Say Hello to My (New) Little Friend . . .

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yes, I’ve entered the tablet computing revolution (evolution?).

HP_TouchPadThe day when the HP TouchPad first went on sale (at a decent discount for employees), I spent my lunch hour lined up at the WebOS Retail Store in Sunnyvale (as they were offering an additional discount on accessories and you could bring your shiny new HP TouchPad home today).

Now, I adore my HP netbook. It’s an ideal traveling companion when not on business—and perfect during NaNoWriMo, as I can easily carry it everywhere I go so that I can squeeze in a few extra minutes of writing while waiting for doctor’s appointments, oil changes, and so on.

However . . .

After spending only a few hours with my new TouchPad, I knew that my netbook was now obsolete. The TouchPad was lighter, more flexible, and had a much longer battery life. While I initially bemoaned the fact that it did not support native Microsoft Office file editing, I recognized that very little of my writing required any of the tools that Word provides. Importing from plain text format into Word required very little effort in exchange for the flexibility that the TouchPad now offered. (I also purchased the separate Bluetooth keyboard, so my TouchPad has all of the keyboard functionality that my netbook does.)

ae-300-hp-touchpad-keyboard-300wThe “instant on” capability of the TouchPad, and immediate access to most of my instant messaging and e-mail accounts, made it ideal for my trip to WorldCon 2011. Having the convention program on the TouchPad was totally awesome. During lunch and other breaks, I would bring out my keyboard to make blog posts and complete my notes, as well as answer the occasional e-mail or three. (Not always easy, as the WiFi connectivity there was spotty at best outside the main area.) I even watched the streaming broadcast of the Hugo awards on it from my hotel room.

Would I recommend the HP TouchPad? Definitely. At it’s original retail price, that might have been debatable, but at the current $149 price (I have the 32GB model), there is no doubt. It does almost everything I need in a much more portable package than my netbook (something I never would have thought). I’m looking forward to seeing how it behaves during this year’s NaNoWriMo.