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HP TouchPad gets $50 cheaper

HP TouchPad

Hewlett-Packard tossed its hat into the consumer tablet arena just a few weeks ago with the TouchPad, its consumer tablet with a 9.7-inch touchscreen display, 16 ro 32 GB of storage, and well-regarded webOS operating system that HP acquired from Palm. But while the TouchPad just hit the market with a 16 GB unit priced at $499.99 and a 32 GB model going for $599.99, the company is already offering pricing discounts to attract customers: HP has slashed $50 off the price of the TouchPad in the form of an instant rebate.

Hewlett-Packard has also just released its first major software update for the TouchPad, with webOS 3.0.2 bringing improvements to scrolling and calendaring, as well as security fixes and some tweaks to the devices’ screen-rotation and music playback capabilities. Users can also now set their own wallpaper.

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HP hasn’t yet released any sales figures for the TouchPad, but anecdotal evidence and industry reports seem to indicate that the device is faring as well in the market as any other tablet competing with the iPad—that is, not very well. Most reviewers found the TouchPad to have a good deal more polish than many Android tablets on the market—helped along by the unit’s 1.2 GHz processor—but still a work-in-progress that (so far) lacks the depth of applications available for iOS devices and Android. HP is reportedly working on a series of updates to improve the webOS tablet experience; prior to webOS 3.0.2, HP rolled out its Movie Store for the TouchPad.

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