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Tablet Dock Review: HP Touchstone Charging Dock for TouchPad Review
      #40951 - 07/08/11 06:42 PM

Tablet Dock Review: HP Touchstone Charging Dock for TouchPad Review
Reviewed by Tong Zhang

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 5

What's Hot: Flexible viewing angles, great Exhibition UI and comes with an additional AC charger.

What's Not: None.

After we got our HP TouchPad webOS tablet, we found that we couldn't live without the HP Touchstone Charging Dock for the TouchPad. First of all, it saves you a lot of space on the desk ? the 10" tablet doesn't seem so big until you have to find space to lay it down. The stand can prop up the tablet in any viewing angle you'd like in either portrait or landscape orientation. The dock also charges the tablet via inductive charging. And on top of that, the Exhibition mode for the TouchPad while in the Touchstone Charging Dock lets you see your photos, Facebook entries, your calendar or turns it into a desk clock. Nice!



Design

The HP Touchstone Charging Dock for TouchPad has a simple yet very functional design. The dock measures 4.25 wide and 5.75 niches long, and it has an adjustable metal stand on the back. The dock has a soft touch surface where it touches the tablet and it certainly won?t scratch the back of the TouchPad or leave a mark. The back of the dock is a shiny piano black surface that matches the back of the TouchPad tablet. Both the Dock and the metal stand on the back have rubber surface on the bottom to prevent slipping. The HP Touchstone Charging Dock for TouchPad doesn?t look big, but the HP TouchPad tablet sits in it very steadily in either orientation.



One nice thing about the HP Touchstone Charging Dock for TouchPad is that it comes with the small yet stylish AC charger that costs $29.99 if you buy it separately. If you are traveling with the HP TouchPad as well as the HP Touchstone Charging Dock, you can bring one AC charger that can charge the tablet directly or via the Charging Dock.

Features

The HP Touchstone Charging Dock for TouchPad works as a very capable stand. It not only can hold the tablet steadily, but also in many viewing angles. The metal stand on the back of the dock can rotate almost 180 degrees, so that you can find the best viewing angles for different tasks such as browsing, watching multimedia content, or using it with the HP TouchPad Wireless Keyboard. It?s easy to adjust the angle as the metal stand rotates smoothly.



Another big job for this small Charging Dock is to charge the tablet while it?s docked. The HP Touchstone Charging Dock for TouchPad does it via inductive charging, as with Touchstone docks that worked with Palm Pre series of smartphones. This means there is no wire connecting the charging dock to the TouchPad; just put the tablet on the stand to charge. The surface for inductive connection is much larger on the HP Touchstone Charging Dock for TouchPad than the Touchstone chargers for the Pre phones, and it can charge the tablet while it?s in either landscape or portrait orientations. However, the tablet must have the Home button on the right when in landscape mode; and the front facing camera has to be on top when in portrait mode for the inductive charging to happen.



While the HP TouchPad is charging in the Touchstone dock, it doesn?t have to be in sleep mode. In fact, you can activate the Exhibition mode to display content from different sources and get notifications (you can turn the notifications off if you don?t want to be bothered). While the TouchPad sits in the dock charging, you can have it play slideshows of your photos from the Gallery, Wallpapers, and even photos from your Facebook albums. You can also put the TouchPad in Agenda mode where it displays the basic calendar and lists your appointments for the day. What if you just want a desk clock or sleeping clock at night? The Touchstone Exhibition lets you choose from three clock styles: a basic round-faced clock with date/month/year/week, a digital clock with month/date/year, and a fancier round-faced clock that looks like a Movado watch with date/week.

Perhaps the most interesting and well-done UI for the Exhibition mode is the Facebook integration. You get avatar pictures for all of your friends as backdrop while each new entry pops up on the screen. It has that wall of friends feel to it yet keeps the message simple and easy to read.



Conclusion

The HP Touchstone Charging Dock for TouchPad is an essential gear for your TouchPad tablet. It provides unlimited viewing angles, inductive charging and displays useful and entertaining content while charging the tablet. The dock also comes with an AC adapter, handy if you loose the one that comes with your tablet. The dock is small and light, and can easily fit in your travel gear bag.

Price: $79.99
Web site: HP


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Check out our video review of the HP TouchPad tablet:
http://www.mobiletechreview.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Number=40926

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