Merely a week after offering consumers a deep discount on its Touchpad tablet line, HP has decided to make the $100 price cut a permanent one. HP's 16GB and 32GB Touchpad models will now weigh in at $399 and $499, respectively. The price changes are effective immediately and are currently available at HP's web store.

Apple itself has stated that its own iPad is "aggresively priced" at $499 and despite iSuppli's claim that Apple also has the monopoly on tablet cost efficiency, HP seems to think it can undercut its superstar competitor. Making serious on its promise to become one of the top two tablet manufacturers, HP's American Channel Chief, Stephen DiFranco, says the price cuts will make the device more competitive. Although there are no official numbers, DiFranco claims the sales were "encouraging". The response was apparently so encouraging, HP seems to believe it has found the magic price point for its tablet.

"As you may be aware, over the weekend, we offered a $100 instant-savings promotion through both our consumer and commercial channels.  Despite the very short runway, we were pleased with customer response and, as a result, have made the decision to implement a $100 price drop on the U.S. list price of the HP TouchPad, enabling both HP and our channel partners to be even more price competitive in the marketplace.  Effective immediately, the HP TouchPad 16GB Wi-Fi will now be available for $399.99 and the HP TouchPad 32GB Wi-Fi will now be available for $499.99."

Source: Steve DiFranco, Senior Vice President, HP Personal Systems Group

This news also follows a substantial Web OS update (3.0.2), also courtesy of HP. The update attempts to address many of the performance issues that continue to tarnish the Touchpad. Some of those issues were outlined in our very own review of the tablet, although there was plenty to like about the device as well. This is the first Touchpad update to have been delivered OTA (over the air) and should have found its way to Touchpads everywhere days ago.

​In addition to the price cut, HP is still offering a $50 credit for those who purchased the tablet before the sale. Please be aware that the credit is only applicable to purchasing apps in the HP app store, but that is still an unusually generous consolotion to early adopters.