Recommend me a tablet

...still just sayin' why run a mobile OS when you can have a full fleged PC OS?

Need to show up at Starbucks? Go google "modbook tablet"

AnimeJ wrote:
Malor wrote:

I think Apple's getting their usual 40% margin on the iPad, so you'd think there'd be plenty of room to undercut on price.

Which is why I'm blown away by companies launching tablets at the $600+ price points they have been. It's like they're ignoring the 8000lb rhinoceros in the room and seeing how much they can sell these things for.

Part of the problem is that Apple has invested so much into their mobile device silicon that they have a huge advantage over everyone else.

I'm reminded of the story about how RIM thought the original iPhone was smoke-and-mirrors when it was revealed. They thought it was impossible for a phone to do what was shown and still have any sort of functional battery life.

Then, the reveal: "Imagine their surprise [at RIM] when they disassembled an iPhone for the first time and found that the phone was battery with a tiny logic board strapped to it."

Battery life has been a limiting factor for a long time, and breakthroughs have been frustratingly elusive. So what Apple did was invest so much effort into engineering their silicon to be as small and efficient as possible that they could fill the whole damn phone with battery.

Everyone else is working with hardware that's not only less power efficient (needs more battery), but also takes up more space (less room for battery) - a double whammy.

Apple has figured out how to get a return on all that effort. They use the chip everywhere. The current version - the A4 - is in the iPhone 4, the iPad, the current iPod Touch, and the Apple TV 2G. The next chip will be in the next revisions of all of those products. (And I would not be surprised if it ends up in more products, like the Macbook Air eventually. If not the "A5", maybe the generation after that).

It's hard for anyone else to catch up and invest the same level of engineering. Apple is hard at work on the "A5" right now, knowing that they've got all kinds of products to shove it into, which means they know they can invest in making the thing as powerful AND small/cool as possible. Eventually, things will get to the point of diminishing returns and others will start to catch up. But it's damn hard right now.

*Legion* wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:
Malor wrote:

I think Apple's getting their usual 40% margin on the iPad, so you'd think there'd be plenty of room to undercut on price.

Which is why I'm blown away by companies launching tablets at the $600+ price points they have been. It's like they're ignoring the 8000lb rhinoceros in the room and seeing how much they can sell these things for.

lots of good stuff

I don't disagree on any level, but I'm still baffled by the insistence to compete when you're not really competitive.

Ghostship wrote:

...still just sayin' why run a mobile OS when you can have a full fleged PC OS?

Need to show up at Starbucks? Go google "modbook tablet"

As much as I have nearly zero use for one, a Modbook Air would pretty much be what a lot of folks have really been looking for in terms of a full PC tablet: decent battery life in a light weight and compact form factor with minimal wasted heat and good performance.

Ghostship wrote:

...still just sayin' why run a mobile OS when you can have a full fleged PC OS?

Need to show up at Starbucks? Go google "modbook tablet"

Because a mobile OS is optimised for a mobile platform, in terms of usability and battery use. Desktop OS's are improving, but still far less efficient for the task.

*edit*

Oh, and a Modbook tablet looks nice, but at $1800 it's swimming in the big kiddies pool. It's not really comparable to the machines under discussion here.

AnimeJ wrote:

I don't disagree on any level, but I'm still baffled by the insistence to compete when you're not really competitive.

I wonder if it was a combination of thinking the tablet market would be bigger, and perhaps underestimating the cost during development.

*Legion* wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

I don't disagree on any level, but I'm still baffled by the insistence to compete when you're not really competitive.

I wonder if it was a combination of thinking the tablet market would be bigger, and perhaps underestimating the cost during development.

Through in a healthy dash of 'Holy cow, look at all the press Apple's getting' and you're not far off I'd imagine.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Ghostship wrote:

...still just sayin' why run a mobile OS when you can have a full fleged PC OS?

Need to show up at Starbucks? Go google "modbook tablet"

Because a mobile OS is optimised for a mobile platform, in terms of usability and battery use. Desktop OS's are improving, but still far less efficient for the task.

*edit*

Oh, and a Modbook tablet looks nice, but at $1800 it's swimming in the big kiddies pool. It's not really comparable to the machines under discussion here.

I would agree. Besides, at $1800 I'd be trying to buy a Motion Computing slate used, over a Hack of a new apple laptop.

Careful. Arguments that mobile OS's don't offer the same features as full featured ones don't go down well here.

