HP Touchpad, Pros & Cons

I took the plunge and bought a Touchpad after playing with a friend’s a weekend or two back. After learning that Android was being ported to it and that it could run Ubuntu, I thought it would be daft not to buy the tablet on eBay for £205.

I thought I’d share with you what’s good and what’s bad.


  • 4:3 Screen Aspect Ratio. Apple got this right, I don’t like 16:9 tablet’s it’s a silly screen ratio for that size of screen.
  • Beautiful, bright & colourful IPS screen. All but the black level of this screen appear the same as the iPad & iPad 2. I’m very impressed. The black level is still very good. The screen outperforms most android tablets I’ve seen in all areas. The best Android tablet screens are about equal with it.
  • WebOS is a slicker, smoother and more refined alternative to Android.
  • Really good email app included.
  • Excellent account integration for gmail and the like.
  • US Kindle App (UK users can find ways of install Kindle app if technically adept)
  • Angry Birds available and works beautifully, very smooth (sorry).
  • 8.5 hour battery life reported with auto dimmed screen (similar to iPad).
  • Relatively easy to tinker with and very hard to “brick”.
  • Android port on way, the legendary Cyanogenmod team have indicated an intent to even enable the latest Android: “Ice Cream Sandwhich” on the Touchpad.
  • Reports of being able to run Ubuntu on it.
  • Has been available at fire sale prices with people still rushing to buy them on eBay at twice the price (and still worth it IMHO).
  • An impressive audio system (with beats audio) for such a small device with tiny speakers.
  • Flash capable. Works with iPlayer and Youtube in the browser.


  • WebOS’s future is uncertain.
  • The Browser, while capable on most sites is not up to date apparently based on a 2009 version of webkit.
    • Web fonts don’t work (websites look uglier)
    • CSS Shadow’s don’t work (websites look uglier)
    • Some website popups fail (websites don’t work)
  • Not a big app platform, with very little developer interest after HP’s shenanigans.
  • Distinctly heavier than an iPad2 when held for a while with one hand.


For £205 it was well worth the money. I know I wont find a tablet this good for a price this low when they’re all sold out. You can get cheap android tablets, but they’re cheap tat in comparison to the Touchpad.

Android 2.3.6, Bluetooth Improvement

I’ve got a Nexus One phone. Today I got an Over The Air update to 2.3.6. I didn’t apply right away but Googled it a bit first.

Android to Pioneer Headunit Bluetooth Problems

I have a Pioneer Bluetooth headunit with headset and streaming stereo audio (A2DP). It’s always been a royal pain with the Nexus One as I’ve had to manually connect every time I start the car. This is Pioneer’s fault really as the Pioneer requires the phone to be visible to work automatically. Early Pioneer’s like mine seem to have botched the spec or something.

Android 2.3.6 Always Discoverable, No Timeout, Bluetooth Automatic Again!

Gingerbread 2.3.6 on the Nexus One allows you to go visible all the time on Bluetooth. This makes my Bluetooth in car automatic. I can’t express just how nice this is to have.

WiFi Tethering on Nexus One 2.3.6 OK!

Reports of WiFi tethering breaking on the Nexus S made me check my WiFi tethering. It works fine, no problems with 2.3.6 on the Nexus One, but your AP name and password will be reset. After reconfiguring it back to my settings I had my laptop connected to the Internet via my Nexus One without trouble.