might want to look at our similar comparison of the Motorola Xoom.

Another take away from this story is how identically HP mimicked Apple’s prices.  If HP felt that there was a way to beat Apple on price, they would have taken it.  But it would seem that Apple’s (i) huge economies of scale in buying components and (ii) leverage over assembly firms makes them unbeatable on price.  So firms are settling on matching Apple on price and hoping to get the sale on some other criteria such as WebOS.

Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/06/hp-touchpad-vs-the-ipad-2-and-fight/


1 ping

Skip to comment form

    • Dobby on June 10, 2011 at 2:00 PM
    • Reply

    The main differentiating factor is webos. I have 2 Apple computers at home and would probably own an iPhone had it been offered on Sprint when it first came out. I’m neither a fanboy or a hater. However, having played with iPhones and having bought and iPad as a gift to my fiance, I can honestly say that I prefer the webos platform and think it will tranlate well to a tablet. Webos is much easier to use than the iPhone and iPad OS. It is more intuitive and simply does more. Granted, there are not as many apps to choose from, but webos has most of the ones you will actually use. Apps might be a factor now, but I don’t think it will remain a factor. Additionally, the Touchpad will work seamlessly with other webos devices, such as the Pre. I’ve used the original Pre since it came out 2 years ago. I’ve even had friends ditch their iPhones after using my Pre. Seriously.

    That being said, I am waiting to see if Sprint will carry one of the new webos phones (Pre3 or other) before I buy the Touchpad. If they don’t, then a main selling point for me will be gone.

    • Jack on June 12, 2011 at 1:02 PM
    • Reply

    The Touchpad has 1.2 ghz processor vs. the 1ghz in the ipad2 – sounds like advantage Touchpad to me.
    Touchpad will use Synergy to sync devices over the air, something ipad2 can’t do until the icloud is added in six months – advantage Touchpad.
    Touchpad will bluetooth connect to your phone allowing you to use the Touchpad as the phone – Advantage Touchpad.
    Touchpad will also show your text messages without killing the current app. Touchpad has touch to share, ipad2 does not.
    Tuochpad will videoconference over the phone connection not just wifi.

    As far as the app count for the Touchpad I have yet to see a count, not sure where this 100+ number comes from. As for Apple’s 65k that beats by a couple miles, but not sure how many of those are actually useful.

    1. Thanks for your comments. Let me address them.

      First, if we were talking about for example just intel processors then a difference of 20 percent in clock speed is signifigant. With the ARM processors there is the big factor of the support silicon around the ARM processors. That can make a huge difference in the real performance. I deliberately did not want to give readers the impression that they should be looking closely at clock speed when comparing smartphone SOC chips.

      Synergy is something mostle linked to WebOS so I pretty much included it with the statement that the question is whether you want WebOS.

      The iPad 2 also supports bluetooth and I did not want to get too far into the details of software features when comparing the two tablets. Again if you like the feature set of WebOS then you have a reason to want the Touchpad.

      The same goes for notifications (to be added in iOS 5) and touch-to-share. The feature set of WebOS deserves to be looked at. If you find it desirable then the Touchpad is your first and only choice.

      100+ was mostly a way of saying a few but not a lot. I will agree that most of the 65k iTunes apps are junk.

    • AndyC on July 16, 2011 at 4:32 PM
    • Reply

    Having had owned the MacBook 17″ as well as an HP Laptop (64-bit) I have a somewhat different view point concerning the iPad2 vs TouchPad comparsions, even at the review level. My main smartphone platform is Blackberry which I’m changing over to another platform soon as well, the current RIM debacle has left myself amongst others worried.

    Firstly, I believe that any review made, should be made based from a real-world everyday use perspective, as opposed to a side by side comparsion between two toally differently OS platforms. The only way I can truly and fairly assess a device is to use it, on a daily basis, make my notes, then write my review. An unbiased real-world use in my opinion is the only viewpoint I take seriously.

    If we choose to do the side by side comparsion, readers should know how hot the iPad gets while in use (yip, been there, won’t do that again), its piercing lack of multi-tasking out of the box (closing apps and othe app related functions can require more taps and buttons holds), lack of flash (like, who needs flash right ? Only >70% of all major websites). And I could go on and on, putting holes in the iPad’s armour.

    As I’ve said before, I’ve owned and used. I don’t need the comparsion to get a good review. A friend of mine had a Pre which he allowed me to check out for about an hour. Needless to say, I found the OS pretty good. It was smooth, and looked great. Unfortunately we both conceeded, the Pre’s hardware was it biggest let down. WebOS looks pretty good, and it wouldve been good to read of the details of the WebOS, real-life notification systems,how email is handled,social networking,the integration of the card concept, the sound, the multitasking and how its integrated and the benifits to the user, as I’ve always requested “real-world, everyday use experience”.

    I understand time constraints of tech reviewers, and am certianly grateful for any kind of info on how the TouchPad works. Needless to say, I believe the HP TouchPad will be my next tablet. There are no outlets results of sales to report, or that I haven’t seen, neither do we know of sales figures.

    There is space for the OS, like all others including iOS(when it started), it will need support from developers. HP’s focus at this point should be on building a solid high quality ecosystem for the WebOS platform (and yes iOS I can say has a countless selection of not-so-good apps as well). Overall I expect WebOS to do well. Looking forward to picking up mine. Cheers

    • Chris George on July 22, 2011 at 4:51 AM
    • Reply

    Interesting but a bit ipad bias? you are comparing just a few things here and looking at ipad 2nd generation product against HP first..

    Do you think the 1gb memory is not worth mentioning for example? What is the weight and dimensions advantage based on? lighter is better and smaller is better? is the ipad’s thinness an advantage at all?

    As I said earlier this is only interesting review at best and not a very good one of either ipad or touchpad, or for that matter the linked review on the xoom where apparently the size of the screen is better if bigger and yet the slight thickness difference is better if thinner for the size.

    I have come to the conclusion that this reviewer (sorry) is not looking at the real user wants and needs but just pulling some tech info together (badly) as a comparison! Don’t for get anyone can do this and make either product look a winner just go look at the HP web site (or apple’s, motorloa’s)..

    1. Frankly econonomics do not permit what I would really like to do, which would be a hands-on comparison of both units. Still if you look at what a lot ot tech bloggers do, which is simply repost the manufacturers press release, at least this is trying to give some value add, even if it is aggregating publicly available information from several sources.

      Considering that a tablet computer is something meant to be carried around then I doubt that anybody would argue that thicker and heavier are good. In the same respect unless a smaller format confers some other advantage, such as being small enough to be easily carried in one hand or small enough to fit in a suit or shirt pocket, then most people would think that a larger viewing area is better. That in particular is the case where the screen proportions will allow viewing of most videos with no wasted screen space with black bars. In each of these comparisons (and any future ones that I expect to do) I am comparing the newly available device to the device that it is most clearly trying to steal customers from.

    • tractopelle on August 30, 2011 at 3:18 AM
    • Reply

    magnificent put up, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not understand this. You should continue your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

    • HP Mini Laptops on May 22, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    A motivating discussion worth comment. I think that you ought to write more on this subject – Write a Technical Report on any Product | Change begins with a Whisper

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.