Functionality not out of the box, not on the app store
That's not to say apps won't come in time - WebOS has a thriving developer community - but early TouchPad adopters will not find the tablet as flexible a media consumption device as they would an Android machine or even, thanks to the iTunes stores, the iPad.
Most of the TouchPad's pre-loaded apps are good, do what they say one the tin and do it well. The minor flaws they all incorporate are not (mostly) deal breakers and can be fixed through updates.
Pre-loaded apps appear in WebOS' Android-like Apps panel...
The TouchPad's lack of processor oomph won't be as easily fixable, however. Most of the time, the tablet operates smoothly, but on too many occasions there was a tiny but perceptible lag between action and consequence. Screen rotations are not instantaneous. Swipe up from the base of the screen to go to the Home view, and the app will scroll for a second before it figures out what you really want to do. Switch into a video and it can take a second or so for the movie to start playing.
This doesn't look good alongside a first-generation iPad let alone the iPad 2 and the new generation of Android tablets.
...as do Settings, each a standalone app
It doesn't really matter where the balance between OS, memory capacity and CPU speed lies when it comes to a tablet's responsiveness, the point is my original iPad is more so than the TouchPad, and it's more than a year older.
So HP has a tough sell to make even if other factors, such as the availability of apps, were equal. And they're not.
WebOS has a great, inclusive keyboard
This is a shame because, niggles aside, WebOS is a good tablet OS. Its multitasking is intuitive and just need a less clunky way of presenting apps. It has the best virtual keyboard there is, one that not only has numbers and symbols as well as letters, so there's far less switching between keyboard types, but also a Tab key for quickly moving between data fields.
Next page: Nice OS, shame about the hardware
HP's website and others confirm its 1024x768, so it is 4:3
And a damn good thing too. I've been looking at the Android tablets, and each one has been a case "ooh, that's shiny! but its 16:9 so its useless". Its like all the manufacturers have gone "well, we need to diffentiate our products from Apple's how can we do that? I know, the iPad isn't crippled, so if we cripple ours, that'll make it different and people will buy it..."
Of course it's not a good idea to rush stuff out that's buggy.
The rest of the manufacturers seem to be doing that though - and *still* selling units.
What HP should have not done is wait to see if the market takes-off, and then take their time to release a machine that's a year behind their main competitors.
What HP needed to do was release a machine that can directly compete with today's top-end machines. And since most people on reg seem to hate the fruity company so much, it's got to be really easy hasn't it?
What? It actually isn't? Even a company as big as HP can't do it? Blimey - maybe Apple aren't so crap after all?
Is it really?
If you take a fondleslab that is 29.7cm long, the length of a sheet of A4, at 4:3, the width would be 22.275cm. At 16:9 the width would be 16.7cm. A4 paper is 21cm wide, much closer to the 4:3 ratio.
"I don't want a gadget, I want a portable computer."
So buy a netbook then.
Depends on what you want to use it for?
16:9 works much better if you are using an RDP application to connect to a remote server, or watching practically any video since it's all wide screen these days.
Since I do both regularly on my Asus Transformer, a 16:9 aspect ratio suits me personally far better than 4:3 would.