When HP marked down the price of the HP TouchPad tablet from $399 to $99 last month, it went from one of the worst-selling tablets on the market to one of the best… in a matter of seconds. In fact, virtually every store that had the tablet in stock sold out almost immediately after the price was dropped.
But some companies, including Barnes & Noble and OnSale had problems with their inventory systems, which led to some customers placing orders only to find out later that the tablet wasn’t in stock and it might never be back in stock.
Barnes & Noble apologized by sending out $20 eGift cards to at least some customers who had their orders were canceled. Now OnSale is taking steps to make things right with customers.
HP has already announced that it would produce one more batch of HP TouchPad tablets before calling it quits. Now OnSale says it’s been working with HP to get some of those tablets, and the retailer will sell them first to customers that had placed orders only to have them canceled.
Orders will need to be placed by 11:59PM Pacific on Monday, September 26th, and the tablets will ship within two weeks of your order date.
OnSale will only have the 32GB model available. So even if you originally tried to purchase a 16GB TouchPad for $99.99, you’ll only be able to get the 32GB model for $149.99. That’s still a pretty great price on a 9.7 inch tablet with a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core processor and 1024 x 768 pixel capacitive touchscreen display — especially since it’s virtually impossible to find the tablet at that price anywhere else right now.
You can find instructions on how to place an order for a TouchPad at OnSale’s website. Note that this offer is only for customers with canceled orders placed on Sunday, August 21st.
The TouchPad ships with HP webOS 3.0 software. It’s an interesting operating system with some nice features including a decent web browser and excellent support for multitasking. There’s also a rather nice Amazon Kindle eBook app which recently gained support for reading public library books.
If you’re hoping to replace the operating system though, there are a few options. You can already dual boot webOS and Ubuntu Linux, and the folks at CyanogenMod are getting closer to releasing a fully functional version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread for the TouchPad every day.
It’s also possible that one day you might be able to install Windows 8 on the tablet, since Microsoft’s next-generation operating system will support ARM-based processors. There’s no word on whether the TouchPad’s hardware will be fast enough or have all the bells and whistles needed to run Windows 8 though.