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HP Portables Hardware

HP Reviving the $99 Touch Pad On December 11th 121

Posted by timothy
from the this-too-shall-pass dept.
Frankie70 writes "Starting Sunday, December 11th at 6:00 p.m. Central time, 16GB and 32GB Touchpads will be available on HP's ebay store. A $79 accessory bundle will also be available, which includes a case, charging dock and wireless keyboard. The caveat with this deal is that these are refurbished TouchPads rather than the brand new models sold during the first firesale."
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HP Reviving the $99 Touch Pad On December 11th

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  • Er, no. (Score:5, Funny)

    by irregular_hero (444800) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @12:24PM (#38303950)

    As a famous jerkwad once said: "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

    • by apcullen (2504324)
      while I appreciate the brilliant quote, I don't get it. Something is wrong with a chance to score a tablet for $99? Did HP do a bait and switch last time around? OTOH, I guess we should be skeptical of a company that's abandoning the tablet market and webOS selling these at must certainly be a loss.
      • Re:Er, no. (Score:5, Informative)

        by irregular_hero (444800) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @12:33PM (#38304088)

        Just speaking as a person who tried and failed multiple times to get orders in for one of the firesale units with multiple vendors -- and went to multiple retail stores in search of one... only to be shut out by the douchebags who bought dozens at a time. And whose attempts to get orders in with a certain few vendors ended up tying up charges against my credit cards for weeks as, slowly -- one by one -- each vendor admitted "yeah, we just don't have enough. sorry for sitting on your cash."

        Have fun, all you wild-eyed bargain hunters. I'll just sit this one out.

        • by Krojack (575051)
          Doesn't hurt to try and I will try. If I don't get one then oh well. No lose on my part at all nor will I be butt hurt either.
          • Re:Er, no. (Score:5, Informative)

            by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @01:26PM (#38304830)

            My mother-in-law ordered one from HP and was met with silence. For the entire month she put up with it, they'd charge her account $150 every friday and then return it. Effectively this meant she was missing $150 even though she didn't have the item. Additionally, she had typo'd her address when she submitted it. When she called to correct it, surprise surprise, they couldn't. All she could do was cancel and resubmit the order... which would have meant no Touchpad for her. While technically her fault, why the call center she talked to couldn't modify her order is beyond me.

            My experience was a little better. I didn't mind the $150 disappearing and the address was correct when I submitted it, but HP was TERRIBLE about telling me wtf was going on. On their web page the order status was set to something bizarre like "ORDER COMPLETE" or something that made it sound like my Touchpad was right here. It wasn't. When I tried to email them I was given a generic answer about how I'd get my order within a few weeks and they're very sorry and it took three paragraphs to explain these two simple concepts. It was definitely a source of frustration.

            I wouldn't say it "doesn't hurt". It may not hurt enough, but unless they've dramatically improved their customer service, it likely will hurt some.

            • by cayenne8 (626475)
              Hey...did they ever hack these things to get cyanogen running on them?

              I've been looking around and don't see much about it. I thought I'd read after the initial firesale, there was a lot of headway made to root and install it on these HP tablets, but not much is coming up with searches now...

              I found this: alpha release announcement [cyanogenmod.com], but is there anything more out there?

            • by Anubis350 (772791)
              That's not HP's fault, that's the fault of how holds on credit cards work (really want to get angry about such things? buy gas with a debit card!). She authorized them to put a $150 hold on her card when she bought the device, it wasn't permanent until the device was ready though. Also I can BS on every Friday, I had the same thing, they did it once every 3 weeks or so, and the Slickdeals and Palmcentral threads about the touchpad are full of people asking about and explaining the recurring the charge.

              Fo
              • (This really isn't a reply to your post... it started off that way but I'm just enjoying ranting about HP right now... please forgive me.)

                I got mine on the second batch, and it's okay. I have an iPad and a Galaxy Tab also and I think it's the weakest of the three. That said, I'm reasonably happy with it. I just wanted it as a always-by-the-couch tablet. So hopefully you'll see what I mean when I say 'instant gratification' wasn't the problem.

