Ron Simms Jr.
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M.I.S.S. Techcessories: HP TouchPad

HP's first webOS enabled tablet, the TouchPad

HP's first webOS enabled tablet, the TouchPad

Shiznit has just got real with the revelation of HPs long awaited TouchPad, the first in what promises to become one big happy webOS enabled tablet family.  Not straying too far from the design ethos laid down by the iPad, HPs Touchpad sports a 9.7 inch capacitive touch screen with a 1024 x 768 screen resolution, a rounded black bezel for you to put your grubby little hands on when you’re not fondling the screen, and a front facing camera for video calls.  Powering the whole shebangabang is a dual core 1.2GHz Snapdragon APQ8060 processor.  Which is good, because the TouchPad is going to need all that speed and power to handle what may be the TouchPad’s most important feature: webOS 3.0.

WebOS 3.0 brings quite a few features to the table that’ll have iPad owners feeling more than a bit jealous.  For starters there’s support for Flash 10.1.  No more surfing the web and seeing empty spaces where all those NSFW videos should be.  There’s also Touch-to-Share, a feature that lets you touch your phone and TouchPad together to share information from one to the other.  Think of it as like a technological quickie, only instead of spreading STDs and having to get pap smears every few months, you’re sharing useful data like documents, songs, text, and phone calls instead.  Email has been changed from previous webOS versions and now features a more iPad like multi-pane layout that lets you look at your inbox and the message at the same time, the Calendar now allows you to look at multiple calendars from various sources at the same time.  And, just like the iPad, you can wirelessly print documents, photos, and/or text (presumably to one of HPs numerous wireless printers.  Brand synergy!).

You’ll be able to view movies and TV shows via the HP Movie Store, or read your favorite books via the webOS version of the Kindle app.  Magazines will also be offered as well in a last ditch effort to save print media from doom (zing!).   Of course, a single button just below the screen is what you’ll use to launch all those things, not to mention the apps you’ll be sure to add to your tablet later on down the road.  Angry Birds for webOS?  Dare to dream?

And if you hate the iPad’s virtual keyboard, HPs thought of a potentially better solution.  The TouchPad’s virtual keyboard actually features a number row, which could lead to less shifting between keyboard layouts.  And it can be resized, creating more viewing space but less for your fingers.  Or vice versa, as the keyboard can be blown up for the more thick fingered among us.  I know I’m not the only one who always hits random keys due to finger size and contemplates throwing their expensive gadget against a wall before cooler heads prevail.

One other important thing to note: the TouchPad will support HP’s updated TouchStone technology.  The pseudo-stone shaped device that allowed for wireless charging back in the day still does that and a whole lot more.  Looking more like a desk stand, couple it with your TouchPad and it automatically kicks the device into “Exhibition Mode”.  The tablet is location aware and will display different information based on setting.  At home it may show photo slideshows of your homies.  At the office it may show your calanders and important documents.   Take it to the beach and it’ll show you what you need to make strawberry daiquiris.  Or not because I totally made that last part up.

Pricing hasn’t been announced just yet, but it’ll be available sometime over the summer so best start stacking your paper right now.

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