PALO ALTO (KCBS) – Hewlett-Packard’s decision to slash the price of its TouchPad tablet computer led to a buying frenzy over the weekend.

The TouchPad, which had sold from $499.99 to $599.99, was discounted to as low as $99.99 at most retailers.

The price drop led to a mad rush by consumers, as the devices were snatched up both online and in stores. Target, Fry’s and Best Buy all listed the TouchPad as sold out on Monday morning.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“Certainly at $99, customers recognize that there is a lot that the device can do even if its future remains uncertain,” said Ross Rubin with the NPD Group.

Just last week, Hewlett-Packard announced that it is discontinuing its tablet and smartphone businesses, but will still explore alternatives for webOS, the software that powered the TouchPad.

The TouchPad was launched just a few weeks ago, but abysmal sales compared to Apple’s iPad made HP’s decision to drop the prices a seemingly foregone conclusion.

While sold out at most retailers, Rubin said “customers can always look to eBay” if they are trying to find a deal on the tablet computer.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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