Last week I was at LinuxCon in Vancouver where, practically as soon as Phil Robb, director of the open source program office at HP, finished giving an optimistic keynote about the future of the TouchPad and WebOS, HP announced they were abandoning it. Next, two things happened almost simultaneously. TouchPad prices dropped to $99 (16 GB) and $149 (32 GB), and people started working on porting Android to it.
It’s now pretty hard to find those $99 tablets, but don’t lose hope. SlickDeals is keeping up with your chances of finding one online. I’m also still hearing reports of people finding them in those old-fashioned brick-and-mortar stores today. Can’t hurt to look if you’ve got a few minutes, although most were likely cleared out early. Some stores were seeing Black-Fridayesque lines when they opened.
I think the real lesson in all of this is that the $100-150 range is the too-affordable-not-to price point for tablets. Many people still don’t know what they’d use it for when it’s the price of a full laptop. Especially if you’ve got a household full of computers, it’s hard to spend another $300-500 for one that does less and seems like an overgrown phone that doesn’t make phone calls. But at $100, you can find a reason–and probably end up wondering how you ever lived without it.