                I was probably a little too brief in my last post, there was

          • The entire point of the post to which you replied is that sometimes it does indeed hurt to try.
          • Doesn't hurt to try ...

            ... unless you value your time.

        • Re:Er, no. (Score:5, Informative)

          by need4mospd (1146215) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @12:54PM (#38304388)
          You can only get these at one place, the HP ebay store, with a two purchase limit. Happy shopping.
          • The "professionals" will have set up 5000 ebay accounts each...
          • by Thud457 (234763)
            "HP's ebay store" == HP's garage sale.
            Maybe this is a good sign that HP's returning to their roots.
            At least ebay has a chance of keeping up with the load, as opposed to HP's shopping site. oh, how embarrassing for a wannabe "services" company...
          • Re:Er, no. (Score:4, Informative)

            by irregular_hero (444800) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @01:35PM (#38304980)

            HP is one of the vendors I tried to buy from who sat on my $150 for 3+ weeks, renewing the hold every Friday like clockwork until finally canceling it with no attempt to reconcile with me as a customer.

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          Just speaking as a person who tried and failed multiple times to get orders in for one of the firesale units with multiple vendors -- and went to multiple retail stores in search of one... only to be shut out by the douchebags who bought dozens at a time. And whose attempts to get orders in with a certain few vendors ended up tying up charges against my credit cards for weeks as, slowly -- one by one -- each vendor admitted "yeah, we just don't have enough. sorry for sitting on your cash."

          You should have brought that up with your credit card bank - most merchant agreements don't allow merchants to charge your card before they ship the product (unless you agreed to it ahead of time). At the very least, they won't make you pay the charge while you wait for the merchant to refund it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          How fucking cheap are you? And how little do you value your time?

          You spent many many hours trying to buy a product that was discounted to a few tens or (just about) hundreds of dollars cheaper than its competitors. Why not just suck up the money, value your time more, and just buy one on eBay or a similar model at full price?

          Idiot.

          • Re:Er, no. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by hedwards (940851) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @02:12PM (#38305516)

            That's something people forget about. At some point it starts to make more sense to just pull some overtime or get a second job than it does to run around trying to save a few bucks.

          • That is exactly what I did. After going through the gyrations and trials detailed by posters above, and failing, I just grabbed one off Craigslist for $180. Still a great deal, and I'm happy with the purchase, although my status as a pre owner and webOS fanboy may cloud that a bit. My BeOS-oh-who-I-love-thee tablet is perfectly fine for now at sub-$200, and sometime early next year it will be running ICS. I haven nothing really to bitch about.

        • by Nikker (749551)
          You know it's not only that but the big problem is these guys only produced a very small number of these devices to begin with for dirt cheap and now they got so many back that they can hype another sale??? Doesn't that just sound a bit off to anyone else?
      • by thsths (31372)

        > Something is wrong with a chance to score a tablet for $99?

        Not at all, and now you have the advantage of getting an Alpha of Android, too. Not from HP, mind you.

      • by residieu (577863)
        These are refurbished models. I bet they're making more refurbishing them and selling them than they'd get throwing them in the dumpster.
    • For 99 bucks its a deal. Even if its a non product at this point it will still do what it does now for a while.

    • I agree, you should certainly not try to buy any of these. Err, you should also tell all of your friends not to as well. .>
      • by 4phun (822581)

        I agree, you should certainly not try to buy any of these. Err, you should also tell all of your friends not to as well. .>

        Hello, I am going to tell everyone whom I don't particularly like about the HP deal.

        Every political insider who calls me for my vote or a political donation will hear about this bargain for their staff this weekend.

  • I can't wait for them to start with the 7" tablet death march.

