Don’t listen to the masses. Buy the TouchPad (if you can find one) and enjoy webOS. It’s an amazing OS killed off by natural selection, like a beautiful peacock with a rare and debilitating reproductive problem. It has the swankiness of iOS, the multitasking of Android all built by the folks that started it all, Palm. The Internet is being overran by Android nerds. Don’t listen to them.
The TouchPad was doomed from the start. Tablets, outside of the iPad, are a niche device that attempt to justify their existence by replicating notebook functions on a slate form factor. They just don’t make sense without a robust app marketplace. A consumer can buy an iPad and never touch the web browser because of the sheer amount of useful and fun apps. That’s not the case with Android, BlackBerry, or webOS devices. These platforms, while fully functional and vibrant as any smartphone OS, did not prep for the transition to a 10-inch, thus the weakest of them will die an early death from poor consumer acceptance.
Unfortunately this early death doesn’t make any of the TouchPad’s competitors stronger. Android won’t benefit for this, but you still can.
The TouchPad is a fine device. The platform is more consumer friendly and operational in a tablet than Android right now and it has the pleasing user experience of webOS. We have never had any issues with webOS. We just couldn’t recommend it over the iPad. John’s official review of the TouchPad states, “WebOS and the Palm TouchPad are nearly perfect, an excellent amalgamation of everything that was ever right about Palm. But is even perfection, in this market, enough? Without a strong app base and some work on performance issues, the TouchPad may be the most beautiful dead-end we have seen yet.” Yep, that properly describes the TouchPad: a beautiful dead-end.
Some of Android’s faithful saw the TouchPad fire sale as an extraordinary opportunity. Here’s a dual-core tablet with an amazing 10-inch screen for only $100. Let’s all buy it and then put Android on it, they said. Great, but you, as curious onlooker not exactly sure how to flash a device or rebuild a kernel are better off with the stock webOS.
There’s currently a $1500 bounty for the first stable Android TouchPad build. The goal right now isn’t even Honeycomb but rather Android 2.x, which further supports my plea to keep the original tablet OS installed. The hacking cause might have gotten a free turn as what appears to be a Qualcomm prototype actually running Android 2.2.1 Froyo was supposedly installed on a TouchPad bought at retail.
I never thought HP would kill the TouchPad this fast. I figured the first generation of TouchPads were just to test the market and then HP, the mammoth PC maker, would out a proper second generation. But HP decided they didn’t want to be a mammoth PC maker anymore and axed their resource-sucking webOS hardware division. This departure then puts the pressure on the BlackBerry PlayBook as the under-performing tablet platform. Sprint already gave the tablet the stink eye and decided not to carry the 4G flavor. At least the Playbook has lasted longer than the TouchPad’s 49 day lifespan.
We’ve always said the TouchPad is a fine device and it’s an amazing deal at $99. Most of those are already gone and currently, the going price on eBay is just north of $300. (the same price as a refurb iPad) If you can find one though, buy it and enjoy webOS. There are a couple hundred apps available and there will likely be more coming from dedicated devs in the coming weeks and months. Think of it as a gadget of old: You buy it, take it home, turn it on and it works the same from day one. That’s the TouchPad now and it’s totally worth of $100. Just remember, for most people, webOS is better than Android on a tablet but besides in this case of porting, it doesn’t matter anymore, does it?