Surprise -- Your $99 HP TouchPad is a Great Corporate Email Tablet

How to turn your cheap $99 HP TouchPad into a rocking corporate email and cloud services tablet? Finesse.

So now you have your $99 or $149 discontinued Hewlett-Packard TouchPad. Man, that's cheap for a tablet. But now you've got to figure out what to do with it. It wasn't like you saw it coming. Kicked to the curb by HP just 49 days after launch, the HP TouchPad has got to be good for something.

In fact it will do a lot. And I think you could even get IT to let it in to your corporate mail server. I did. My TouchPad is the only way I access email -- it is powerful and utterly convenient for everything I need it for at work.

Just bring it in and start setting it up. You want it already set it up in a way so that when IT guys come to give you your network information, they'll approve. They'll think it's cool you bought the discontinued TouchPad. And like all geeks, they probably love webOS.

So now, start the process of turning the TouchPad into your client. First, set up email from the TouchPad's Settings page. . Just follow the setup wizard in the email system you choose.

Connecting to corporate email is easy, especially with Exchange Server. You just need to ask your IT guys for the right settings, but don't call them in yet.

Now, you're going to wirelessly set up access to Exchange through the tablet's Setup screen.

Then, from the Add an Account screen, tap Microsoft Exchange.

Enter your email address and password.

Now you need IT. Bring them on over.

Here is where they could try to prevent you from setting your new tablet up for Exchange -- they have the data you need -- but tell them the truth. You just bought one of those $99 firesale HP TouchPads! And, check it out, it's running webOS.

Like I said, geeks love that and, after they play with it for awhile, they'll give you the Exchange data you need for your company, including the domain. And maybe they'll even come back to check out the tablet from time to time to ask you questions about it.

Select Sign In and you're presented with your account options. Turn on every option you wish to access. It's pretty self-explanatory.

As I said, there's really nothing to setting up corporate email in most cases.

I should add the HP TouchPad doesn't limit you just to email access, From the Add An Account screen, you can access cloud and VOiP services like Skype, MobileMe, Photobucket and Dropbox and other music, photo and video-sharing networks. Couple MobileMe and the TouchPad and you've got two discontinued products that work pretty decently!

Hopefully, a developer will make Apple iCloud's service compatible with webOS and then it would be perfect.

Email and cloud services are just the beginning. I can tell how to make your now-discontinued HP TouchPad hum and run all kinds of interesting and useful apps. Want to know how? Check out my WebOS 28 Day experiment site. Or keep up with me here in BYTE.

Jim Collison is a guest contributor at BYTE. He's also a co-host on the Home Server Show. Also he owns and operates The Average Guy Blog and Podcast Network. Follow him @jcollison. or email him at [email protected]

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