HP TouchPad Tablet for £89 Almost Sold Out: What are the Alternatives For Under £300 ?

Last week saw HP call time on its WebOS operating system and its family of devices including the Touchpad – over the weekend HP put the final nails in the coffin by having a fire-sale of its remaining stock.

That saw the manufacturer drop the price of the tablet down to an ridiculously cheap £89 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version. This led to a major buying frenzy with Touchpad selling out in the US over the weekend. Yesterday saw the same discount on our shores and many eagle-eyed consumers picking up the tablet at massively discounted prices.

You’ll should still be able to get cheap Touchpad’s if you’re lucky and if you get a chance then you should certainly pick one up. They’re already being sold on ebay for as much as £160 – by people looking to make a quick profit. And with the possibility of running Android and a home-brew version of Linux it looks like a very clever purchase for many.

With the sale of the Touchpad it is hoped that this will give a bump start to the tablet market over the next couple of months –  plenty of consumers are now looking to pick up alternatives to the iPad at discounted rates.

Now is certainly the time to buy. With the sluggish sales of tablets due the bleak economic outlook for consumers and retailers – many have now begun to discount tablets. We’ve even seen the Asus Eee Pad for as little as £290 on some online retailers. So if you’ve been on the fence about picking up an iPad alternative now is the time.

If you’re going to buy a tablet, bear in mind you get what you pay for. However, there are some circumstances where you just don’t need a top-of-the-line, all-singing, all-dancing machine. If you are just looking for something to surf the web and read e-books – splashing out £400 on a iPad would be silly.

The same for watching films can be said. If you want to play a multitude of video codecs an iPad would be the worst choice due to Apple’s limited video playback. Below you will find a host of tablets running various version of Android that won’t break the bank and are well worth looking into.

Barnes & Noble Nook Color

The Barnes & Noble Nook Colour is essentially a colour version of the Amazon kindle. Sporting a 7-inch vibrant colour display for around £180 you pick up a tablet that comes with built-in Wi-Fi, 8GB of on-board memory, Barnes & Noble store as well as a Micro SD expansion slot. The built-in web browser work very well and even runs flash (something the iPad can’t do) and it also supports PDF, Word and ePub files.

The Nook can display images and several video formats and has support for audio and Mp3 playback. It comes with its own set of Apps, but unfortunately it doesn’t have access to the Android Market place, but we’re sure there will be work around for this.

The Nook is a step-up from Amazon’s Kindle, and offers much of the functionality of many Android tablets, at half the cost of an iPad.

ViewSonicViewPad 7

The ViewSonic Viewpad is essentially a Samsung Galaxy Tab – it comes with the the same 7-inch form factor and run a Android 2.2 – so there will be no shortage of apps for this dinky tab. It also comes with a front and rear facing camera.

It still shares some of the frustrating features that you’ll find on the Samsung version such as the keyboard and awkward size.

Despite utilizing Android 2.2 very well, the ViewPad comes across as more of an oversized novelty smart phone, rather than a Netbook alternative.

But for as little as £140 – it a steal for someone who wants a tablet to surf and do emails on.

Archos 70 (8GB)

Archos have always been famed for their portable media players and their the Archos 70 looks to continue this trend – if you are looking for a tablet to watch films on and output them onto a TV then this is the tablet for you. It comes with a capable 1GHZ processor, a 7-inch touchscreen, HDMI output and 250 GB storage space if you go for the £260 version. Other wise the £160 version comes with 8GB onboard memory and a SD card slot for extra memory. The device can play the following video file extensions: AVI, MP4, MKV, MOV, MPG, PS, TS, VOB, FLV, RM, RMVB, ASF, 3GP

Sure the build quality isn’t the best, but the Archos 70 gives you more raw power and features than any other tablet coming in at under £170, but it also has massive limitations, making it more of a toy than a serious tool.

Asus Eee Pad

We’re the proud owner of an Asus Eee pad and over the last couple of months we’ve seen several online retailer discounting the new Honeycomb tablet. Asus have made a smart move by dropping the price of the tab just in time for the release of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The Asus Eee pad come with Honeycomb 3.2, 16GB of onboard storage, micro HDMI, SD Card Slot, and a lovely widescreen 10.1 touchscreen display. Factor in the party  trick with the transformer dock and you’ve a tablet every bit as good as the iPad.

The Asus Eee pad has been getting rave reviews from all over the place including us. And with some online retailers selling the tab at £290 – you’d be a fool not to consider one of these next-gen tablets.

Galaxy Tab

The Galaxy Tab is an Android 2.2 tablet, surrounded by bigger and better Android 3.0 tablets, priced in the same area. This means that this 3G-free version of Samsung’s 7-inch Galaxy Tab tablet offers a good mix of price and horsepower, but the new wave of inexpensive Android 3.0 devices leave it overshadowed in many cases.

But with a price tag as little £210 and a whole host of apps from the App Marketplace it certainly worth a look.

This post was written by:

- who has written 609 posts on UK Gadget and Tech News, Reviews and Shopping.

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