Last time I showed you how to speed up your newly acquired firesale HP TouchPad with a number of patches and tweaks. There’s no denying that the performance increase is noticeable (especially compared to stock 3.0 firmware) but the device still seems to lag and stutter at points.
If you’re still disappointed with performance and are looking to turbo-charge your TouchPad, then a 1.5GHz speed bump might just do the trick. Be warned that this might just void your warranty should things go wrong, but with software like WebOS Doctor on your side the process is fairly safe and above all easy. It is also possible to remove your modified kernel and restore to Palm defaults with just a few taps.
Warranty, Preware & Patches
Before we begin, make sure you have installed Preware, enabled Developer Mode and installed the patches I mentioned in my last article. You’ll be needing Preware in order to download and install the new kernel and governor application, Developer Mode, to alter the TouchPad’s existing kernel and the patches go a long way in the pursuit of a speedy tablet.
It must be said that HP is unlikely to bat an eyelid should you return a TouchPad that has been “bricked” due to an unclean reboot caused by messing with the kernel. Similarly, they won’t repair a unit damaged directly as a result of an overclock.
That said, the 1.5GHz bump is a fairly safe procedure which does not increase the processor’s voltage demands nor does it have a massive impact on battery life. It’s early days at the moment, and many are reporting around a 10% decrease in battery life, with the highest I’ve seen quoted at 20%. Similarly, operating temperatures aren’t that much higher either.
UberKernel & Experimental Alternatives
At present the only stable kernel that currently supports overclocking is called the UberKernel. There are plenty of others available, but these still reside in Preware’s testing feeds, unlike UberKernel which has been deemed fit for public consumption.
It is for this reason that we’re using UberKernel here. If you are interested in trying out some of the more experimental overclocks, with speeds of up to 1.9GHz available (though stability goes out of the window) then check out PsychoKernel at WebOS-Internals. As stability increases with each alpha version, features are implemented into the public UberKernel release – so it’s probably worth sticking to the public release unless you’re ready to play by the testing rules.
Install UberKernel & Govnah
Open up Preware and choose Available Packages followed by Kernels then All. At the time of writing only two are available – Palm Kernel (the default “recovery” kernel) and UberKernel.
Choose UberKernel, read the disclaimer then hit Install. The process should take around 10 minutes maximum, and once installed you will be prompted to restart your device (which you should do).
If all went well, your TouchPad started up as you’d normally expect it to (with an initial splash of information on boot from UberKernel). At present, your TouchPad is not overclocked – UberKernel simply allows for this. To increase your CPU frequency you’ll need a governor application, like Govnah.
Back to Preware and hit the magnifying glass (search) icon in the top right. Type “Govnah” (without quotes) and tap on the only result. Once you’ve read the app description, hit Install.
Exit Preware and open your app launcher. Navigate to Downloads and choose Govnah. Read and heed the text before tapping through to the main interface. Govnah should currently look like this:
To overclock, simply tap Profile then choose OnDemandTcl 1512. You will be returned to the Govnah home screen, where you can watch your CPU clock itself up to 1.5GHz. Congratulations, you’re overclocked – exit Govnah and try out your faster tablet.
You can of course create your own profiles where you specify the clock speed, though beware it is possible that you’ll encounter issues. To uninstall, simply select UberKernel in Preware from your Installed Packages list and uninstall then reboot. Easy!
The Doctor Will See You Now
If something went wrong, then all might not be lost. WebOS Doctor is program designed to restore your WebOS device back to an original firmware image. There is a lengthy guide on WebOS-Internals about restoring a device and solutions to a number of problems you might encounter.
After spending a day or two overclocked, I can say the difference is noticeable. Loading times for apps such as email and photos are much improved, as is scrolling through emails or sliding panes around in Facebook. The browsing experience is perkier too – and I haven’t really noticed an impact on battery life.
Let us know if you’ve noticed much of a speed boost from your TouchPad. Did you patch it up or go the whole hog and overclock? Do you like WebOS? Do you think HP will continue to provide updates or sell the OS? This is a hot topic right now, so leave your comment below.