Preparing of HP TouchPad fire sale

Monday, August 22nd 2011. | Gadget News

HP sent crowds of geeks to queue in front of retailers over the weekend after it abandoned the TouchPad, a tablet computer, and retailers were forced to sell them for $99, a $300 discount and well below cost. On Saturday, I made calls to about a dozen metro Detroit retailers in search of a TouchPad. All of them had sold out early that morning.

Then, word came overnight that stores, namely Best Buy, would have some inventory this morning. Who can turn down a $99 tablet? Not me. I started at one Best Buy location, arriving about 30 minutes before the store was set to open at 11 a.m. Others clearly had the same idea. I was No. 37 in the line. After a short wait, a Best Buy employee came out to tell us that the store had no TouchPads in stock. “But we do have a bunch of netbooks you could take a look at,” he said. The crowd quickly dispersed. At the next-closest Best Buy, just eight people were waiting. I made myself No. 9, hoping this store would have some in stock. They did. So now I have an HP TouchPad. What am I going to do with it? I’m not sure yet. It’s a capable e-mail, Web and calendar machine, but lacks an ecosystem of powerful apps to compete with the Apple iPad. I’m still exploring the device, but check back for my take after a few days with it.

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