    • by philpalm (952191)
      True it is lively, and this Friday announcement by the HP CEO, Meg Whitman will most likely show how HP will work on WebOS in the future. HP employeees will get first shot at purchasing a Touchpad, there were rumors of a 7in Touchpad selling on Ebay and sales will be limited to 2 per eBay paypal person account.
  • So, what do you think the actual chances of scoring one are? Geeze, this is gonna be a free for all

    • by synaptik (125) *
      Well, if you want to get technical about it, it'll actually be a $99-for-all...
  • It's been discussed to death, but for that kind of price they really are a steal.
  • by caywen (942955) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @12:25PM (#38303976)

    I think their initial intention was to throw WebOS and the TouchPad overboard, but consider that tablets are already racing to the bottom. HP's firesale pricing happens to already be there, and maybe a better strategy is to become a strong #2 in the market so they can upsell you to a more normally-priced $149 tablet next year. That would make more sense that just pulling the cord.

    • by Compaqt (1758360)

      Yeah, this. The whole dump-WebOS thing was Apothekar's idea, colossally dumb. Might as well stick with it.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      Considering the multi-billion dollar loss WebOS has been so far, merely selling a few more next year at a slightly higher price doesn't seem like a winning strategy to me. I would love to see it completely open-sourced and become a competitor to Android as a truly open-source OS for phones and tablets, and even netbooks. The brand-name recognition and goodwill generated from that would be worth something to HP if they used it right. That being said, I highly doubt it would happen.
      • by Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @01:00PM (#38304484)

        Considering the multi-billion dollar loss WebOS has been so far, merely selling a few more next year at a slightly higher price doesn't seem like a winning strategy to me.

        There's a bit of a false assumption here. The money that HP has lost on WebOS is a sunk cost. It's gone and it's not coming back, no matter what happens. HP should be thinking entirely of the future at this point. Can WebOS generate a worthwhile profit from today onward? If so, they should hold on to it, even if it never makes back the initial investment.

        People often don't think this way. If I lose a ton of money on an asset I'm likely to get rid of it, even if it stands to be mildly profitable in the future. HP shouldn't be thinking that way. (I should point out that I have no idea if they actuall are or not.)

        That said, I'd love an open source WebOS, if only to keep Google honest.

        • by oodaloop (1229816)
          True. But making more tablets at only $149, as the parent to my original post indicated, where the original price was $399 isn't only profitable, but probably continuing a massive loss. The Kindle Fire, made to lower specs, costs almost exactly as much as it is sold, $200. The Touch Pad must have cost much more than $149 to make.
    • by JiffyPop (318506)
      Where is the "-1 - Navel Gazing" moderation option?
    • I've been speculating that they're trying to flood the market with WebOS so they can tell companies who are considering using the platform on their product product things like, "X WebOS devices are currently in use with an estimated user base of Y. Based on sales of WebOS devices from 2011, a projected increase to a user base of Z is expected by Q4 2012." Where X, Y and Z are impressive and rather inflated numbers. Similar to how their server/network hardware support makes them more money than sales of hard
    • Not gonna happen. HP needs to exit the non-Windows tablet business now that their corporate masters in Redmond have commanded them to get into the Windows Phone 8 Tablet business. Tablets from HP, Dell, Acer, and Lenovo will be all Windows, all the time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, considering that the TouchPad has a $318 BOM, it makes total sense to sell a bunch at a $219 loss, then sell more next year at a mere $179 loss. Profits can't be far behind using that strategy.

    • Tablets are racing to the bottom? How do you figure? They sold the TouchPad at a loss just to get rid of their inventory, and the Kindle Fire is the only other data point of a credible tablet under $200. And by all accounts, it feels like a tablet that's under $200, which is not a good thing. There's a reason the decent tablets cost at least $400-500. It's because you can't make a good one that's cheaper with the technology that's out there now.

    • It depends on how much these things cost to manufacture. Considering that they were originally supposed to be around $500, I wouldn't be surprised if they cost more than $150 to manufacture.

