Recommend me a tablet

Copingsaw wrote:

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?

If Barnes & Noble can sell the Nook for $249 why hasn't someone come out with something that is just like the Nook but not from B&N? I don't expect a $300 tablet to be perfect but if I wanted to spend $500+ on a tablet I'd already own an ipad.

Thin_J wrote:

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.

As others have said, for the iPad, you only need to use it for software updates. iTunes just doesn't play into daily life.

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

I've read that people have gotten updating to work over virtualization. So you install iTunes in a VM and never have it touch your native OS. Most of the text out there is for Linux hosts, as most people with Windows just install iTunes directly. Maybe I'll try an experiment on my machines, with a Windows host & guest.

EvilHomer3k wrote:

If Barnes & Noble can sell the Nook for $249 why hasn't someone come out with something that is just like the Nook but not from B&N? I don't expect a $300 tablet to be perfect but if I wanted to spend $500+ on a tablet I'd already own an ipad.

I highly doubt B&N is raking in the dollars on a per unit basis for the Nook Color. B&N's goal is to get their content onto as many devices as possible, at as many price points as possible. If you're not B&N, what's your motivation to sell a device like that at negative or slim margins?

The Xoom and similar devices pushing 4G are obviously early adopter products, and thus suffer from the impractical price points of such products. If the Xoom sells for $800, they'll have no motivation to drop the price. Even if it just sells pretty well, they can make high margin profits on the early adopters before introducing a more mass market wifi only product.

Even if Apple's offering the best value product (an odd turnabout), companies can still ride the early adopter train because let's face it, for most of those still on the fence, if they wanted an iPad, they'd probably have one by now.

I can't speak to what Blackberry's strategy will be, but the demo units at CES were all wifi only models. So I think that's a good sign for the future (I mean, the product already exists, even if it's as a prototype model), assuming they're not going to try and sell it for $700.

The Samsung Sliding PC 7 is supposed to come out this month, but there's been basically no information about it since CES.

Meego tablets are supposed to start dropping around June, but until then I'll file it under vaporware. What's intriguing is that Meego devices should be able to run both Linux and Android applications.

Edit: Bummer. Apparently Nokia is restructuring, and may shift their direction. Which could mean killing Meego, delaying it so that it might as well have been killed, focusing on WP7, or focusing on Android. Too bad, I wouldn't have minded a competitive non-Google/Microsoft/Apple option in the market as well.

psu_13 wrote:
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.

Okay yeah I forgot about that Still, I don't "sync" it ever.

Moggy wrote:
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.

I just don't store anything on the iPad. It's all on the cloud. I could make due with a 4GB iPad, honestly.

Any good impressions of upcoming Windows 7 tablets? Are any going to hit the market in the next 2-3 months? Looking for something that is (hopefully) Zune compatible that I can surf and watch movies around the house (no 3g needed).

PyromanFO wrote:
psu_13 wrote:
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.

Okay yeah I forgot about that Still, I don't "sync" it ever.

Moggy wrote:
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.

I just don't store anything on the iPad. It's all on the cloud. I could make due with a 4GB iPad, honestly.

I was just talking about my apps. My data is somewhat irrelevant as it's only save game files and books.

Dezlen wrote:

Any good impressions of upcoming Windows 7 tablets? Are any going to hit the market in the next 2-3 months? Looking for something that is (hopefully) Zune compatible that I can surf and watch movies around the house (no 3g needed).

Technically any Windows 7 machine can handle the former, even the lowliest netbook, and the latter really only requires hardware support if you want to have decent battery life (anything portable has the wifis these days). Unless they heavily skin the O.S. or just boot into something like OneNote, haven't we seen this all before?

I think that a lot of you guys are going to be surprised after HP's webOS event. webOS is built for a tablet and its gui still cannot be beat for moving between applications.

unntrlaffinity wrote:
EvilHomer3k wrote:

If Barnes & Noble can sell the Nook for $249 why hasn't someone come out with something that is just like the Nook but not from B&N? I don't expect a $300 tablet to be perfect but if I wanted to spend $500+ on a tablet I'd already own an ipad.

I highly doubt B&N is raking in the dollars on a per unit basis for the Nook Color. B&N's goal is to get their content onto as many devices as possible, at as many price points as possible. If you're not B&N, what's your motivation to sell a device like that at negative or slim margins?

