HP Touchpad: Palm Reincarnated?

News / Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Maybe. But like most tablets who have tried to take on the the iPad, success will be a matter of both hardware and, perhaps more importantly, software. The Apple ecosystem of hardware and software integration via iTunes and the App store is hard to beat for ease of use and online simplicity that makes buying applications as easy as turning your pockets inside out. Let’s not even talk about how well your Macs, iPhones, iPods, and iPads play together with iOS 5 poised to take us into synchronization bliss.

I used to love Palm. I had an original Palm Pilot, and bought several evolutionary and revolutionary devices to include the Palm III, Palm V, Zire, Handspring Visor, Treo, Tungsten TX, and Life Drive. My wife has owned the Treo Pro, Palm Pixi, and Palm Pre. They were all great devices and HP was often a worthy competitor with its iPaq line of handhelds and smartphones. I even owned several of those between switching back and forth to Palm. When Sony ported the Palm OS to its devices and used its multi-media expertise to raise the bar even higher, we thought life couldn’t get any better.

And then the iPhone came along. Since then, Palm sold its Web OS to HP and we’ve been waiting for new devices that would make us giddy about true competition among industry giants that meant better and cheaper tech for the rest of us. Android has been stepping up and gaining speed but still not strong enough to surpass the Apple juggernaut. But where has HP Palm been? And is it too late?

We’ll have to wait and see. With the pre-order of the HP Touchpad, it appears that the new device will be released soon but with few applications (considering the competition) and not much better tech specs at a price point that makes you wonder if it’s worth buying this device or just getting an iPad ($500, uh pass), I’m not sure that HP is really serious about returning to its days of mobile glory.

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