      Whenever the subject of Touchpads come up, someone starts to argue, "Well they're selling a ton of these now, so they should ramp up production and they'll make tons of money!" It kind of fails to acknowledge, though, that they're selling them really cheaply because they're trying to ditch inventory, and supposedly se

  • I already have an iPad2, and I also have the MS BUILD tablet (the thing with Windows 8 on it), but the low price is tempting. Should I get one?
    • Re:Should I buy one? (Score:5, Informative)

      by David_Hart (1184661) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @12:44PM (#38304210)

      I have both the Touchpad and the iPad 2. I like the Touchpad interface better than the iPad interface.

      That being said, you have to understand that there are a limited number of Apps for WebOS. So you won't be able to find WebOS versions of your favorite apps. But it is a great for browsing, email, twitter, facebook, and can be used as a picture frame / photo viewer as it has a slideshow mode when plugged in. This alone is worth the $$.

      You currently have the option to dual boot to an older version of Andriod (Cyanogenmod) that has been developed. It's still in beta, so there are bugs to be worked out. On the horizon is the pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow, Ice Cream Sandwich. It is anticipated that a version of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Touchpad will be available before March of 2012. This opens up the Touchpad to the Andriod marketplace and makes it a cheap modern table.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Should I *try* to get one?

      FTFY, and btw, yes... they're excellent hardware for the price (and WebOS is also interesting, even if you end up throwing android on it)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have an iPad. I have a Touchpad. I'm not a big app buyer. Browser, maps, play back videos I download to the Touchpad (it acts like a flash drive when connected to any operating system), email, VPN, some light typing, YouTube. All the flash in a browser you'd want. Once you learn how to close a window (just toss it off the top of the display) you're good to go. Within two days of getting my Touchpad I've stopped using my iPad. Literally. I haven't gone back. What about music. Come on, is that what

  • I'm so tempted to get one of these as a toy. Also, they run Android REALLY WELL, apparently. So even if WebOS isn't to your liking they're still quite useful.

  • to the evolving low end consumer electronics market. You can try to sell these at a good margin and turn enough volume to make a fair profit, or you can go the walmart route and make a cheap product, and set your margins very low and make up the same bottom line in volume. Or maybe a smaller bottom line, but profit is profit. At the end of the year, if you clear a thousand or clear a few million, you're still ahead either way, and your effort was worth your while. Obviously it's better to clear millions

    • by Pope (17780)

      Except this ain't profit, this is dumping inventory at a loss, like the first time.

    • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Thursday December 08, 2011 @05:58PM (#38308702)

      So, your master plan is to make up the profit in volume of sales?

      So, the volume price is $99, the manufacturing cost *per TouchPad* is $318 (http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/HP-TouchPad-Carries-$318-Bill-of-Materials.aspx).

      So, HP "make" -$219 per TouchPad. I can see why they need volume sales to make up the profit... ;)

      I'm not sure where the myth that these sorts of devices cost buttons to make and are just sold at crazy high "all gravy" margins? Oh wait, it's what they think Apple are doing with the iPad. Even the really good Android competitors to the iPad are only $100 or so less - so still in the $400 range.

      Selling them at $99 does not make for a sound business plan unless you plan to make up the money by some other channel (like having your games console as a loss leader, for example). A $219 loss per tablet is a pretty steep loss leader though, by anyone's measure.

      • by m50d (797211)

        I'm not sure where the myth that these sorts of devices cost buttons to make and are just sold at crazy high "all gravy" margins? Oh wait, it's what they think Apple are doing with the iPad. Even the really good Android competitors to the iPad are only $100 or so less - so still in the $400 range.

        Sure, but it's easy to perceive those as being crazy-high margin too. The specs of many of these things are comparable to a sub-$200 netbook - does a touchscreen and better battery life really cost that much?

        /has a transformer and loves it, but still can't help wondering if he's a mug for buying it

        • by jo_ham (604554)

          Well, the touch driver chip in the HP unit is $11, the display is $60 and the touch input device itself is about $50 - it all adds up. There's $60 you don;t need to spend while building a netbook.

          • by ejasons (205408)

            Well, the touch driver chip in the HP unit is $11, the display is $60 and the touch input device itself is about $50 - it all adds up. There's $60 you don;t need to spend while building a netbook.

