The HP TouchPad has come and gone without stirring up much difficulty for the Apple’s iPad. Strangely enough, one of its strongest (or at least, most unique) features turned out to be its ticking time bomb–the WebOS. HP decided to get out of the consumer game, thus relinquishing its development of Palm phones and tablets1.
But not all is lost. With HP’s push to liquidate their tablet stock, there are ways to pick up a brand new tablet for $100! The only downside is that there will no longer be WebOS support or future development…or will there?
Tech Crunch reports that the modding community has offered a $1500 bounty for a Android port that will effectively turn the TouchPad into a Galaxy or Xoom tablet–capable of running Android Honeycomb and giving it access to the saturated Android market2.
But you don’t have to rely on the modding community to make the TouchPad a salvageable investment. For all the e-reader fans out there, this device can act as the most affordable and capable e-reader to date. The tablet comes equipped with Adobe Reader for PDFs as well as a Kindle App, but owners are finding that the device won’t read e-books that weren’t purchased through the Amazon store.
There is also an alleged app available in the WebOS catalog that can support Epub, eReader, Kindle (DRM-free) and PalmDOC. It’s called pReader3. Developed by Native Alpha, this may be the missing link to unlock this pretty device into a viable e-reader, and the cheapest one around.
So although Russel Brand was unable to lure legions of consumers, there is still practical use for the HP TouchPad. Just be vigilant and you can expect to find the tablet marked down to $100 at an electronics retailer near you.