Shortly following the untimely death of WebOS and its newest device, the HP Touchpad, many popular tech sites followed stories of its demise with reports of an online and brick-and-mortar gold rush.

Stores such as Best Buy that had originally planned to ship all remaining stock back to HP have now started selling them online and in stores for as much as 80 percent off the original price. Even with its unknown future, $100 is a great price for a full size tablet.

Here are my reasons, other than rock bottom pricing, for wanting one.

  1. Single use device. For $100, it would be hard to find a better single-use device. The Touchpad could fill a need in the following categories: e-book reader, news reader, media player or web device.
  2. Single location web device. It could be stored somewhere you frequently find yourself needing a web viewer but aren’t likely to want your laptop. Location suggestions: Couch, kitchen, bedroom, kids’ room (toddler sites) or the back of the minivan.
  3. Waiting for the TouchDroid. A secondary story I have seen flooding the interwebs is the possibility and likelihood of someone porting over gingerbread and then ice cream sandwich. It appears that a working example has already appeared on eBay. The hardware in the Touchpad my not compare to some of the other offerings at the $500 price point, but for $100, it will beat any Android table I’ve seen.
  4. WebOS resurgence. HP produced 250,000 TouchPads, if the reports are to be believed. They may all make it into circulation. If they do, that would make for a significant audience for app development. There may also be a possibility that HP will license or sell WebOS, which would provide a market for new and continued app development.
  5. The promise of Windows 8. One of the primary promises of the upcoming Window 8 OS from Microsoft is that it will support ARM processors. There may be a chance that the TouchPad could be repurposed as a test device for the Windows 8 release candidate that is rumored to be unveiled this fall.

Buying any new technology is risky, but buying discontinued tech is usually a recipe for disaster. The TouchPad may be the exception to this rule. I know I will be stopping by a Best Buy or two to see what I can find in the open item isle. Happy hunting!

— Tony Onofrio is an IT specialist at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.