How to Make the Most of HP's $99 TouchPad in the Office

Last Updated Sep 6, 2011 3:14 PM EDT

Much has been written about HP's TouchPad, both here at BNET and elsewhere. Personally, I believe that the pundits who are claiming that "this proves there's a market for a $99 tablet" aren't punditing with a full deck -- all it proves is that people love a good fire sale. But that inevitably leads to the $99 question: Is there any reason to buy a few TouchPads (while supplies last) for the office? The answer is a resounding "yes."

I can answer in the affirmative because there are a handful of killer business apps available for the TouchPad. If you are the sort of person who can't resist a good sale and you want to use the TouchPad as a test platform to evaluate tablets in the workplace, you're in luck. There may not be thousands of solid business apps for the TouchPad in the same way that there are for the iPad, but you can get your toes wet for a tiny fraction of the price. Here are free and handy business apps you can use on your discounted TouchPad at work:

Download the Quickoffice HD update. Great news: Quickoffice is bundled with the TouchPad, so you don't have to do anything except download the update. When you do that, you'll be able to create and edit Word and Excel files, rather than only view them (which was all the app could do before the recent update).

Box for TouchPad. Get the Box.Net TouchPad app, and you get a massive 50GB of storage with access from your desktop, laptop, or TouchPad. It's almost worth getting the TouchPad for this alone.

FlightPredictor HD. From the folks at FlightCaster, FlightPredictor gives you notifications about flight delays with enough advance warning that you can avoid hanging out at the airport for hours.

Citrix Receiver. This desktop virtualization client lets you leverage your organization's Citrix platform to do all your usual desktop stuff on the TouchPad -- email, document access, and more.

WordPress. If you maintain a blog or website, the Wordpress app lets you maintain your site on the go from the TouchPad's display.

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