HP has marked down its short-lived TouchPad tablet so much that the customer can have the 16GB model for $99, and the 32GB model for $149. But is it even worth it at $99?

What were the faults that resulted in thousands of the new tablets being piled up in the retail inventories?

Reviewers around the world agree on one aspect of the HP tablet -- the remarkable slowness of the device. Being sluggish is certainly not a good sign for a device using the latest technology.

There are specific causes for the slowness of the device which are of technical concern. The high level of Web technology used for the applications adds to the slowness. In spite of the dual-core processor, there is no respite to the device’s slowness. Customers have frequently reported crashing. You would be doing a lot of rebooting if you are using an HP tablet. On top of all this, the battery life is rather poor, especially when compared with the iPad.

Another major concern is with respect to the possibilities of regular updating. An owner of the iPad has no need to worry in this respect. He will have regular updates as intimated by the support systems. These updates will be essential for the tablet to run novel applications and even to play the higher levels of a game.

On the other hand HP has announced that it is ending its production of the tablet. This clearly indicates that there is no chance of any future updates. So the owner of the HP tablet is going to get stuck with the existing set of applications while his neighbor who had the intelligence to buy an iPad will be enjoying the latest features. Also there is no surety on what exactly is going to happen to the mobile operating system used in the HP tablet, the webOS. Rumors have it that HP will be licensing it. If so it will be a good option, for application developers can offer updates.

There is no confusion here. If you need a tablet, go for the iPad, or at least not the TouchPad.