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I put both the iPad 2 and the TouchPad through a series of tests to determine their respective strengths in areas such as email and calendar functionality, applications and app stores, and general performance, design, and usability. Here's how each fared.
Deathmatch: Email, calendars, and contacts
For testing these essential business functions, I used personal accounts of IMAP, POP, and Gmail along with a work account of Exchange 2007. Both devices work directly with IMAP, Gmail, and POP; my email, email folders, calendars, and contacts all flowed effortlessly among the tablets, my laptop, and the server.
Both devices try to autodetect your settings wherever possible, though the iPad is much better at handling nonvanilla settings. The TouchPad got my IMAP account's SMTP settings wrong, for example, but didn't know it, so I was unable to send messages until I realized my mail was trapped in the outbox and then went about fixing the settings manually. The iPad, by contrast, tests its outbound settings before it completes your account setup, letting you know if it has any issues. (At least the TouchPad doesn't make the same mistake as the Galaxy Tab 10.1: Stop the setup completely, so you lose the settings for any portion that did work.) Also, the TouchPad's manual setup for email is frustratingly limited; you have to use https:// in a server address rather than enable SSL through a check box as in other devices, and you cannot set the ports as you can elsewhere.
Setting up Exchange on both devices was simple. Unlike the first WebOS device, the original Palm Pre, and several subsequent models, the TouchPad supports on-device encryption out of the box (same with the iPad), so it easily connected to our corporate server and passed its basic set of Exchange ActiveSync policies.