If you've been adamantly waiting to get your paws on an HP Touchpad during the $99 sale, the terms of how to snag a discounted tablet computer may come as a buzz kill for you: Best Buy announced the last TouchPad sale will be available exclusively in November...eligible for the discount price only with the purchase of a new PC.
Beginning Nov. 1, Best Buy customers who purchase an HP or Compaq computer online are eligible to snag a 32GB HP TouchPad for the heavily discounted $149.99 in addition to the price of the PC. However, the offer will not be available in stores nationwide until Nov. 4 and does not include the 16GB model priced at $99 during the fire sale.
In order to be eligible to for the $150 32GB TouchPad deal, Best But customers must purchase a Compaq laptop, desktop or all-in-one computer, which excludes netbooks and computers sold on the Bestbuy.com Marketplace, outlet or refurbished models.
Beginning Tuesday, Best Buy said the TouchPad deal is first-come, first-serve and is only available when paired in a bundle with the purchase of a PC computer. The sale will begin online Tuesday, with Best Buy offering free shipping from Nov. 1 through Dec. 27, and in stores on Friday.
According to PC Mag, one hour before branches of Best Buy locations nationwide open on Friday, customers will be given a ticket for an HP TouchPad. After the first hour of opening, unclaimed TouchPads will become available for those in line without a ticket. HP TouchPads will also be available for individual purchase outside of the bundle offer for the regular retail price of $599.99.
If you think you can work around the deal, think again: Best Buy said that the TouchPad can only be returned up to 14 days after purchase and if you return the PC you purchased without the TouchPad, Best Buy will charge the full $600 price of the tablet computer.
This seems to be the final frontier as HP said earlier this week that TouchPads have sold out and are officially out-of-stock through the company, though some retailers would have a limited amount for sale.
In some cases, like the HP TouchPad where supply has been extremely limited from the start, we simply cannot meet demand, HP spokesperson Mark Budgell said in a statement. We are now announcing that while some retailers will have limited stock available, HP's online inventory is depleted.
So far, Best Buy seems to be the exclusive retailer with HP TouchPads available for sale. It is unclear whether or not other retailers, like Staples and Wal-Mart who initially sold discounted TouchPads during the August fire sale, will have tablets in stock or whether or not $99 16GB models will become available.
The fire sale began just six weeks after the TouchPad debuted in August when HP announced it would discontinue the TouchPad due to disappointing sales and customer complaints about the software's speed. The original HP TouchPad began on Aug. 20, which sent $99 and $149 tablets, marked down from $500 and $600 respectively, flying off the shelves of retailers across the country.
The sale, which began in an effort to clear out stockpiled inventory, prompted HP to make one last run of manufacturing TouchPads, with some 100,000 to 200,000 rumored to be available for purchase after the fourth fiscal quarter, which ends Oct. 31.
HP, however, left the terms of the final batch of TouchPads up to retailers.
Each retailer will manage their own policy and process regarding pricing and price matching, HP said. And we can't promise we'll have enough for everyone.
So, if you're looking to score an HP TouchPad come November at Best Buy, this could be your final chance, and a good way to kill two birds with one stone and scoop up a PC computer, too: Best Buy has TouchPad sale-friendly laptops priced at $329.99 and all-in-one computers priced as low as $529.99.