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Posted at 10:33 AM ET, 06/30/2011

HP TouchPad gets mixed early reviews

The HP TouchPad. (Eric Risberg - AP)
Hewlett-Packard is releasing its first tablet, the WebOS-based TouchPad, tomorrow, and early reviews are offering mixed messages about whether it’s worth its $500-$600 price tag.

The consensus seems to be that WebOS is worth watching as a platform in the future, but that the TouchPad itself is a little clunky.

The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg and the New York Times’ David Pogue both said that WebOS is a beautiful system but isn’t enough to make up for the fact that HP’s app store has only 300 apps.

(It’s worth noting, as Pogue does, that Android Honeyomb tablets have only 232 optimized apps.)

Pogue did praise the TouchPad’s approach to multitasking, which keeps all open apps running in the background, though he said the TouchPad takes a hit to its battery life because of it. Mossberg’s main criticism was that the hardware was “bulbous,” and although he liked the interface and many of the software features, he ran into plenty of bugs.

“[At] least for now, I can't recommend the TouchPad over the iPad 2.” he wrote.

On the other hand, PCMag’s Tim Gideon and David Pierce said in no uncertain terms that it was the best non-Apple tablet they’ve seen so far.

Compared with Android tablets such as the Xoom, PCMag commended the TouchPad for actually hitting the market as a finished tablet.

The TouchPad, they said, “is a fully formed, well-conceived, well-designed tablet with a graceful operating system, and a unique approach to multitasking, and it comes with all of its features activated.”

Related stories:

HP Touchpad coming July 1

PHOTOS: Tablet wars intensify

Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review: The best Android has to offer

By  |  10:33 AM ET, 06/30/2011

Tags:  Tablets, Gadgets

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