This is a tough post to write.
After years of being a fan of Palm (Palm Pilot, Treo600, Treo650, Pre-Minus, Pre-Plus, Pre2), and months of buying into the "coming months" dream, I'm sadly shedding my "fanboy" skin.
It is clear that HP can not deliver a timely, quality webOS product that can survive in the marketplace.
Don't get me wrong, webOS is THE BEST mobile operating system. The homebrew community is awesome. But it is clear to me now that HP cannot deliver.
I purchase a 16 Gig HP Touchpad last week. Tonight, I will be sending it back. Bottom line – there is NO compelling reason to keep it. In fact, there is NOTHING that the TouchPad can do that my Pre2 smartphone can already do. Actually, to be brutally honest, my Pre2 does much more.
Now, I'm not a guy who is really complaining about the hardware. I don't have a problem with the size or weight of the tablet, and I don't care that it only has 1 camera (I'm not going to be taking pictures with it). That never has been an issue for me (although it is a legitimate concern for others).
What has put me over the edge are the things that the device cannot do. Here are just a few of my frustrations:
- I can't read books on the TP
- NetFlix is not supported
- There is no remote desktop application, like LogMeIn or Go2MyPC (or even Splashtop)
- I can't edit Word and Excel documents
- I can't view PowerPoint presentations
- Frequently, I have to exit and restart the email app in order for message bodies to display
- There are no webOS 3 streaming music apps. The Slacker Radio app has even been removed from my TouchPad.
- The Touchpad mysteriously reboots a couple times each day.
- Fingerprints. I didn't want to be that guy who complained about the finger prints. But good grief, it's disgusting!
- Missing Accessories. I can't even spend my hard-earned money to purchase a carrying case or charging dock for the TouchPad. For all the talk of HP's magical retail delivery strength, they can't even supply a protective case (add-on sale!) to retailers for their flagship device.
- Sluggishness. I've overlooked this issue because of a promise from HP that an upcoming update will fix it. But, honestly, I don't believe HP anymore.
Yes, I know that most of these issues are simply "apps" that haven't been developed yet. But still…why should we set our expectations so low? Why should we display such low self-esteem as to accept a $500 product that can't even display an eBook at launch?! I will no longer buy a webOS product with the knowledge that I have to wait for it to be minimally functional. That is unacceptable behavior for webOS lovers.
And then there are the features that are cool, but not really useful to me.
- Beats Audio system sounded like it was going to be really cool. But, honestly, can anybody really tell the difference? Unfortunately, I've found the volume level to be less than the competitors.
- Touch-To-Share will be a cool feature. But, then again, in all honesty, I can't really see myself being so excited about a webpage that I am viewing on my tablet that I need to have it transferred immediately to my phone.
- Receiving Texts and Phone calls. This is actually a cool feature, and I've used it. But I can live without.
After a week of spending time with the TouchPad (that sounds awkward!), I'm left asking myself these questions:
- What has HP been doing since February? We were reminded (time and time again) that they had the resources, money, and manpower to make webOS succeed. Well…what exactly have they been doing? Do you mean to tell me that, in six months, HP could not convince NetFlix, Amazon, LogMeIn, B&N, QuickOffice, Slacker, Pandora – heck even the talented developer who gave us pReader – to develop simple apps for the thing?
- Did anybody at HP actually USE the device during development? Was anybody asking questions like, "why is this a fingerprint magnet?", or "why does this reboot twice each day?"
- What happened to HP's retail strength? We've been told all along about how HP would rule retail. Today, at Best Buys across the country, there are empty TouchPad display cases, sluggish display devices, unpowered display devices, and an uninformed sales force.
So, what's next for me? I'm sending the TouchPad back. That's regrettable because I really, really wanted webOS to shine!
I do love my webOS Pre2 device, but I no longer have any faith that HP can keep the OS alive. It will not gain any traction or marketshare. I'm convinced of this now.
And, I would to sell this domain (webOSCenter.com). If you are interested, please send me an offer at email@example.com.