The HP TouchPad is a tablet computer released in the US on July 1, 2011, by Hewlett-Packard. It was later released in Canada, UK, France, and Germany, on July 15, 2011, and on August 15, 2011, in Australia.
On August 18, 2011, Hewlett-Packard announced it was discontinuing all devices using the current hardware, webOS, because of low sales. The remaining devices quickly sold out after a drastic price reduction. The success of the sale prompted Hewlett-Packard to continue the development of the TouchPad, and more devices were made to fill existing orders. This resulted in the HP TouchPad to be second to Apple in tablet sales.
Some features of the HP TouchPad are card multitasking, an integrated front webcam, and a backlit Home button. It also allows haptic feedback with a vibration function. It has 1 GB of RAM, with either 16 or 32 GB of storage. It could make and receive calls using Skype as well as calls and text from phones using Palm Profile. The TouchPad has internal stereo speakers and uses Beats Audio.
The HP TouchPad’s display is a 9.7-inch touchscreen, using either finger touch or a stylus (pen). It has a virtual QWERTY keyboard with a number row.
Buttons on the device include a sleep/wake button on the top right, a home button on the bottom, and the volume control are located on the right.
Connectivity is done with either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It was able to connect to non webOS smartphones and other devices after an update to the webOS.
The rechargeable battery has nine hours of use and is recharged through a micro USB or an optional wireless charger. If the wireless charger is used, the TouchPad will enter sleep mode and displays only simple information like a clock, media or a schedule.
Other models of the HP TouchPad that were announced in July 2011, are the TouchPad 4G, which had a faster processor, 32 GB of flash memory, a GPS and used AT&T‘s 3.5 G network. A 64 GB model with Wi-Fi only, but was developed in small quantities. The TouchPad go had a 7 inch display, 32 GB of flash memory, and cellular capabilities.
Preinstalled software in the TouchPad includes Webkit browser, e-mail and messaging, access to HP app catalog, a note taking app, Quick office, Adobe Reader, maps, an address book, a music app, a phone app, an image viewer, an e-book app, Facebook and YouTube.
On October 22, 2011, Android 2.3 Gingerbread became available as an add-on which allowed for users to access Android apps. On January 17, 2012, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was an available add-on (CM, Alpha 0). Continual upgrades to the Android port were developed and as of early 2013 weekly upgrades to this port are being developed.
Linux has also been successfully ported to run with webOS using moboot, a multiboot bootloader. The latest is X11 windowing system.
Optional accessories for the HP TouchPad include, a wireless charging dock, a Bluetooth wireless keyboard, a power adaptor, and a protective case that can be also used as a stand.
Image Caption: HP TouchPad. Credit: Hewlett-Packard