Get an Asus Eee Pad Transformer tablet for $349

Plus: the latest on the HP TouchPad, which you might still be able to score for around $100.

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is pretty slick on its own, but it gets even better when you add the optional keyboard/docking station.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is pretty slick on its own, but it gets even better when you add the optional keyboard/docking station. Asus

Wow. Quite the hubbub this weekend over the discontinued-and-then-price-slashed HP TouchPad , which buyers gobbled up at the fire-sale prices of $99.99 and $149.99 (for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively).

The only outlet that appears to still have it in stock is, oddly enough, Barnes & Noble, which currently lists the 16GB HP TouchPad for $101.95 (plus $5 for shipping).

However, many customer reviews note that B&N is "unable to process" those orders--after taking them. Maybe their servers are overwhelmed, or maybe they're already sold out and the product page doesn't reflect that. If you ordered one, let me know the outcome.

Update: B&N's product page was just updated to show "out of stock."

This whole thing has been very interesting. If nothing else, it proves that buyers definitely want a less-expensive tablet--even one that's been discontinued and will see little-to-no new app development. And as I noted in my review, the TouchPad is slow, chunky, and not especially good for business users. But $99 for a 10-inch tab that's perfectly good for e-mail, Web browsing, e-books, and the like? Yeah, that's hard to pass up.

Anyway, just wanted to weigh in on that. I'll be keen to see if more stock gets released today or in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, Wal-Mart has the Asus Eee Pad Transformer 10.1-inch tablet for $349, plus 97 cents for shipping (and sales tax in most states).

I think that's the lowest price I've seen for a tablet powered by Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb). Heck, it's among the lowest prices I've seen for a 10-inch tablet, period.

What puts the "transform" into the Transformer? Asus sells a keyboard/docking-station accessory that brings the tablet closer to Netbook territory than just about any other. It includes a multitouch touch pad, two USB ports, and an SD card reader. Alas, it sells for $150, though MacConnection has it for $129.

Be sure to check out CNET's review of the Eee Pad Transformer, along with the user reviews on Wal-Mart's product page. Both are quite positive overall. (If you own one of these yourself, hit the comments and share your review.)

As we swing into the holiday season, it'll be interesting to see what happens to tablet prices overall. Needless to say, I'll bring you all the best deals as I find them. Stay tuned!

Bonus deal: If you're heading to your local Best Buy to see if they have $99 TouchPads in stock (not likely), you can score a killer deal on a great game: BioShock 2 (Windows) for $4.99, plus sales tax. This is an actual boxed copy, not a download.

 

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