            Most "decent" tablets also use an IPS display (display angle is IMO more important on a tablet, as you're more likely to use it off-axis), while most netbooks have pretty crappy displays.

      • by ankhank (756164) *

        > So, your master plan is to make up
        > the profit in volume of sales?

        It's HP.

        Think inkjet printers.

        They're going to be selling you e-ink every couple of weeks, somehow, some way.

        Just wait.

  • I've read about this sale on 4 different sites toda and it isn't even noon yet.

    I think it fair to say if it is getting this much publicity- no matter how hard I try- I will not have any success trying to get one.

  • Did they find more hidden in a closet somewhere?
    • Re:What (Score:4, Informative)

      by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @01:12PM (#38304610) Journal

      These are refurbs. And they're refurbs of an EOL'd tablet that they're not making any more of, and won't have spare parts to fix (since they're using all the spare parts to make as many as possible to reduce the bath they're taking by scrapping the product). Pretty questionable purchase, but for $100 maybe it's worth it.

      My sister has two - one for each kid. The games they had seemed fun, and if they break it it's not like it's a $600 iPad.

  • Quick! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 08, 2011 @01:14PM (#38304648)

    Where's my pepper spray?

  • by rickb928 (945187) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @01:19PM (#38304702) Homepage Journal

    For obvious reasons:

    - The TP is rooted, sort of [rootzwiki.com], so the OS is no longer an issue. If Cyanogen [cyanogenmod.com] is working on it, do not bet against them. You will lose. And there is another team working on this.

    - For the money, even stock, it's cool.

    - Even a 90-day warranty should give you time to find out if it's a lemon.

    - There will be a support community out there.

    Now HP is right to toss these refurbs out for several reasons:

    - Most of these came back from people too lazy or stupid to follow instructions and resolve their issue.

    - If HP can't repair defective units, by whatever means, then all you TP owners have tablets that are just as dead as Elvis, it's only a matter of time. I'm trusting these were either repaired or reloaded.

    - No point in keeping backstock of refurbs beyond the warranty needs.

    - HP could be deciding that the end of the TP debacle is the day they have NO TPs available. Period. And the sooner the better.

    So stop yer whinin' and get in line.

    Oh, and all you crybabies out there with your sad tales of trying to buy one back when - I've heard all the complaints. All par for the course. Bad things happen during these closeouts, and resellers are often either morons or thieves. Caveat Emptor. Same as it ever was.

    • by Hawk-ML (38125)

      I was able to get one of the 32GB models for $150. I've been running the CM Android on it for a couple months now and it's pretty good. It's called an alpha, but so far the only big issue I've had was with WPA on the alpha 2 release (wifi going into sleep mode didn't wake up properly, had to forget the network and reconnect). I use it for music, web surfing, Netflix, and a little ebook reading. For $150 that's a pretty good deal, if you can get one.

  • US Only (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Thursday December 08, 2011 @01:37PM (#38305026)

    Perhaps an important point - the HP eBay store only ships within the US via UPS. So even if all you wanted was the accessory kit, if you're outside the US, you're SOL.

    Those outside the US will just have to bid on them after arbitrage.

    And the site's open to HP employees on the 11th. General public is on Monday ,the 12th.

    Only good part is it's 2 per customer.

  • That is a the day which the giant Microsoft was awaken and launched IE.
  • by Volund (1243160)
    Ebay melted under the load.

    I signed in right before the sale started, and clicked "buy it now" as soon as they dropped the price. This took me to a sign-in screen again, and as after signing in again, the next page timed out.

    After about 20 minutes of hitting reload to try to get the payment page to load, the listing was removed. Then I moved on to the 32GB version; when I tried to buy it, it would give me a database error every time I tried to buy one. If I hit refresh on the listing, I could see the
    • by Lost Race (681080)
      Same story here. Ebay fails.
    • by Oyjord (810904)

      Same here, buy button does nothing.

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