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A wild Android TouchPad has appeared!
Pair of leaked tablets hit the internet as enthusiast rush to finish streamlined port

When Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQeffectively killed webOS, dropping its struggling TouchPad tablet and Pre smartphones, it unwittingly sparked riotous popularity for its defunct platform.  Selling for as low as $85 USD for the 16 GB TouchPad and $120 USD for the 32 GB tablet (with coupon codes), the clearance priced tablets saw the massive surge of interest and appreciation that they sadly never experienced during their short product life.

With webOS on tablets and smartphones going the way of the dinosaur, attention has turned to porting Google Inc.'s (
GOOG) Android operating system to the TouchPad, which features a dual-core CPU and hearty 1 GB of RAM.  Unfortunately, Google's official tablets source -- Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" -- is closed for now, but HackNMod has offered a $1,500 prize (since bumped to $2,100) to port parts of other Android operating systems (e.g. Android 2.3 "Gingerbread") to the device.

Now a tablet has 
popped up on eBay Inc.'s (EBAY) auction site, which claims to be running Android 2.2.1 "Froyo".  The tablet appears to come from a Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) collaborative project with HP.  It flashes "Qualcomm Innovation Center (Quic)" when loading.

The seller has posted a pair of videos [
1][2] to YouTube as proof of his claims.

The tablet auction ends in 2 and a half days and is currently sitting pretty at $710 USD.  

Whatever fortunate soul who wins the option could do a ROM dump if they were kind, opening the TouchPad Android to the masses, and potentially snagging the HackNMod bounty.  

However, Shahzeb Jiwani may have beat the eventual buyer to the punch.  He somehow obtained an Android TouchPad of his own and has 
reportedly dumped a ROM to RootzWiki.  There's currently an active thread of people working to finish making the ROM ready for easy installation by non hardware-hacker sorts.

The good news, is that with this ground work in place, the TouchPad should be in prime position for porting Android 3.5 "Ice Cream Sandwich", when Google 
merges the tablet and smartphone trees and opens the source later this year.



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Whoever buys this is an idiot
By MrTeal on 8/25/2011 1:50:22 PM , Rating: 5
The auction is up to $760. Given that the buyer doesn't know how well the Android port really runs and how many driver issues are left, paying a $500+ premium over a webOS version just to have Android now is lunacy. By the time the auction ends and the unit ships to you, the $1500 won't even be on the table anymore.




RE: Whoever buys this is an idiot
By Gungel on 8/25/2011 2:54:38 PM , Rating: 5
The only reason to get Android over the standard WebOS TouchPad is the available apps. Other than that, WebOS is still a much nicer looking OS.


By Reclaimer77 on 8/25/2011 4:44:51 PM , Rating: 1
As a device, you are correct. I can only posit that whoever buys this is attaching way more intrinsic value to it than the device is ever going to be worth. Maybe an odd tech collector or something. Someone who wants to own a little piece of mobile computing history perhaps?


RE: Whoever buys this is an idiot
By Etern205 on 8/25/2011 5:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
I just bought like 5! :(


RE: Whoever buys this is an idiot
By moskey71 on 8/25/2011 7:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
And if this has the drivers the Android community might need for the best experience... are they still idiots? I don't think you'll be saying if it's the case.


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