A tablet computer provides a particular challenge for the design team producing it, since it's not like you can make it a funky shape to set it apart from the competition; instead the user experience is what will set the product apart.
I'm happy with the iPad user experience and grateful that Apple did it, not only because it's good on its own merits, but because it will inspire the competition to attempt to design a better user experience. So I've been going through the promo videos of HP's TouchPad (conveniently compiled here into a single list by ars technica) to see what they're up to.
The introductory video is pretty par-for-the-course, until you get to 2:20. Skip forward and check out their phone call and "Touch to Share" features:
Here's a closer look at those latter two features. I'd love to have devices that did this, as I'm constantly e-mailing things from one of my devices to another (maps and directions, for instance):
I also like how the experience of HP's Touchstone wireless charging feature looks, as it aims to let you "turn charging time into useful time:"
I spent Father's Day getting my pops' new iPad gift up and running. While it was pretty simple for him to use and understand, I do wish it had a multitasking interface like the following, which I feel would have made it a bit easier for him to intuitively understand switching back and forth between programs:
On that last note, I also wish I had a measure of control over the focus groups of companies getting into the tablet game. I'm sure they're filled with twentysomethings, but my advice would be to hold them exclusively in retirement communities. If you can make tech-challenged elderly persons easily understand your device, how to use it and how to sync it, I'd say your device will go far.
Join over 240,000 designers who stay up-to-date with the Core77 newsletter.
Test it out; it only takes a single click to unsubscribe