What do you want from a tablet? An effortless operating system? Popular mainstream apps like Angry Birds, Evernote, and Kindle? Easy integration with your Google and Facebook accounts?
On those fronts, the HP TouchPad delivers. The 16GB model normally sells for $499.99, but this weekend only (from now through Aug. 7), you can get the 16GB HP TouchPad for $399.99. Want more storage? The 32GB model is also $100 off, selling for $499.99.
When you get to the HP landing page, you'll see a number of vendors that sell the tablet: Amazon, Best Buy, OfficeMax, etc. My advice: opt for Amazon (or any other non-brick-and-mortar reseller), which will get you out of both shipping and sales tax.
UPDATE: Hold the phone! Today only, Woot has the 16GB HP TouchPad for $379.99, plus $5 for shipping. That's a nice little added savings.
I've spent the last few days reviewing the TouchPad, which is physically similar to the iPad 1--though a little thicker and heavier. Its best feature by far: WebOS, quite possibly the best tablet operating system to date. (Interestingly, it began life on the Palm Pre smartphone, but really shines on the TouchPad's roomy 9.7-inch screen.)
WebOS handles multitasking better than Android and even iOS. To switch between running apps, you just press the TouchPad's Home button, then swipe between "cards" until you find the app you want. And closing an app is as simple as flicking it up and out. (It's kinda fun, too.)
However, the TouchPad feels a bit sluggish overall, especially when it comes to loading apps and Web pages. (A just-released OS update helps, but not quite enough.) And for the moment, WebOS offers only a fraction of the apps available for Android and iOS.
For example, there's a Kindle app, but no Nook or Kobo. Netflix has yet to make its WebOS debut, and who knows if it will? Meanwhile, the Web browser supports Flash, but streaming video is too jerky to enjoy.
For anyone who doesn't want to spend $500 on a tablet, or doesn't particularly care for Android or iOS, the TouchPad is a pretty attractive option at $399.99. Your thoughts?
Bonus deal: Big day for HP stuff. Today only, Sellout.woot has the refurbished HP Pavilion G62-407dx 15.6-inch dual-core laptop for $299.99, plus $5 for shipping. That is a crazy good deal on a very nicely equipped lappie.