HP TouchPad

HP is offering a limited number of refurbished HP TouchPad tablet on eBay for $99 and up starting at 6:00 PM Central Time on December 11th, 2011. The tablet has a 9.7 inch, 1024 x 768 pixel display, a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core processor, and webOS 3.0 operating system.

The TouchPad was released this summer and then canceled less than two months later due to poor sales. But when HP dropped the base price from $499 to $99, the tablet became awfully popular.

As a $99 tablet, it’s actually pretty great. It’s half the price of an Amazon kindle Fire, and you can use the tablet to surf the web, read eBooks, play games, edit WordPress blogs, and watch movies or listen to music. HP has also continued to release minor software updates to improve the tablet experience, even though the company has discontinued the hardware.

HP plans to release webOS as open source software soon, which means that HP and independent developers could continue to make changes that will improve performance or add new features.

But there’s another way to get more out of your TouchPad. Right now there are only around 10,000 third party apps available for webOS, and only about 10 percent of them are optimized for tablet-sized displays.

If you install Google Android on the TouchPad though, you can install hundreds of thousands of apps from the Google Android Market. Many of them run very well on the tablet, although every now and again you’ll run into an app that’s not optimized for the 1024 x 768 pixel display, since most Android devices have widescreen displays.

The folks behind the popular CyanogenMod software have released a few alpha builds of Android for the TouchPad, and while it’s still a little rough around the edges (people have reported problems with audio, WiFi, and video performance in the latest builds), the software doesn’t crash as much as it used to, and you can dual boot Android and webOS or even uninstall Android altogether if you decide you don’t need it anymore.

The latest version of CyanogenMod for the TouchPad is based on Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but a new version based on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is already in the works.

You can also run Ubuntu Linux on the tablet.

So if you just picked up a new TouchPad or plan to get one soon, here are a few links to help you get started with hacking the tablet into a more useful device.

Change the operating system

Try these webOS apps and hacks

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9 replies on “How to get the most out of your new $99 HP TouchPad”

  1. Tried to order one 2 seconds after the price changed.  Never could get to PayPal to pay.  Glad to know that ebay once again has struggled to maintain even their own low standards!

  2. I was logged on and clicked to buy right at 6PM CST, less than 1 second after the price changed. Waited 10 minutes for the first page to go through and show me the total. Then clicked to pay with pay-pal and waited 15 minutes. It never came back. At the same time with a different browser I was watching the sold numbers go up! Tried to buy again and got HTTP errors and by 6:20 the item was not available. WTF that was total ratf*ck. You just know there are idiots at ebay IT architecting and developing those crappy systems. They have no concept of priority of request, they just run and crash if there are too many requests. And Congratulations moron ebay programmers, it shows ebay is not the right vehicle to run an auction of this type and magnitude. You should limit your scope to items that only 10 people want.

    1. LOL. I bought the touchpad from ebay at 6:19pm.  The trick was to use a foreign ebay server. I used Ebay.ca and it went right through with no problem.

  3. It took a half our of trying but I got one. Ebay really dropped the ball on this one.

  4. They sold thousands of them. I made it as far as selecting how to pay in paypal, then it said it was no longer in my basket. I guess I didn’t really need a touchpad. Definitely not impressed with ebay.

    1. I like mine the only major issue with the android install is Netflix is garbled. I use it to read comics and go online i finally just broke down and got one for $200 on craigslist 32gb so only a $35 markup. Use the xronified rom it is a bit faster.

      1. You have to let it play for a minute or so then it fully buffers and is clear. (netflix)

    2. The same thing happened to me. People who signed up months ago to be on the waiting list should have gotten first crack.

  5. What new HP Touchpad? Ebay crashed within 20 minutes I got to the screen to buy and it just screwed up.

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