I don't believe they are making much money on the device (if any) but I can't imagine they are losing hundreds. The Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak 7 are twice the cost. There's got to be a company that can make a decent tablet besides Barnes and Noble for less than the iPad (whose tech is a year old now). I simply don't see a reason to come out with a tablet that costs more than the ipad. Android tablets don't need 32gb of onboard memory. They need enough for apps and that's it. Currently, the Nook is the best value in a tablet so long as you are comfortable installing custom firmware.

EvilHomer3k wrote:

I don't believe they are making much money on the device (if any) but I can't imagine they are losing hundreds. The Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak 7 are twice the cost. There's got to be a company that can make a decent tablet besides Barnes and Noble for less than the iPad (whose tech is a year old now). I simply don't see a reason to come out with a tablet that costs more than the ipad. Android tablets don't need 32gb of onboard memory. They need enough for apps and that's it. Currently, the Nook is the best value in a tablet so long as you are comfortable installing custom firmware.

Well, exactly. Why put out a tablet for that niche, when the Nook is right there selling at either a loss or little to no profit? The second you do, some enterprising soul would start buying up Nook Colors and selling them pre-modded for $300 a pop to undercut you. Hell, I'd be surprised if there aren't guys on Craigslist already offering to flash your Nook Color right alongside their jailbreaking services.

If the Nook Color cost $350 or $400 (or a tablet just like it, but trying to sell for a profit), folks would just get the G-Tablet or suck it up and buy the iPad.

I think what's hard to admit is that even if the iPad is selling at a profit (which can be misleading, since manufacturing costs can fluctuate or decline for a number of reasons that prevent companies from just leaping into a market with peak efficiency), it's still a good value, hardware-wise. Undercutting that is simply going to be difficult, whether you're an established company or a startup, especially if you factor in Apple's yearlong lead.

Edit: Bummer. Apparently Nokia is restructuring, and may shift their direction. Which could mean killing Meego, delaying it so that it might as well have been killed, focusing on WP7, or focusing on Android. Too bad, I wouldn't have minded a competitive non-Google/Microsoft/Apple option in the market as well.

They turned Meego into an open source platform "with an emphasis on next gen devices", and plan to ship a Meego device later on this year.

Maybe Motorola has been listening, or maybe Best Buy's just being deliberately opaque - $600 Wifi-only Xoom.

Haakon7 wrote:

Maybe Motorola has been listening, or maybe Best Buy's just being deliberately opaque - $600 Wifi-only Xoom.

That's still only marginally less ridiculous than before. Call me when it's $400 and we'll talk.

Haakon7 wrote:

Maybe Motorola has been listening, or maybe Best Buy's just being deliberately opaque - $600 Wifi-only Xoom.

Now this is in the ballpark for me. The bare bones ipad is $500. You could make a convincing argument that the Xoom has $100 worth of upgrades over the 16GB wi-fi only ipad. I would still prefer a bare-bones Xoom for $500.

Still have yet to hear anything regarding pricing on the Samsung 10.1 tab or any of the other future honeycomb competitors.

Oooo. The Xoom just maybe what I'm looking for to take me from my iPad. You have my attention...

Yeah $600 is a decent price. I'm now going to pre-order one for sure.

Edit

Ironically despite typing this on an iPad...I've come to the conclusion that Apple is ripe for the picking. Unless something radically changes with the next iPad the barrier to overtake Apple in this arena for now is still fairly low if the right company can figure some things out. The iPad is actually held back significantly by it's sharing of core os with the iPhone. It's browser is wofeful and for the tablet platform should be the focal point of functionality and customization yet it's completely barebones. It can't even do simple caching updates in the background as well as complete lack of real tabbed browsing.

If I was a marketing guy I would have a campaign where I showed 2 people one with an iPad doing actual web browsing in 45 seconds and show some core functionality differences IF a competitor can get it right and get beyond the obvious things like zomg we have Flash and Apple doesn't which I think the vast majority of consumers don't care about.

We'll have to see what the next iPad brings to the table. Shouldn't be too much longer, right?

Kurrelgyre wrote:

We'll have to see what the next iPad brings to the table. Shouldn't be too much longer, right?

I hope not. I've been waiting for Gen 2 for a while. Unless Android significantly improves it games before the iPad 2 comes out I'm most likely going with an iPad.

