HP TouchPad Costs $318 in Materials: Report

HP's TouchPad tablet costs $318 in materials, according to IHS iSuppli's Teardown Analysis Service. The TouchPad, launched July 1, runs webOS 3.0.

Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad apparently carries a bill of materials totaling $318, according to a new report from IHS iSuppli's Teardown Analysis Service. That doesn't include a $10 manufacturing cost.

"The TouchPad in some ways does closely resemble the original iPad, with its use of the same LG display Apple used in the first-generation iPad, and by initially offering a product that only employs WiFi as its exclusive wireless connection," Andrew Rassweiler, senior director of IHS' teardown services, wrote in a July 6 statement. But "unlike the iPad, the TouchPad does not try to push the design envelope with an ultra-thin form factor or in the use of exotic materials."

The TouchPad's most expensive component is its 9.7-inch LCD, at $69, followed by the capacitive glass-on-glass touch-screen assembly, which goes for $63.50. Next up is NAND flash memory, at $45 for the 32GB, and the $30 mechanical/electromechanical subsystem. Mobile DRAM costs $26, and the Qualcomm APQ8060 dual-microprocessor $20. The battery pack is next, at $19.40, and the power-management subsystem at $12.50.

"In contrast to the iPad 2's aluminum shell, the TouchPad's enclosure is plastic, which means it is less rigid, and also requires the use of an additional internal frame for mounting internal components," Rassweiler added. "This significantly adds to the overall size of the tablet in terms of thickness and around the edges."

Many early reviews of the TouchPad, which launched July 1, have focused on the webOS 3.0 operating system. Like the PlayBook's QNX-based operating system, the TouchPad's webOS 3.0 places heavy emphasis on multitasking (with similar thumbnail windows to denote which applications are currently running) and finger-swiping as a navigation gesture. With both the PlayBook and TouchPad, you draw a finger upward from the bottom rim to minimize an application, before flicking to banish it. Like the PlayBook, the TouchPad boasts a relatively small number of applications at the outset (the HP App Catalog lists more than 4,450 "new" ones).

As eWEEK described in its review, the TouchPad feels like a work in progress, albeit one more polished than other Apple iPad competitors currently on the market. Although HP's tablet boasts a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, the user interface feels slow. Every application seems to require a few seconds' worth of loading time before it actually runs. Swiping between application-launcher screens also comes with the occasional split-second stall.

The TouchPad's initial lineup of baked-in applications includes email, calendar, chat, photos, maps, Adobe Reader, Quickoffice and a few others. Combined with the Facebook application and Angry Birds, that's more than enough for most consumers to start. HP is also pushing the TouchPad as an enterprise device, but it remains to be seen whether business-minded developers will create large numbers of applications for the webOS platform.

In the United States, HP is offering the 16GB version of the TouchPad for $499.99, and the 32GB version for $599.99.

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