HP launched one final liquidation sale on their discontinued HP TouchPad Sunday night to try and meet the incredible demand that the tablet generated from the original sale in August. But despite the bargain-basement pricing, many were still left unsatisfied.
HP announced late last week that they would be offering the TouchPad to US customers one last time. The sale took place on December 11 at 7pm Eastern time through HP’s eBay store. The WebOS-equipped tablets sold for $99 and $149 for 16GB and 32GB models, respectively.
There were, however, a few catches this time around. First, all of the units that HP put up for sale were refurbished models. Second, HP only offered 2,316 16GB units and 5,534 of the larger 32GB tablets during the sale, or less than 8,000 total. According to reports, these were all sold in less than 25 minutes. As a result, eBay and Paypal were sluggish and littered with error messages and failed transactions.
If that wasn’t enough to irritate buyers, HP charged a flat shipping fee of $19 per order – that’s 20 percent of the selling price of the 16GB model. It seems that trying to make a few extra bucks on shipping may have backfired as HP’s seller rating on eBay now sits at 93.5 percent with 60 negative and 13 neutral feedback ratings in the last month. Nearly every negative comment on the first several pages is in relation to shipping charges.
The HP TouchPad features a 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768 pixel, IPS display front and center, it has good color reproduction and viewing angles. It has a thick, nondescript bezel that surrounds the screen, within which is a home button and an embedded 1.3-megapixel camera. The home key is eerily reminiscent of the iPad's home button, though it is oblong in shape and has a glowing notification light built into it. Along the edge of the tablet are a power/sleep/unlock key, a volume rocker, a microphone, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a micro-USB charging/syncing port, and stereo "Beats" speakers.
The iPad 2 improves on the original in many ways, including a significantly faster dual-core CPU, improved graphics and a thinner footprint. The iPad 2 also manages to shave off 0.2 pounds for a total weight of 1.33 pounds on the Wi-Fi only model. Apple has included two cameras on the iPad 2 – a VGA-quality front facing lens for FaceTime and a rear-facing camera capable of recording 720p video.
Amazon sent a wave crashing through the mobile industry when it announced its Kindle Fire would land with a price of $199. This is likely the best value in a tablet on the market, and will make tablet computing accessible to many people that either couldn't afford an iPad or couldn't tolerate Honeycomb tablets.
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