HP TouchPad – Beware the (non) Deals

Just over two months ago HP created market hysteria by killing off the TouchPad tablet and then dropping the price for quick sell-off to $99 for the 16GB and $149 for the 32GB version. In a dazzling internet-breaking weekend, a variety of sites posted and quickly sold out of the TouchPad at those prices. All of which is nice history, but it is relevant because now we are starting to see some stock of the TouchPad trickling out to a few deals sites, Amazon.com and HP itself. All of this before the anticipated final rush of TouchPad inventory made to use up the final supplier inventories.

This weekend the site DailySteals (synopsis: generally good prices, terribly delivery times) had the HP TouchPad 32GB for $239.99.

This seems like a decent value for a reasonable tablet – because it is. But the problem is that while the original $600+ was insane for the underpowered TouchPad with the already marginal webOS, when HP priced the 32GB version at $149 they set a standard, and now seeing these at $239 feels like a profit grab. If you go to eBay you can get one for about the same price. It makes me wary.

Another reason to be wary of these ‘deals’? According to reports, there is about to be another bulk public dump of TouchPads:

The $99 HP TouchPad is rumored to become available via a new production run by the end of October. According to reports Hewlett Packard will be releasing a limited number of Touchpads to “satisfy unfulfilled demand.”

It is believed that up to 200,000 TouchPad units will become available within the coming days.

The massive TouchPad sale originally saw the tablet sell for $99 for the 16 GB device and $149 for the 32 GB device. That sale took place in late August, and due to the heavily discounted prices saw the tablets sell out everywhere offering the tablet at the reduced price.

Consumers continue to wait for HP to announce their specific plans, but should expect an announcement soon.

One thing noted in the report from HP back in September was that “sellers would be granted the liberty to determine their own prices; some may opt not to sell the product at its $99 mark.” This could mean that these TouchPads at DailySteals are part of this new batch and are priced higher. It may also mean that no one will see the $99 TouchPad again.

But in the midst of this hysteria it is worth remembering: the TouchPad failed. Whether or not it was pulled too soon, it was a failure and was doomed. We see that the value for the TouchPad is ~$250 for the 32GB version, and $200 for the 16GB.

Also worth remembering: if a tablet lives and dies by apps, the TouchPad is doubly dead. While there are some decent apps, there is no Slacker, Rdio, MOG or Spotify; no Nook or Kobo; no Google Reader or Google + or Google Docs; the games are very limited, as are the utilities. On the plus side, the integrated email and messaging are solid, there is Angry Birds, and Facebook is STILL better than any other mobile platform.


About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!