Ina Fried

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HP’s TouchPad Continues Its Bargain Basement Tour, Making a Stop as Woot’s Deal of the Day

Already seeing deep discounts, Hewlett-Packard’s TouchPad tablet is making an appearance on Friday as the deal of the day on

Woot, better known for selling outdated and refurbished tech than for pitching the latest wares, is offering the entry-level 16 gigabyte model for $379 — $120 off the $499 price at which the tablet was introduced last month. It’s just the latest and largest in a series of promotions aimed at boosting sales of the webOS-based device.

While the moves could help boost unit sales in a crowded market, such early and steep discounting could hurt the image that HP has been trying to create — namely that the device is a capable and credible rival to Apple’s iPad. The TouchPad went on sale last month, but has been stung by criticism of its bulky hardware, performance issues and a lack of tablet-optimized apps. HP issued a software update earlier this week designed to address some of the early bugs.

The discounting began with a $50 instant rebate, and even bigger deals have cropped up this week. Costco has been selling the 32GB model for $479 — down from $599 — while HP is running TV ads touting a weekend sale offering the 16GB model for $399.

Asked about the earlier discounts, an HP representative declined to comment on how the device has been selling, and appeared to brush off the significance of the price cuts.

“HP regularly announces promotions in line with seasonal opportunities,” HP told AllThingsD. “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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