The first major catch is that the offer will go exclusively to HP employees before going wide on eBay at $99 and $149, respectively for the 16GB and 32GB versions, on December 11 at 4 p.m. PT. The second major catch is that all units will be refurbished, according to a report on TechCrunch, thus the eBay venue.
"In an effort to give HP employees first chance at a very limited supply of refurbished TouchPads, there will be a short delay between when the product is posted live for sale on eBay and when the general public is notified of the sale," according to the letter, posted by TechCrunch.
The delay will only be a few minutes, so there should be an opportunity for the public to get a crack at $99 (16GB) and $149 (32GB) TouchPads.
Another catch is that there will be limited availability (if that isn't already obvious).
Additional provisos are as follows (per HP's letter to employees):
- Purchases must be made through the HP eBay store via PayPal only. If you do not have eBay or PayPal accounts, create your accounts before the sale begins to avoid delays.
- There will be a limit of two TouchPad SKUs per eBay member, sold on a first come, first served basis.
- All sales are final. There are no returns, unless product arrives defective.
- The refurbished TouchPad product comes with a 90-day limited warranty.
An optional three-piece accessory bundle with a case, charging dock, and wireless keyboard will also be offered for $79.
And just to make it crystal-clear that this will be the only way to get these from HP: "This product will NOT be available through any other HP stores, such as the Home & Home Office store, Small & Medium Business store, HP EPP, or the HP Business Outlet," according to the letter.
The WebOS-based TouchPad was only available for a little more than two months before WebOS hardware operations were shut down. The tablet then saw a burst of popularity when HP and retailers like Best Buy sold new units starting at $99.99. Those quickly sold out in August.
Specs include a 9.7-inch multitouch (capacitive) 1024x768 display, a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core APQ8060 processor, HP WebOS, a front-facing 1.3MP camera, and internal speakers with Beats Audio.
HP declined to comment for this story.