Robear wrote:

Careful. Arguments that mobile OS's don't offer the same features as full featured ones don't go down well here. :-P

Bitter?

*Legion* wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

I don't disagree on any level, but I'm still baffled by the insistence to compete when you're not really competitive.

I wonder if it was a combination of thinking the tablet market would be bigger, and perhaps underestimating the cost during development.

Many of the new crop of tablets are rated at 10+ hours of battery life, same as the iPad. Granted, real world testing will prove whether or not that's marketing fluff, but it seems pretty competitive to me.

Obviously the iPhone/iPad kicks most Android device's ass in battery life, but it's getting to where the gap is rapidly closing, and they're all power hungry beasts. As a dumbphone user who rarely remembers to charge his phone, period, the idea of having to do it every night, or the next day at lunch, doesn't seem much of a difference to me.

For example: even if the Playbook's battery life is sh*t, the performance is incredible. I got to play with one at CES, and I couldn't even make it stutter. I was running a movie, Quake III, and multiple other programs, switching between them in real-time (no pausing, for reals), and it stood up like a champ. That blew me away.

So I think they're charging competitive prices because their devices are competitive. It just depends what you're looking for.

unntrlaffinity wrote:

Many of the new crop of tablets are rated at 10+ hours of battery life, same as the iPad. Granted, real world testing will prove whether or not that's marketing fluff, but it seems pretty competitive to me.

We'll see about competitive when Apple lifts the veil on the next iPad. Right now we're comparing devices yet to be released with a tablet that's already almost a year old.

If the "A5" chip is anything like the rumors, competing with the old iPad isn't really competing at all. But rumors being what they are, we'll see.

I am all over this device:

http://noteslate.com/

sheared wrote:

I am all over this device:

http://noteslate.com/

It's really only useful if you can search the notes you've written. Interesting price point if they can manage it, though.

sheared wrote:

I am all over this device:

http://noteslate.com/

First impulse: I wantsss it!
Second impulse: $100 for a note pad? Now I'm not so sure.

Kurrelgyre wrote:
sheared wrote:

I am all over this device:

http://noteslate.com/

It's really only useful if you can search the notes you've written. Interesting price point if they can manage it, though.

If there is some way to get them into Evernote, that problem is already solved.

Ars Technica has more details on the Xoom, including the fact that it's actually $800 before you even factor in the data plan. That's not the best part though.

To activate WiFi functionality on this device, a minimum of 1 month data subscription is required.

Dear Motorola: Keep dreaming.

Wow. So far it looks like the iPad is still the only option. Maybe the Playbook if the user experience is decent.

How often can you say that Apple provides the value for money option?

Yeah, if somebody doesn't do this right and beat Apple on their pricing soon I'll just be avoiding the tablet market completely for a good while longer.

Sounds like you're trying to avoid Apple just because they're Apple. But it's your wallet to vote with.

Kurrelgyre wrote:

Sounds like you're trying to avoid Apple just because they're Apple. But it's your wallet to vote with.

I'm avoiding Apple because they require you to install iTunes to use their device and I quite simply refuse to install that crapware on my machine.

Untether the iPad from iTunes and I would already own one.

Thin_J wrote:
Kurrelgyre wrote:

Sounds like you're trying to avoid Apple just because they're Apple. But it's your wallet to vote with.

I'm avoiding Apple because they require you to install iTunes to use their device and I quite simply refuse to install that crapware on my machine.

Untether the iPad from iTunes and I would already own one.

I know it's bloated and slow as Christmas, but when the program itself is not loaded, it doesn't really have an effect on my PC, does it? If all you use it for was to sync up the necessary apps, is there something I'm not aware of that it is doing in some background program that I did not realize was loaded?

The issue for a lot of people is the Quicktime, MobileMe and other assorted crapware that Apple insists be installed with iTunes. I hate it, but won't let it put me off using Apple devices, but I can't blame someone who is less tolerant.

sheared wrote:
Thin_J wrote:
Kurrelgyre wrote:

Sounds like you're trying to avoid Apple just because they're Apple. But it's your wallet to vote with.

I'm avoiding Apple because they require you to install iTunes to use their device and I quite simply refuse to install that crapware on my machine.

Untether the iPad from iTunes and I would already own one.

I know it's bloated and slow as Christmas, but when the program itself is not loaded, it doesn't really have an effect on my PC, does it? If all you use it for was to sync up the necessary apps, is there something I'm not aware of that it is doing in some background program that I did not realize was loaded?

