It was supposed to be this wondertablet, a breakthrough device with iPhone-like capacitative touch screen, plus innovative software like its TouchSmart all-in-one siblings. But Laptop's testing shows the touch features aren't nearly good enough.
This wasn't the first—Dell's Latitude XT took that honour—but HP had moved further ahead with touch interface design, and could have really knocked this out of the park. But the touch interface has two problems, according to Laptop's review: The software isn't as good as it could be, and the screen itself isn't responsive enough.
The MediaSmart software was half-baked. It loaded slowly and when it was running, there was no easy way to toggle between music, photo and video, because they're all separate applications. Thankfully the touch controls worked in non-HP apps such as IE and Word. And while fun gestures like forming the McDonald's arches launched the MediaSmart browser, intuitive gestures like two-fingered scrolling (found on the Dell Latitude XT) were not enabled here.
The responsiveness of the panel was also a concern, though this might have been less to do with the touchscreen itself and more to do with the power of the system. Though Laptop got sent a high-end build, it seems to have struggled with basic Windows functionality. With regard to touchscreen performance, Laptop has a few examples like this one:
When we used two fingers to zoom in and out of Web pages in Internet Explorer 8, the page looked jerky while resizing, and the response was delayed.
We may check this thing out ourselves, at some point, but Laptop's review doesn't really make me so thrilled about the prospect. That's right folks, you may have to wait a little longer for a decent reason to put your oily, smudgy fingerprints all over your computer screen. [Laptop]