Ina Fried

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HP’s TouchPad Discounts Getting Even Deeper

If the $50 discount on the HP TouchPad wasn’t telling enough, the WebOS tablet is now being offered in a few spots for $100 or more below its original price.

Earlier this week I noticed the 32GB model at Costco for $479 — $120 off the standard $599 price. Then, a few minutes ago, while watching ABC’s “Modern Family,” I caught an HP TouchPad ad touting that the entry-level model is being offered for $399 — a Benjamin Franklin less than the original asking price.

The fine print of the TV spot does say it is a limited-time offer running Friday through Sunday, while the Costco deal appears to run only through Friday. It remains to be seen whether HP needs to make the price drop permanent in order to compete with the iPad and other tablets on the market.

The TouchPad has faced significant criticism since going on sale last month, including complaints about its bulky design and lack of tablet-optimized apps. Earlier this week, HP released a free software update that it says fixes some early bugs and offers performance enhancements.

HP had initially priced its two models at the same price as Apple iPads with comparable memory. In addition to the iPad, HP’s TouchPad finds itself competing against the RIM PlayBook and a slew of Android-based slates.

I’ve reached out to HP to see if it will comment on the new discounts and on how sales have been going.

Update: HP declined to comment on TouchPad sales, but had this to say about the discounts.

“HP regularly announces promotions in-line with seasonal opportunities. The HP TouchPad with webOS is a productivity workhorse that is perfect for any student looking to multitask, remain connected in the classroom and out, and browse thousands of apps from the App Catalog. We’re excited to offer the promotion and deepen our commitment to deliver competitive products at competitive prices.”

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