One Last Hurrah for the $99 HP TouchPad

By Beecher Tuttle December 08, 2011

The HP TouchPad simply won't die. Hewlett-Packard is planning a third – and presumably last – fire sale for its failed tablet device, set to kick off this Sunday night, according to a leaked employee memo obtained by Tech Crunch. The sale will last until all remaining stock is cleaned out, which shouldn't take all that long considering the pricing.

As with the first fire sale, the 16GB TouchPad will be priced at $99, while the 32GB model will cost $149. But there are several catches.

First off, the tablets aren't brand new; they are refurbished. This shouldn't make all that big of a difference, but it could be a turnoff for some potential customers.

In addition, the TouchPads won't be made available in any brick-and-mortar store, nor on HP's website for that matter. All transactions must be made on HP's EBay page and need to be processed through PayPal, so you'll need to be a member of both sites to get your hands on the discounted tablets. 

Finally, and most importantly, the tablets won't be offered to consumers until HP employees get a whack at them first, which could conceivably mean that they won't ever make it to the open market.

"In an effort to give HP employees first chance at a very limited supply of refurbished TouchPads, there will be a short delay between when the product is posted live for sale on eBay and when the general public is notified of the sale," read the leaked employee memo.

According to the document, the sale will begin for HP employee at 7 p.m. EST and will then be announced to the public on Monday morning. Plans could change, however, considering the memo has now been made public.

Employees and consumers will also have access to a discounted bundle package that includes a case, a charging dock and a wireless keyboard for $79, well less than half its original $199.97 value.

The upcoming sale should rid the market of the last HP TouchPads, which have made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

HP launched its first-ever tablet device in July to mixed reviews, leading the PC giant to knock $100 off the price tag soon after the TouchPad hit shelves.

Weeks later – after Best Buy reportedly sold less than 10 percent of its initial inventory – HP decided to put the TouchPad on the chopping block, and lowered the price to $99, leading to a feeding frenzy that lasted just 24 hours. Best Buy then had its own fire sale in November to get rid of the last of its inventory.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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