Examining the HP TouchPad’s Capabilities

The TouchPad puts considerable computing power in your hands. But what, exactly, can an HP TouchPad do? Read on, to get a few ideas about what this handheld computer is capable of.

The TouchPad as an Internet portal

Your TouchPad’s browser is capable of displaying most web content because it supports HTML5 and Adobe Flash, the latter of which isn’t supported by the current leader in the tablet arena. Although HTML5 is becoming the new web standard, Flash is far more ubiquitous; thus, having a device that supports both technologies ensures you access to what you want, when you want it, and in a way you’re probably already accustomed to.

The TouchPad as a communications device

Although your TouchPad isn’t a TouchPhone, it enables you to communicate with your contacts in numerous ways. If you set up Skype, for example, you can use your TouchPad to make free video and voice calls to other Skype users or to make phone calls to actual phone numbers (though the latter option requires you to shell out some greenbacks for a paid Skype account). If you went all out and also bought an HP webOS smartphone, you can connecting it with your TouchPad and then magically using your TouchPad to make, receive, and manage calls.

Do you have laryngitis, or are you simply not into talking? No problem! Use your TouchPad to send and receive e-mail messages, instant messages, and text messages instead. The only way it can’t communicate yet is through telepathy, but HP is probably working on it.

The TouchPad as a multimedia powerhouse

Photos, videos, and music, oh my! TouchPad handles them all! For consumption of media, the TouchPad meets or exceeds the feature set of any other tablet, with new services added regularly.

The TouchPad as an e-reader

Although it’s likely simply a side effect of its generous 9.7-inch screen and the convenience of the proven form factor, it’s still rather serendipitous that your TouchPad is roughly the size and shape of a good hardcover book, given that it can easily replace a whole library. Whether you use the built-in Amazon Kindle app, which provides access to about a million books, or one of the many downloadable apps that provide access to newspapers and magazines and seemingly everything else, your TouchPad has your reading needs covered.

The TouchPad for productivity

HP products are staples in most offices, so it’s no surprise that part of the TouchPad’s focus is on productivity. Your TouchPad comes with both Quickoffice, which enables you to view and print Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on your device; and Adobe Reader, which provides the same functionality for PDF files. You can transfer files from your computer or access them directly from online services such as Google Docs, Dropbox, or Box.net, as examples.

The TouchPad as an app platform

Your TouchPad comes preloaded with lots of great applications, or apps, but you also have access to an ever-expanding library of downloads from the HP webOS App Catalog. Whether you want a program to replace an existing function or to create new functionality, or simply want a new game or entertainment service, you'll have plenty of apps to choose from. The best part is that many apps are free or sold at a very low price, so expanding your TouchPad’s usefulness won’t break the bank.

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