Comparing a newer computer to a tablet is not a good analogy. Computers have pretty much reached a plateau as far as processing power goes for the average user (as far as necessity). Unless you play intensive games or do specialized media work, an average computer from four years ago will still work fine for 95% of people today. It can still play movies, most games, web/email, office apps, etc.
Originally Posted by wilburjoe
But the Tablet market is still really in it's infancy. For all we know, it might not even be around in a few years. But if they are, the devices themselves will definitely be significantly more powerful in two years then they are today. Sure the HP Touchpad could still be useful for many people in 2+ years. You could even just use it as a cheap digital picture frame or mp3 player. But if you want a tablet that will work as good as the rest of the tablets on the market, you will most likely need to upgrade anyway.
I would compare it more to the computers back in the late 80s, early 90s. Back then, every few months would have dramatic improvements in quality, processing, memory, storage, graphics, etc. You would actually have to read the minimum/recommended system specs to ensure that a new piece of software would actually work. Huge shifts that would make older computers very obsolete. While the physical hardware would last for decades (I wish that was the case now), you would need to replace it long before then.
And in the end, it all boils down to cost. Sure you could pay $100+ for an extra couple years of warranty, but why would you do that for a $200 device? Especially one that will only be worth <$50 in two years?