In this new tablet era dominated by iPads but filled with Xooms and other Andoid tablets, HP tried getting into the mix with the HP Touchpad. The specs were pretty impressive, and it was running an operating system that at the time had a lot of nice things going for it, among them having all of your apps running in “cards” that you could simply swipe away into the nether if you wanted to kill them. So what was the problem?
HP sold them at $499 for the 32gb model and $399 for the 16gb model. What were they thinking?
Long story short, HP saw how much money they were losing on tablets that nobody wanted to buy (and why would they, when you could get an iPad or a blinged-out Android tablet for cheaper?), and decided to exit out of the hardware business. And when they said exit out of the hardware side of things, they REALLY meant it….This announcement came on a Friday, and the next morning we saw that HP was lowering the prices on their Touchpads to an insanely low $100 for the 16gb model and $149.99 for the 32gb model in an effort to simply get these things sold. And sell they did! The tablet that nobody cared to buy at $400 became a downright steal/bargain of the decade at $100 a pop. The problem was that everyone realized this, and flooded online stores and Best Buys/Walmarts/other brick and mortar store all over the place to pick up these firesale Touchpads.
That Saturday morning, Ann and I were just hanging out watching tv when I casually mentioned this. I think a blurb came on the TV about it which prompted me to tell her about how much they cost. She unexpectedly told me “let’s buy one!” This is the equivalent of telling your five year old to go nuts and buy an expensive toy at Toys R Us. Problem was, would we be able to even find one?
At this point, all the online retailers had sold out and were out of stock, so we had to resort to calling stores in our area to see if they were still in stock. We must have called at least a dozen places until we hit the jackpot. The Staples in Matteson, about 15 minutes away from us, gave us the first positive response, telling Ann that they had ONE in stock. We got in the car and drove off, cursing at every car that wasn’t going 70 mph and shaking our proverbial fists at every red light that stopped us from our mission of buying this lone Touchpad. Did I mention the pouring rain? Yeah, we drove through pouring rain to head over there. We finally arrive, and I stay in the car because I was still recovering from back surgery. I waited patiently as Ann literally ran inside, eyes glued to the store entrance to see if Ann emerged empty-handed or with a bag in tow. The longer she took, the more uncertain I was about her success rate.
It was pretty amazing when she came out of the store, looked over at the car, and raised not one but BOTH of her arms in the air! I pulled the car to the front of the store and she scored not one but TWO Touchpads at $100 each. It was amazing. So that’s the story of how we got the Touchpads, I’ll dedicate another post to the ongoing efforts to port Android to it, making it the beefiest and most inexpensive Android tablet on the market today.