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6,000 HP TouchPads coming to UK -- but not for you

6,000 more HP TouchPads are heading for the UK -- but you can only get one if you work for HP.

Want to get your hands on the hottest gadget going? 6,000 more HP TouchPads are heading for the UK -- but you can only get one if you work for HP.

HP's UK boss told the Register that 5,700 32GB TouchPads and 300 16GB models are set to be offered to HP's 16,500 staff on a first-come first-served basis, with any left-overs to be offered to partners.

The tablet became an unlikely hit when HP announced it was killing off the webOS software used by the TouchPad and Pre3, slashing 70 per cent off the price. The tablet quickly sold out in both the US and UK.

HP churned out one last batch of the suddenly popular slate but that didn't make it across the pond.

People who had already bought a TouchPad or Pre3 before the price crash have been offered refunds of the difference. For once, consumers seem to have done well out of the deal -- but not everyone's happy with HP: the folks at retailer We Are Electricals have posted a scathing note saying they're "disappointed that a brand such as HP did not consider the ramifications of its actions last week, nor plan for the reasonable demand for its units.

"We also feel disappointed that eBay sellers were the big winners in this pricing war, and that the end user (yourselves) have largely been left high and dry by the big retailers who didn't implement any per-customer restrictions".

The future of webOS is uncertain. HP may have unceremoniously dumped the operating system, but there are now a lot more webOS users than if HP had stuck with it. Oh the irony! The OS could be bought by another company: Samsung has passed, but HTC is in the market for an OS.

Are you desperate for a TouchPad? If only HP staff get a crack at this last batch, then maybe it's time you dusted off your CV... or just head to eBay.