Do You Really Want an HP TouchPad Tablet, Even If It Costs Only $99?

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Since the HP began offering its TouchPad at the fire sale price of $99 over the weekend, consumers have been scouring stores and websites trying to snag one (or a half-dozen) of the tablets—which sold at retail not long ago for (yikes) $500 apiece. The search for the heavily discounted tablet continues today for many shoppers who so far have been frustrated by the inability to find the item in stock.

Certainly, there are consumers out there who regret paying $500 for the TouchPad. Given the sale, and HP’s decision to stop making WebOS phones and tablets like the TouchPad, it’s also worth asking: Will there be just as many, or more, consumers who soon regret paying even $100 for the tablet?

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A new PC Mag post suggests the 10 best things one can do with a freshly bought TouchPad. Among the suggestions are using the tablet as a fancy alarm clock, and for looking up recipes in the kitchen or the names of actors while you watch TV. These are hardly essential functions, which is probably why so few consumers have been willing to plunk down several hundred bucks for the TouchPad. The list should serve mainly as a reminder that tablets—even iPads—are basically expensive toys. Indeed, one of the PC Mag recommendations is that the TouchPad be handed over to a child as “baby’s first tablet”:

I positively cringe when I see people letting their kids play with $500 iPads and $600 iPhones. But a $99 TouchPad? Hit it, kids! There are a few childrens’ books/coloring pages apps out there for the TouchPad, such as Scruffy Kitty ($2.99) and Coloring Book ($1.49), as well as some simple sketching apps, a typewriter app, and of course, the Web browser.

That’s a pretty expensive baby toy—especially because the kid, like so many other consumers, is probably going to be whining for an upgrade before you know it.

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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