If you’re like me, gadgets play a big role in your life. From the moment I wake up to the time I head to sleep, you can be sure that I’ve interacted with some form of technology. Friends and family know I can’t be without my mobile phone and a recent holiday to Mauritius left me suffering from dire withdrawals from the Internet. Some might think I have an over reliance on technology but to be honest, I can’t seen my daily routines as being possible without them.
I recently branched out into purchasing a tablet computer earlier this year, I’d just gotten a job and thought it was right for me to treat myself to something indulgent, and the resultant purchase was that of a first generation Samsung Galaxy Tab. Though critics saw it as a quick fire attempt by the Korean company to release something to rival the ‘de facto’ tablet computer of 2010, the Apple iPad, it instantly made sense to me why it was a worthwhile purchase. I’d already been a long time user of Google’s Android software with my smartphone, and it was logical to purchase something that would allow me to use the android ecosystem on a bigger scale.
Last week saw the Internet swept over with a frenzy for something that critics were quick to disown, the HP Touchpad. I admit, I was also part of that frenzy, but for one sole reason: I wanted a part of history in my hands. Quick net savvy users were immediately on the case to make a quick buck following on from the ensuing rush to purchase one of these tablet computers, but luckily I managed to secure one from a certain online retailer before their website crumbled under the pressure.
I will admit, the geek inside me was elated as soon as I received the notification that it had been delivered and couldn’t wait to unbox it. Now a week into my life with WebOS, I can understand what a grave mistake Hewlett Packard is making when announcing they would be ceasing development on all WebOS devices. WebOS (at least for me) is not dead.
One thing I’ll admit to disliking straight away: the TouchPad does weigh quite a lot when held in one hand. I was more than surprised at how heavy it is, but considering it’s a first generation device, I can’t knock and points away from it.
The interface is one of the easiest I’ve used in my lifetime, and the whole ‘flick a card up to close the application’ paradigm is instantly user friendly and understandable. What I appreciate the most is the bourgeoning homebrew market that has popped up over the years.
PreWare was the first thing I installed along with a list of recommended patches. I also had to find alternate means to installing what I believe to be some core applications, such as Amazon’s Kindle app, the TouchPad optimised Facebook app as well as The Guardian’s unique Zeitgeist application.
I’ve yet to fully untap the potential within my hands, but I like what I see. And what I see is a device that could have had the potential to rival that of the more inferior iPad with an interface that has been flatteringly copied by others, though remains unique. I’ll be keeping a close eye on TouchPad developments here on Buttons Aren’t Toys.