HP TouchPad gets $50 rebate, OTA update

The device is now available for $449.99 and $549.99 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively, in an "instant rebate" promotion.

The HP TouchPad is now on sale for $449.99 and $549.99.
The HP TouchPad is now on sale for $449.99 and $549.99. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

The HP TouchPad is now more affordable for those who are looking for something other than an iPad 2.

The tablet is now on sale for $449.99 and $549.99 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively, a drop of $50 apiece.

Hewlett-Packard's "instant rebate" comes as the company's previous promotion ends. In June, the company announced a $50 rebate on its TouchPad through July 31. However, that deal was only available to customers who already owned a Palm Pre, Pre Plus, Pixi, or Pixi Plus. This latest offer is available to all customers.

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To further make its case for consumers to buy its tablet, HP has also updated the TouchPad with a host of improvements. Version 3.0.2 of its WebOS platform brings faster scrolling to the platform's e-mail client, as well as "reduced audio skipping" when the tablet has multiple applications running. HP has also improved the performance of remote HTML5 video playback.

"Many of these updates came about as a result of direct feedback from our customers, which we always appreciate," HP said in a blog post announcing the update. According to the company, version 3.0.2 is available over-the-air to all TouchPads now.

In some respects, the HP TouchPad compares quite well to Apple's iPad 2. Both devices comes with 9.7-inch displays, and the operating systems they run--iOS for Apple, WebOS for HP--are only available on those tablets. Moreover, the TouchPad and iPad 2 come with dual-core processors and front-facing cameras for video chatting. However, the iPad 2, which also adds a rear-facing camera, has proven to be a sales powerhouse in the tablet market. During Apple's last-reported quarter, ended in June, the company sold 9.25 million iPads .

HP's decision to drop the price of the TouchPad might be a reflection of that, as the company tries, like other tablet vendors, to find an advantage that consumers would find appealing.

 

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