HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

Summary: The time between HP's $99 TouchPad sales was less than four months, but the tablet market aftermath will be long-lasting.

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Hewlett-Packard will kick off another $99 TouchPad sale via eBay. One catch is that these TouchPads are refurbished. The other catch is that the tablet market has completely changed since the first time HP had a TouchPad liquidation sale.

A bevy of folks are hot and heavy for the $99 TouchPad sale on eBay as outlined by TechCrunch, but the run this time will be nothing like the first go-round. Why? Tablets with actual ecosystems and apps are nearing the $199 mark. The funny thing is HP's first TouchPad sale started the race to the bottom for tablets.

HP's first fire sale in August was sheer bedlam. A tablet for $99! We all clicked and wasted hours trying to get one. Some of us were even dumb enough to go to Best Buy and look for one. The TouchPad looked like a screaming deal when all tablets were going for $499 and up.

We endured so much of this:

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After the TouchPad fire sale 1.0 ended it was clear that there was a new magic price for tablets. In fact, you almost feel silly for wanting a TouchPad the first time.

Enter Amazon's Kindle Fire. At $199, the Kindle Fire is a tablet equivalent of the razor-razor blade model. Buy the tablet, Amazon takes a small loss and then makes it up on movies, music, e-books and apps. Now Research in Motion is taking hefty financial charges and playing the $199 game too. It has no choice.

Related: Great Debate: Are $200 tablets a game changer? | Great Debate: Kindle Fire or iPad: Which one should you buy?

The tablet market's race to the bottom only took a few weeks.

So this Sunday, the second version of HP's TouchPad fire sale will be almost nostalgic---at least in tech terms. HP blew up the tablet market and we're on the way to an everyday price of $99 in the not-too-distant future. The time between $99 TouchPad sales was less than four months, but the aftermath will be long-lasting.

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Laptops, Mobility

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24 comments
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  • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

    Hahaha... You didn't get one!
    x21x
    • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

      @x21x the best feature-able and very affordable tablet in my think of is that one: http://www.technologyfazer.com/viewsonic-7e-tablet.html
      nomikhokher
  • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

    I like the touch-pad, but I do wish they had put a fount facing camera in the thing right of the bat. A refurbished one for that price is a little cheeky.
    Andrew_Thomas
    • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

      @Andrew_Thomas
      Ummm....my touchpad, which is the only model ever sold, has a front-facing camera.
      jreuter
  • folks, this is the power of the open source

    FOSS is empowering people and making technology available for the masses.
    If it was for M$ & apple only, we would still be buying $600 tablets today, not $100 as Linux made it possible.
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

      @The Linux Geek - dude. take a pill. there are no $100 Linux tablets. Not even $100.00 Android tablets. Just used WebOS tablets that you have to root in order to (maybe) get Android to work on it.
      The Danger is Microsoft
      • Actually There Are $100 Android Tablets

        @The Danger is Microsoft
        One hundred dollar Android tablets do exist. That doesn't necessarily mean you'd want one of the hundred dollar ones, but they're out there (usually sporting a resistive touch screen).
        CFWhitman
    • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

      @The Linux Geek Provide some links to a reliable $100 Android tablet. Note the word "reliable".
      athynz
    • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

      @The Linux Geek FOSS has no influence on hardware prices.
      global.philosopher
  • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

    whao!!
    williamtb
  • So much has changed...

    Except for hp's clueless management team!
    otaddy
  • Do not use the TouchPad anymore

    I got a TouchPad during the first sale. It's good but would be better if I could put Android on it. If the Amazon Kindle Fire was available then, I would have bought that instead. I rarely use my TouchPad now and am saving up to buy the iPad 3 when it comes out next year.
    dlink24
    • You Can Put Android On a Touchpad

      @dlink24
      It's quite possible to put Android on a Touchpad. Cyanogenmod, for one, is "supported" on the HP Touchpad (they provide instructions and drivers for the various hardware components; of course there is no guarantee nor any liability if you brick your Touchpad). Check it out if you're interested.
      CFWhitman
      • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

        @CFWhitman

        Even if you "brick" your TouchPad, you can return it to stock webOS again if you have an internet connection and the USB cable that came with it.
        benched42
    • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

      @dlink24 I purchased two Touchpads during the fire sale. Got Android Gingerbread running on both of them through Cyanogenmod -- it's really nice. Not that I didn't like WebOS, but there were few apps and the interface was a little clunky.

      Kindles are nice if you like eye-strain. It's underpowered, using an older version of Android and has a tiny screen. I'm not sure what's so special about it's ecosystem -- on a Touchpad, I can run Netflix and download Kindle and Nook books with no problem. In addition, the Touchpad has bluetooth, excellent sound quality, much more horsepower, more RAM, more storage, a camera and a mic.
      K B
      • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

        @K B
        Update WebOS and download Preware, install some utilites to stop the silly logging and open up the processor and POOF, more apps and no sluggish interface.
        The Tablet Rocks!
        coachgeorge
    • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

      @dlink24
      For the right price, Ill buy it.
      Who needs android 2.x or 3.x
      coachgeorge
  • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

    I'll snag one if I Can. IT will make a great X-mas present for someone in my family lol.
    Bates_
  • RE: HP's $99 TouchPad fire sale 2.0: So much has changed

    Interesting how ZDNet always talks up the Kindle Fire while ignoring the Nook Tablet which (IMHO) is a considerably better product. True it cost a few bucks more but with the better interface, performance, screen, and storage expandability, it is definitely worth the extra $50.
    ckantack@...
    • Except, of course...

      @ckantack@... that Amazon has an ecosystem (and a very popular one at that), while B&N has none. The performance differences are minimal at best, and many reviews have raved about the Amazon interface. Perhaps the biggest selling point for me with the Fire is that Amazon de-Googled the device, a major point for those of us who do not trust Google.
      itpro_z