This week HP announced they would discontinue operations for webOS devices, which resulted in the $99 firesale of the HP Touchpad. Even if webOS might be dead, the tablet is a steal considering the hardware bang for the buck. The TouchPad features a 9.7 inch LED multi-touch display, dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor, 16GB or 32GB internal storage, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, and Beats audio.
Another reason you might want to consider the TouchPad is the likely port of Android. A group of hackers called The TouchDroid Team has already formed with the goal of building Gingerbread for the device from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Google does not plan to release the source code for their tablet OS (Honeycomb), so the TouchDroid Team will have to wait for the next version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) to be released this fall.
The team has their work cut out for them, but the TouchPad was built on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S3 platform, which already shipped in several Android smartphones. Both the HTC EVO 3D and HTC Sensation 4G use Qualcomm’s MSM8x60 part, but it’s from the same class of processors as the APQ8060 found in the Touchpad.
Most of the online units have already sold out, but you might get lucky and find one at a local retail store like Best Buy, Radio Shack, Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, Sam’s Club, Fry’s, and more. Best Buy issued a press release stating that their TouchPads were on sale immediately ($99 for 16GB, $149 for 32GB), but some stores are not honoring the price until tomorrow morning.
Let us know if you already took advantage of the special pricing. Do you think the TouchPad is worth $99, even if webOS falls behind the other mobile platforms? How long do you think it will take before Android is ported to HP’s tablet?