We’ve seen a lot of great tablets at Mobile World Congress this week, but if we were going to put money on one to really rival the iPad this year in the slate stakes, we’d back the HP TouchPad.
Only announced last week, the TouchPad’s use of Palm’s webOS software looks sure to set it apart from the now-quite-crowded tablet market.
Under the hood of the 9.7 inch device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2 GHz processor, which, while not as impressive as the dual-core offerings currently doing the rounds, kept the pace well with intensive multi-tasking, Flash playback and 3D polygonal gaming.
While the hardware specs are little to right home about, it’s the webOS software that is again wowing critics and casual gadgeteers alike. Excellent email and exchange support, allowing for multiple contacts and multiple simultaneous messages is superb, a re-sizable keyboard with number pad that can have a different scale independently for each application, aggregated photo libraries from online sources with built in commenting and friend features; as HP continue to stress, the software features are all about ease of use and convenience.
Take for instance the TouchStone integration between the new Pre 3 handset and the TouchPad; simply place the webOS smartphone on top of the new HP tablet and watch as they instantly sync and share web URL data across both devices. Lot’s of smart little touches like this are littered throughout, and look set to finally give Apple some real competition, especially now the might of HP’s coffers are behind the webOS platform.
Though we couldn’t nab hands-on time with the device at MWC 2011 (it seems these are still very much work-in-progress tablets in terms of software, and so off-limits to everyones fingers but those of HP staff) we caught some footage of one of the public demos HP offered throughout the day.
Hit the video to check it out.