We have now had a Touchpad in our offices for a month now, and to be honest it has been a bit of a love / hate relationship. The main issues we have had we had expected due to being early adopters and in the tech industry this is only to be expected, but HP have been making things worse then they needed to be.
To be very honest after one month I have to say that HP should have limited the release to US only, as they appear unwilling to offer the levels of support and help to International users that they are willing to do for the US market.
Here are a few examples.
Touchpad Support / Butler Service
In the US this is a 24 hour service, 7 days a week – If your Touchpad crashes on a Sunday morning, there is someone on hand to help out. In the UK, you will have to wait until 9am on Monday morning, or hope to find the answer on the web.
It is now the 8th August, and the UK can still see only the July edition of the Pivot Magazine. The US got the August version of Pivot on August 1st.
HP App Catalog
The UK have (as far as we can calculate) less than 287 Touchpad applications in the UK. Some out these 287 apps are usable on the Touchpad, but are basically upsized and emulated, so often have issues and do not work 100% with the Touchpad.
Worse than that 50 of the applications in the UK store are Petit Fute applications (French travel planners, written in French). Along side these are around a dozen news papers from overseas (Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver).
At this stage we have now looked over 100 applications that are available, so over a 3rd of the applications available. There are some great applications out there and some good ones on the way, but we are still lacking several titles that have been released in the US, including Kindle.
There is a lot of rubbish in the app store too, including the apps that have a basic front end and just allow you to access wikipedia pages. We have to ask what level of quality control HP are using before they allow an app to enter the App Catalog?
The price cut on the day that early adopters refund period expired was a kick in teeth, if you purchased a 32GB Touchpad on day of release, you could have saved £100 last weekend, if you have waited. HP have replied to unhappy customers in the US offering them a $50 voucher for the HP App Catalog, it is not much, be something. However, for us in the UK, we have had no such promises.
The OTA update has made the Touchpad a lot better, but it still lacks as an E-reader and E-Business device, with several applications for these things still in development.
For those considering purchasing the Touchpad, my advice would have to be as follow:
The Touchpad is a really nice device, and if you hate Apple, buy it now. If you do not mind the iPad and what Apple do, then either buy the iPad 2 now, or wait a little longer and wait for Touchpad to improve and for another fall in price. When the applications are there and the price is £399 for 32GB then it will be a tough decision between iPad and Touchpad.