From the sounds of this article - at least from my admittedly limited knowledge of electronics - it sounds like HP's tablet could be a competitor in the market, especially depending on what the price point was. If it was on the lower end, it would have been a great choice for someone who wants the technology, but can't afford the iPad or Samsung Galaxy. Any further word on why HP decided to scrap it?
It is unclear why HP has ultimately decided to get out of the tablet market. It could be that the Galaxy Tab, iPad, and other emerging competitors have made HP feel that they were "late to the gate".
One benefit of the exit by HP is that the tablets made are now on sale for the lowest prices seen in the tablet world. The last price listed was $99. This makes the unit a very good, albiet unsupported, device for those who are wanting to experience the tablet life.
I myself... I have an Android phone, and my laptop. I am happy as is ;)
As to why HP decided to exit the PC business (not just the tablet marketplace), there has been some good comments from a few bloggers - you might do a search for 'HP exit PC business' or something similar to that.
I think the general sense is that the exit is due to a general decision to NOT participate in the hardware side of the business. This was driven by the HP's new president and his vision. Time will tell if this is a good decision or not. As a long time user of HP (and Compaq) PCs, I will miss them!
Jenn: The TouchPad firesale is part of a larger move afoot at HP to divest itself of its entire PC business, a segment it got into in a big way with the acquisition of Compaq, one of the early leaders in the PC space. Along with announcing that it plans to exit the PC business, HP also announced the $10 billion acquisition of Autonomy, a maker of information management software. Pundits are saying HP plans to reinvent itself more along the lines of an IBM by providing software and consulting services, not commodity hardware. That said, the $99 TouchPads sold during this firesale were undoubtedly quite a bargain for those lucky buyers!
Back in the mid 1990's I got hooked on Palm and have stayed loyal since then. When HP bought Palm I was delighted. By early 2010 my Palm Treo was starting to fail and I started looking for a replacement. For the first time I started looking at the I-phone. Then the first HP announcement back in December 2010 about new smart phones and tablets. So, I waited and waited and waited. Finally, the day came when I could call HP and order the Touchpad (at full price) So I order it with all the accessories.
When it came I found much of the important software I wanted really didn't work. It came with Quickoffice. But only viewing and not editing or creating Word, Excell or Power Point Files. BTW: "Documents to go" software that I purchased back in 2005 for my Palm smart phone does this very well. Yet HP choose to re-invent the wheel by installing Quickoffice. Next HP Movies is a real joke because you can't set up an account due to software issues and activate the service. However, since July 5, I've been assured they will fix the issue and I will be able to down load and watch movies within 24-48 hours. I'm still waiting.
Bottomline: I've given up on the Plam dream and headed for the local Apple Store. I'm never going back to Palm/HP or the next guy that talks OS. I do think OS is a powerful tool when compared to what's out there even today. But HP is now headed out to re-invent itself to look like big blue. I will not follow them off the clift.
P.S. I will also make sure my company runs away from any future product HP sales because HP dropped the Touchpad and PC business shows me they are not a reliable supplier.
Unrelated to the previous thread, I just wanted to express how much I love the concept of this "Tear Down" section! If it were not for the watches, toasters, TV's around the house that I dissassembled as a kid, I would never have been the engineer I am today. Just as physicians begin their training in the "Cadaver Lab" I believe, as an educator, designers need to take things apart. And this series in Design News is the next-best thing. In fact, its even better in some respects.
Keep it up, Design News! (One day, you'll be able to put those devices back together! With only a few parts left over :-)
Truthfully, when we first took a look at the TouchPad when it was launched, we had a feeling it was DOA. Our first impressions were the units were extremely bulky in comparison to recent releases like the Motorola Xoom or the iPad 2. Secondly, it's price point wasn't competitive. It came it at $499 and $599, the same price as the iPad 2. In a spec-to-spec comparison, they were essentially the same type of product. Why would the average consumer pay what they can pay for an iPad 2 - with its vaunted Apple support and massive, well-developed library of applications, for a tablet with a unproven operating system in webOS.
Jamit: I have also been a long-time Palm fan, with my Palm IIIx back in the 90s. I currently have a Palm Pre+ and was excited when HP bought Palm and for the TouchPad. Unlike you, though, I did not buy one because it seemed too close to the iPad hardware, but at the price of an iPad2. I was really hoping for the TouchPad 2 in another year.
Anyhow, I wanted to point out that the reason Palm/HP ditched Documents to Go, which I also liked, is because RIM bought DataViz, the company responsible for Docs to Go. As such, RIM turned off all support and development for any OS besides their own (QNX). In a scramble, QuickOffice stepped forward to fill the void. While I think HP could have done more to help out QuickOffice by TP release time, I also think they did the best they could in the very short time they had since the RIM/DataViz announcement.
I'm not quite willing to give up on whatever the Palm spinoff becomes, as Palm has done this sort of thing in the past. (Remember when they threw off PalmOS to ACCESS, which seemed horrible. But we got webOS instead -- a MUCH better product!)
I also agree that the OS is a powerful tool. Unfortunately, the one thing webOS had going for it was the hardware -- in the form of the "gesture area". Software and OSes can be copied relatively easily (just take a look at the Playbook or the various Android themes that look like webOS), but the gesture area would have required a hardware change -- much more difficult. When they gave that up on the TouchPad, I was disappointed. And I think many webOS fans were, too, which is one (small) reason it didn't sell so well, IMO.
I talked with the folks at documents to go. They still support several palm applications. So it looks like a couple of lines of code would allow touchpad uses to use it today. But I guess HP pride stopped it. Yet iPad supports dos to go. BTW Sprint will get new iPhones in Oct. So I'm definently switching.
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.