Wal-Mart to carry TouchPad, 32GB set at $599 [exclusive] 178
HP’s distribution advantage over some other tablet manufacturers is hard to deny. They have massive inroads with traditional electronics retailers like Best Buy and Amazon, their own online store, and a good relationship with rising electronics powers like Target and Wal-Mart. We’re expecting HP’s all-out assault for the TouchPad to hit all of these markets avenues and then some, and thanks to an enterprising tipster, we’ve got a better idea about how much these things might end up costing if Wal-Mart is your preferred shopping destination (though we’re no closer to knowing when they’ll arrive).
First up is the mighty TouchPad itself, which Wal-Mart will carry in at least the 32GB configuration, and at the price of $599.00. That’s right in line with the pricing for Apple’s 32GB Wi-Fi iPad 2, and right in line with what we are anticipating. While weren’t able to glean any info about when the TouchPad will actually be available at Wal-Mart or any other retailer, we got our first glimpse at the packaging. Well, actually just the size of the packaging: 9.5x10x1.78 inches – approximately the same size as the iPad’s packaging (weight was listed as 3 lbs). Seems it wasn’t just product design where HP targeted the iPad, let’s just hope Apple doesn’t pull a Samsung on HP.
Also to be available at Wal-Mart is the TouchPad-specific Touchstone Dock/Stand. Like the little puck Touchstone charger when it first debuted, the price for the stand-style tablet Touchstone isn’t cheap: $79.88. Granted, this is for what we expect to be a more powerful charger (it’s for the power-hungry TouchPad, after all), with two sets of inductive charging and communications coils (one for landscape and one for portrait TouchPad orientations). Plus it’s machined out of a chunk of metal, unlike the little smartphone Touchstones (or the TouchPad itself).
Apart from the TouchPad and Touchstone stand, Wal-Mart also stands to carry the webOS Bluetooth keyboard for $69.88 and the first-party TouchPad case for $49.88. Also listed is an AC charger, priced at $29.88 – the same price HP currently charges for the old Palm AC-to-USB adapter and micro-USB cable (okay, it’s 10 cents less). It doesn’t appear that Wal-Mart has yet placed any orders for the TouchPad or any of its respective accessories, but with the massive efficiencies that define Wal-Mart’s distribution system, our tipster says they could have it in stores as early as the 1st of June if the product were to hit Wal-Mart’s distribution centers by next week.