HP TouchPads sell out across the US

HP's TouchPad tablet has enjoyed a weekend of bumper sales, with stock proving scarce at retailers across the US - thanks, it must be said, to a discount which has seen the device drop to under $100.

The TouchPad was HP's flagship tablet device, based on the webOS platform it acquired when it took over PDA pioneer Palm back in 2002. Designed to compete head-on with the likes of the iPad, it represented a similar approach to Research in Motion's PlayBook, in that it was designed as a companion device to HP's webOS-based smartphones.

Sadly, sales were poor, even after several discounts. As a result, HP has killed the tablet off, going so far as to ditch its entire webOS hardware division in a move which will see the company spend more time focusing on software for the enterprise.

To help its retail partners shift their stock of what is now a dead device - which will receive no further software updates from HP, no more accessories from third part manufacturers, and no add-on apps from developers - HP sliced the price from around $400 to a mere $100, with some retailers choosing to knock a couple of dollars extra from the price to help drop below the magic $100 barrier.

What was a rip-off at $400 - even with a future - is a bargain at under $100, it seems: sales have been fierce, with most retailers selling out of the product within hours and stock proving scarce across the US.

To be fair to those queuing up for the TouchPad, even as a dead device it's a good buy: for under $100 you get a 9.7-inch multi-touch tablet which is perfect for sofa-based web browsing, and the lack of third party software won't affect that capability in the least.

We've been talking to HP in an attempt to find out if - or, as seems more likely, when - the device will be receiving the same discount in the UK, where the tablet still sits at around £350 at most retailers. Sadly, there seems to be confusion surrounding the deal as nobody appeared to know what was going on.

Should we find out when the devices are getting slashed over here, we will let you know. Probably after buying a few for ourselves.