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Don’t Buy a HP TouchPad, Pre or Veer — No Matter How Cheap

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The shot heard ’round the tablet world today came from HP, at least for this week, as they ceased production of WebOS devices entirely.

As a result you may begin to see steep discounts on the many WebOS devices already in stores as they try to unload a dead product.

Don’t be fooled. Do not buy an HP TouchPad or any WebOS phone no matter how sweet the deal might look. You would be buying into dead ecosystem because tablets are far less about the hardware and more about the apps.

You wouldn’t buy a dead rose-bush at the florist, so don’t bother with a dead tablet or smart phone either.

Going forward only the most extreme and ardent fans will develop apps for the TouchPad. Yeah, both of them. Kidding aside, there were not a lot of developers on board anyway. Those that did adopt WebOS will surely be jumping ship with this news. Without apps, the platform is dead. This is especially sad because WebOS was shut down before it ever really got going.

HP TouchPad

In addition to avoiding the HP TouchPad, you should also avoid the Veer and the Pre. This may not be a big issue, since neither phone was much of a looker. As attractive as I thought the TouchPad was, looking at the Veer made me cringe. The Pre was a little more attractive, but still not something I’d ever have wanted. Customers agreed.

Expect to see huge discounts like TouchPads for $299 or lower. Expect free Veer and Pre smart phones. With a two-year contract you will be stuck for a long time with a device that will never get any better and may have little support even from the manufacturer.

If you are not enamored with the iPad, two good alternatives are the Samsung Galaxy 10.1″ Android tablet and the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, both of which should have support for the foreseeable future as Android devices. Even if Samsung and ASUS pulled an HP with their support of these tablets, you will be able to get apps for years to come to keep them fresh and useful.

Update: The Veer, TouchPad and Pre will be killed off in Q4 2011.

Kevin loves notebooks, tablets, gadgets and photography. He grew up with computers starting out on a Vic 20 and Commodore 64. The first computer he owned himself was an 8086 Compaq Deskpro. His foray into tablet computing began when he bought a Samsung Q1 Ultra. The smartphone market opened up for him with his Palm Treo 600.

18 Comments

  1. JP

    08/18/2011 at 9:28 pm

    Agreed, +1000!

  2. Charles Americanos

    08/18/2011 at 9:59 pm

    Yes well it would be a bold software vendor that would attempt to run with WebOS….A great o/s but seems  was dead from Palm purchase.

  3. Dealzon

    08/19/2011 at 3:20 am

    Gotta respectfully disagree a little bit.  While I personally wont be in a rush to buy a TouchPad (already have a unit here I’ve been reviewing).. if say the device is around $150-$200 and you just need a solid web browsing tablet to do email and other basic task (watch videos, check Facebook, share photos).. the webOS TouchPad does all of this just fine, especially since Flash works well enough for Hulu etc.

    I mean while the hardware/built-quality isnt stellar (would have been nice or competitive if it came out in 2010), its still a solid spec’ed machine. You’re getting top-end IPS panel, exact same one in the iPads from LG.display.. a 1.2Ghz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, a built-in webOS skype/multi-chat messaging client.

    Just saying that if it reaches the price range of $150 ~ $250 like other budget Android tablets, it might be an okay buy.  You’ll be surprise how little some people need apps or actually care about the 10,000 fart apps out there. 

    I do agree though that its a dead platform now, but for some people that just needs a web surfing tablet to do basic web stuff, it seems like a solid buy at the right price.

    • Ronnieto

      08/19/2011 at 2:41 pm

      Agree with you , even apps will not a lot , but the basic functions are still good to go , if the price is reasonable lower ;)

  4. Anonymous

    08/19/2011 at 10:28 am

    But why advise people to buy a transformer now when all the rumor is the next model of it will be out within weeks?
    Frankly, unless you need it right now for some reason it’s a silly time to buy a tablet at all.
    All the rumors (well supported at this point) are that tegra3 hardware and new android software will be out extremely shortly.
    Of course you can always wait on tech and it will get better.
    But when people are talking about a 6 to 8 week timeline……

  5. Anonymous

    08/20/2011 at 1:30 am

    engadget shows that the canadian best buy already has the touchpad at $99. I definitely think that is a good price for it.

  6. jivemaster

    08/20/2011 at 6:02 am

    It’s actually a great PDF reader and the web experience is decent. At $99, even with no future, it’s a steal. Get over yourself and buy 3.

    • Freelimiter

      08/21/2011 at 7:04 pm

      Exactly my thoughts… To add, it has a great web browser with flash, Kindle, and great screen for watching videos… A steal for $99!!

  7. Polydell

    08/21/2011 at 3:14 pm

    If people buy crappy Android tablets for $100 – $200 why noy but a proven high quality tablet like HP’s ?

