Fire sale HP TouchPad: Pros and cons

So it's cheap -- should you really rush out to buy an abandoned product? Here are the arguments for and against.

If you're still looking for a Hewlett-Packard TouchPad at the fire sale price of $99, you still have a few more places to look. But is it worth the effort? After all, HP's decision to stop making WebOS hardware puts the platform in jeopardy, so you may be buying a device whose operating system is, at best, in limbo.

Here are some pros and cons to owning an HP TouchPad now:

Pro: Cool Software Features

HP's TouchPad has a handful of features that trump the iPad and most Android tablets. At $499, those features weren't enough to made the TouchPad worth buying, but a $99 tablet with excellent multitasking, great-sounding audio and Facebook integration is definitely worth considering.

Con: No More Big Apps, for Now

While homebrew developers may continue to squeeze out apps for WebOS, most developers aren't going to waste time on a platform that, for the moment, has no future. Even if HP licenses or sells the software, the WebOS App Catalog is in for another long, sleepy period akin to when Palm sold the OS to HP. That probably means no Netflix, no Shazam, no Skype, no Hulu Plus and no Spotify for the foreseeable future.

Pro: Freedom to Tinker

As you read this, clever hackers are trying to install Android on the HP TouchPad. Sudden interest in the tablet is sure to prompt lots of little projects like this, so if you're into hacking, the TouchPad's $99 price means you don't stand to lose much if the thing ends up a paperweight.

Con: Questionable Software Support

WebOS may have a long life ahead if HP manages to license the software or find a buyer. But that's an optimistic view, and so far, there are no guarantees. If you find a bug or are wishing for a missing feature, don't count on a fix anytime soon.

Pro: Novelty and History

Even if WebOS fails to live on, $99 isn't much to spend on a piece of history. It could be the last WebOS device ever made. At the very least, it's a memento of HP's sudden switch from the world's biggest PC maker to an enterprise software company. Sounds like a collector's item to me.

Con: Average Hardware

Don't expect to be floored by the HP TouchPad's figure. Although a dual-core processor is inside, the TouchPad is as thick as a first-generation iPad, and its glossy black finish is a fingerprint magnet.

Pro: It's $99, Silly

All other pros and cons aside, the TouchPad is a 10-inch touchscreen Internet tablet priced at $99. This kind of affordability is unprecedented and may never been seen again. If all you want to do is curl up with a tablet and get on the web, the TouchPad will get you there for cheap.

Follow Jared on Facebook and Twitter as well as Today @ PCWorld for even more tech news and commentary.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags HPtablet PChardware systemstabletsHewlett-Packard

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?