On the day of the TouchPad firesale, I took it upon myself to spend what little remaining balance I had from graduation and buy my first tablet. After a delay from BestBuy, it has finally arrived in perfect working order.
These are initial thoughts from my first experience with the $99 HP TouchPad. I haven’t used it long – a few days at most has it sat in my house on my kitchen counter, and maybe just over five hours of total hands on time. That’s constitutes my basis.
My first thought as I opened the shipping box: it looks like the MacBook Air’s box. It has a picture of the TouchPad on the front and for the most part, everything else is white except for its name on the sides and a little bit of crediting information on the lower back side.
A truly shameful moment caught me next. I could not grasp how to open the TouchPad box without damaging it. The MacBook’s box was easy to open, simply hold the cover and let the weight of the bottom section slide the bottom-box out. Easy. But the TouchPad was different, it had a side-loaded box. I was not sure if I needed to pull a tab away to let it loose, or some other mystical and innovate method open it. After an embarrassing four minutes, I pulled the side out revealing the TouchPad.
The TouchPad’s compartment was clean: a side-box for cables and a main portion delegated to the goods: the hardware itself. It was wrapped in a plastic sheet for protection and that was luckily easy enough to peel off.
After locating the power button the top of the TouchPad, a little HP logo appeared on the screen. It was generously about the size of a nickel and did nothing apparent for about two minutes but it started to pulsate and glow eventually. For another three minutes I waited for something.
I ended up on a language selection screen, then a country selection screen and finally a confirmation prompt. The TouchPad then launched me into a Wifi-setup dialog.
This Wifi dialog was honestly frustrating and I am rarely frustrated with these kinds of things. I am sure it was obvious mistake I made, but I waiting for ages to get it to work. The TouchPad discovered my Wifi network easily. I tapped it and another dialog appeared entitled “Join Integral” with a text box under it. I assumed it was for the password, but a little indication would’ve been nice. After entering the network password, I would continue but the Wifi-setup dialog would simply come back. I went through this about ten times before it finally registered.
Finally connected, the TouchPad asked me to agree once, agree twice and make an account for WebOS. Then some more mystery setup time was taken from my life followed by the first “The device will restart…” I have ever seen on a mobile device.
Once I was through all of the setup nonsense, I was at the home screen of nothing. I was not entirely sure what the next step was, so I did what I always do when I am out and see a tablet: I go to my business card homepage.
And that was my first experience with the HP TouchPad. It was pretty fast, except for all that setup-waiting I had to do, and it was pretty in a sense that it looked ascetically pleasing. You can see my full gallery of unboxing and setup pictures and egerily await more thoughts on the HP TouchPad, coming soon.