  8. Steve

    08/21/2011 at 3:28 pm

    Even with support being dropped for the OS, I would still buy a Pre before an iPhone or any of the Android devices I’ve tried. I don’t care if there’s “an app for that,” I want a mobile OS/device combination that’s functional on its own, and for actual PIM/PDA functionality – and not just a glorified “internet appliance” that has to be endlessly augmented with third-party “apps”.

    WebOS also is still the only phone OS that (for my money) that comes even close to combining the pros of both Android and iOS, without their respective cons. WebOS seems more polished and the software is more tightly integrated with the hardware it runs on (relative to most Android phones), yet there isn’t the overall “gated community” restrictions and limitations found on iOS.

    Last, on a more abstract level, it also seems (seemed) to be the only mobile OS that attempted to be “merely” an OS/computing platform – as an end unto itself, rather than a means to achieve some other goal (with the disclaimer that I haven’t tried Maemo/Meego). In other words, I got the impression that HP wanted customers to buy WebOS devices simply because… they wanted to sell WebOS devices. This is in contrast to iOS, which gives the impression that selling you content and apps is goal #1 – and Android, where getting people to use Google’s services for everything seems to be goal #1.

  9. Steve

    08/21/2011 at 3:28 pm

    Even with support being dropped for the OS, I would still buy a Pre before an iPhone or any of the Android devices I’ve tried. I don’t care if there’s “an app for that,” I want a mobile OS/device combination that’s functional on its own, and for actual PIM/PDA functionality – and not just a glorified “internet appliance” that has to be endlessly augmented with third-party “apps”.

    WebOS also is still the only phone OS that (for my money) that comes even close to combining the pros of both Android and iOS, without their respective cons. WebOS seems more polished and the software is more tightly integrated with the hardware it runs on (relative to most Android phones), yet there isn’t the overall “gated community” restrictions and limitations found on iOS.

    Last, on a more abstract level, it also seems (seemed) to be the only mobile OS that attempted to be “merely” an OS/computing platform – as an end unto itself, rather than a means to achieve some other goal (with the disclaimer that I haven’t tried Maemo/Meego). In other words, I got the impression that HP wanted customers to buy WebOS devices simply because… they wanted to sell WebOS devices. This is in contrast to iOS, which gives the impression that selling you content and apps is goal #1 – and Android, where getting people to use Google’s services for everything seems to be goal #1.

  10. Sirrated

    08/22/2011 at 5:26 pm

    Sorry Kevin. I disagree, and so do almost half a million new TouchPad owners. Buy one for what it can do now, not next year.
    http://realtechsolutions.blogspot.com/2011/08/webos-window-of-opportunity.html

  11. MK

    08/22/2011 at 6:52 pm

    Most mp3 players cost $100 or more, so saying that the touchpad which is a 10 inch video player , music player , picture frame , internet browser , skype, etc is dumb. Installing the kindle software on this alone makes it cheaper than an actual Kindle (e-reader) There are about 200 apps available which will still work for a while. Unless someone plans on keeping the device for the next 5 years there is no reason not to buy it for such a cheap price. It is not worth $500 but for $100 its a bargain.

  12. None

    08/22/2011 at 11:55 pm

    absolutely disagree. I bought a portable dvd player for my kid that costs 150 USD. At 99 bucks this thing could be a substitute and more. This is what the joo joo should have been. 99 dollar web browser plus more. This is a great deal. 

  13. Guest

    08/23/2011 at 7:58 pm

    Bought the Veer for $50 (no contract). Even there will be no new apps or limited existing apps, a $50 quadband smart phone with 5M camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and web browser is still a phone that I can use everyday or as a backup phone. In fact, I bought 2 of them….

    • Sylvie

      10/12/2011 at 12:52 am

      where did you buy it!?!!?!?!?

  14. L Lopez

    08/26/2011 at 8:08 pm

    I completely disagree. Head over to sites like Precentral, WebOS Internals and you’ll see WebOS is very much alive. The dev community is the best by far, providing an unseen homebrew scene that still stands strong. And the notion of no apps = dead system is ridiculous. You won’t see a lot of apps for WebOS because they simply aren’t needed. WebOS can handle tasks like no other smartphone/tablet OS out there and it does so elegantly.Most things are handled just by going to the web browser or by the native apps.  ”Killed off” and “Dead” have been used so many times when the news came out without really having a point of reference to look back into. 
    Anyone with a keen sense of design and usability would realize the beauty of this OS and the incredible deal this was. 

  15. beth rice

    08/27/2012 at 12:33 pm

    Well, I guess that wasn’t true. Have a Touchpad I love…WebOS is awesome and am activating a Veer at the moment on Straight Talk. So…I get unlimited everything for $45.00 a month and it works with my Touchpad. I hacked the Touchpad and put Android on it…but hardly use it except for Audible and the kids use Netflix. The rest, I have everything I need already on the Touchpad.

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