There's a couple of services it installs too, but nothing substantial. Reliance on iTunes was the biggest reason I dumped my iPhone. I'm not going back to iTunes for a tablet.. I'd be more likely to pick up the $250 NookColor and root it.

The only full time Windows machine I have is the work laptop... not putting iTunes on that just to sync/update a device. iTunes syncing/updating does not work in a virtual machine unless the host can install the Apple drivers which means I'd have to reboot every time I wanted to change out songs, ect. I'll buy Apple, but only devices I can sync in Linux.

Thin_J wrote:
Kurrelgyre wrote:

Sounds like you're trying to avoid Apple just because they're Apple. But it's your wallet to vote with.

I'm avoiding Apple because they require you to install iTunes to use their device and I quite simply refuse to install that crapware on my machine.

Untether the iPad from iTunes and I would already own one.

Install iTunes, activate iPad, uninstall iTunes. Done. I haven't "synced" my iPad since the first day I opened the box.

Not saying it's perfect, or that it's even a slam dunk, but the iPad really just doesn't need to interact with iTunes beyond plugging it in to activate it. Which is dumb, but not as bad as trying to load music on my iPhone and having it sync 3000 apps (what, you don't want to sync apps? let me delete all your current apps then!)

I absolutely loathe iTunes but it just hasn't been an issue for the iPad, I just don't sync it.

sheared wrote:

I know it's bloated and slow as Christmas, but when the program itself is not loaded, it doesn't really have an effect on my PC, does it? If all you use it for was to sync up the necessary apps, is there something I'm not aware of that it is doing in some background program that I did not realize was loaded?

I'm "the computer guy" for basically my entire extended family, their friends, and any friends of those friends who don't know "a computer guy" of their own. Over time it's gotten to the point where people actually offer to pay me and buy me lunch if I'll just get their computer to work.

I'll give you three guesses what piece of software I end up messing with more than any other short of virus/malware detection.

I will *never* install Quicktime or iTunes on one of my own PC's again. Ever.

PyromanFO wrote:

Install iTunes, activate iPad, uninstall iTunes. Done. I haven't "synced" my iPad since the first day I opened the box.

I was led to believe iTunes was required for system (iOS) updates or whatever, and nobody seemed to contradict that. Is that not true?

PyromanFO wrote:

I haven't "synced" my iPad since the first day I opened the box.

After a scare I had a few weeks ago when my iPad "died", you may want to rethink this...

My iPad stopped responding and wouldn't turn on or respond to being plugged in. I thought it had died - two days before a 10 day trip. I went to the local Apple store, expecting to be given a new iPad. As I'd been buying my apps through the app store in the device, this would mean going back through old emails to find all my purchased apps and redownloading. I hadn't plugged the iPad in since I'd got it, just like you.

Turned out all it needed was a hard reboot (hold the round button and top button down together for 6 seconds). Yes, I was the old geezer at the genius bar being told to reboot my device. Quite embarrassing for a software engineer with over 20 years of experience....

First thing I did when I got home was sync the iPad and then perform a backup.

Motorola's commercial for the Xoom had people at my Super Bowl party interested in the device, until I told them about the $800 price tag. That pretty much killed any chance of any of them buying one.

The following link does a xoom vs. Ipad comparison:

http://www.droid-life.com/2011/01/23...

While I heartily laugh at their conclusions, what the link does for me is at least provide a concise comparison of features. I will admit that the xoom has some features that I would be willing to pay a little extra for (flash, usb/hdmi ports, expandable memory and increased resolution).

Still, everyone here and probably most people who purchase the ipad, want the 16 GB, wi-fi only version, which weighs in at just $499. Given that the zoom does have expandable memory, I have absolutely no interest in paying extra for a 32 GB model, but apparently I would have no choice. In any case, I might consider springing $599 for a product that is superior to the ipad but to put an $800 price tag on it and then require one month of data subscription really turns me off.

Are the marketing people at Motorola really this stupid? People aren't going to run out and pay an extra $300 for a product that is a year late to the party and offers no serious innovation. Don't they know that if they want to move units they have to provide a product that is competitive on price? Why would they not design a more bare-bones product with less memory and ship it out the door at $500 or, worst-case, $600?

Thin_J wrote:

I was led to believe iTunes was required for system (iOS) updates or whatever, and nobody seemed to contradict that. Is that not true?

No. It's true. You need iTunes for OS updates and backups.