Thousands buy discontinued HP TouchPad for $98

Image credit: liza.id.au Last week HP announced they were discontinuing their failed tablet, the TouchPad. Exclusive Australian retailer Harvey Norman immediately pulled it from shelves and their website. As...

HP TouchPadHP TouchPad
Image credit: liza.id.au

Last week HP announced they were discontinuing their failed tablet, the TouchPad. Exclusive Australian retailer Harvey Norman immediately pulled it from shelves and their website. As other countries slashed TouchPad price to run out existing stock, Australian’s began to question why the same wasn’t being done here.

This afternoon at 2pm, Harvey Norman did just that. They dropped the price from $598 to just $98 for the 16GB model. As news spread quickly on twitter, cues of people began forming at stores around the country. While Harvey Norman posted that there was a string 1 per customer limit in place, I know of a number of customers who were able to bag 2 by choosing a 16GB and a 32GB model.

Naturally stock didn’t last long with most stores around Australia being sold out of HP TouchPads within an hour. Apparently buying a discontinued product and dead ecosystem didn’t concern people. Most gadgets we purchase are upgraded and improve over time with iterations of software and additional applications. The HP TouchPad however is as good today as it will ever be.

Naturally with a device that runs a discontinued OS, owners begin to look to ports of other mobile platforms to solve the issue. Conversation around an Android port to the HP TouchPad has already begun. So did you manage tackle the crowds and grab one this afternoon ? If so, are you happy, or regretting your decision ?

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I was able to get a quick hands-on with the HP TouchPad (thanks Ben), after the review unit was cancelled. My initial impression was positive for the TouchPad, with one of the most critical factors, touchscreen responsiveness, being on-par with the iPad. The display was also good quality, but weight was notably heavier than the iPad. By far the biggest issue will be application support, but with more of the web going HTML5, then you maybe able to get by. For $98 its clearly a good deal, personally I couldn’t find a real need for it, so kept the cash in the pocket for something I actually need, not just want.

There’s been some discussion online about whether HP should have killed off the TouchPad given the ‘demand’. Let me make this very clear. The HP TouchPad was a failure and sold at a dramatic loss. The only reason people ‘demanded’ it today was the price. On the market for 4 days, only 1200 were sold in Australia, that’s the real demand, not the rush at 2pm today.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.