The Engadget Xoom review is up.

Engadget wrote:

Is the Xoom a real competitor to the iPad? Absolutely. In fact, it outclasses the iPad in many ways. Still, the end user experience isn't nearly where it needs to be, and until Google paints its tablet strategy and software picture more clearly, we'd suggest a wait-and-see approach. Honeycomb and the Xoom are spectacular -- unfortunately they're a spectacular work in progress.

I'm not opposed to a $600 price tag for the Wifi version, but sounds like it might be worth waiting for the v2 build. Honeycomb sounds promising, though, and the UI looks really good.

March 2nd is the rumored iPad 2 announcement.

I'm ready to buy a tablet myself. The Xoom (and Honeycomb) looks seriously interesting, but it seems like it's still half-baked at this point (no Flash, no Netflix). I'm waiting to see what the new iPad is going to offer, but that's where I'm leaning right now.

One of the things I'm really looking for in a tablet is Netflix streaming. From what I've seen, the iPad is the only device with direct Netflix support right now.

bennard wrote:

I'm ready to buy a tablet myself. The Xoom (and Honeycomb) looks seriously interesting, but it seems like it's still half-baked at this point (no Flash, no Netflix). I'm waiting to see what the new iPad is going to offer, but that's where I'm leaning right now.

One of the things I'm really looking for in a tablet is Netflix streaming. From what I've seen, the iPad is the only device with direct Netflix support right now.

I've been really disappointed in the streaming to my iPad. I have TERRIBLE internet service, but on the Wii, Netflix performs well. On the iPad, it's like watching an Atari 2600-ified movie. Everything gets very pixilated instead of it pausing to re-buffer. It drives me crazy.

If nobody bothers to write software for the Playbook, we'll know why.

I went and bought a Xoom today. It's a mixed bag right now, especially if - like me - you're coming off an iPad.

Switching from iOS to Honeycomb will take a bit of getting used to. No more than getting into iOS in the first place was, I'm sure, but it'll take time. - No problem.

The form factor - 16 x 10 with a resolution of 1280 x 800 - is just different enough from the 4 x 3 iPad to make landscape the best orientation. Despite a slightly bigger screen, it feels like it has a smaller form factor, probably due to the small bezel around the screen. Weight is about the same.

Browsing is nice and very speedy. Pages resolve quickly. No Flash, however, which is a problem I'll touch upon in a minute.

Gmail and GMaps integration is spot on and very nice.

Activation is a pain and you do have to activate 3G for at least a month before you leave the store. Not sure if the 3G iPad is the same, but my Xoom has it's own phone number and can receive text messages. There's a bug with Verizon's account activation back-end software which means you don't get the email with your temporary password and have to wait for it to come via snail mail, which means you can't deactivate your 3G on line until it does. There's no charge for activating or deactivating the 3G and you can bump up your usage plan for the month if you're getting close to the limit for the incremental price difference in the plans. The data plans, btw, are outrageously expensive - $20 for 1GB/month up to $80 for 10GB/month - so you'll not be streaming movies over 3G anytime soon.

I have a few killer apps I use on my iPad and will not be switching over to the Xoom until I can do all of them:

Browsing - All good. In fact, even better than the iPad. If you don't like the built in Chrome, you can download Firefox or any other of a bunch of browsers.

Reading - Kindle app is OK, but a little clunkier than the iPad version. Connected no problem. Form factor is a little weird. In landscape, the page feels too wide and in portrait the page feels too tall. This might be fixable in the settings. I haven't tried any of my epub books yet. I'm using Stanza on the iPad. I'm sure I'll find something, even if the reader that come with the device proves to be lame. So, another check mark.

Netflix - Nope. No app and the browser/device isn't supported through http:// access, either. Netflix is working on it: "Netflix is using the Tegra 2 development platform to bring the Netflix experience to Android super phones and tablets. We're working closely with NVIDIA to ensure Netflix takes full advantage of Tegra's outstanding acceleration and security capabilities." -- Greg Peters, Vice President, Product Development at Netflix

Slingbox - Another nope. They do have a mobile app, but I think the resolution it supports is pretty low (320x240?) and at $30, I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger to find out. http:// isn't supported. I'm really hoping that when Flash comes in a few weeks, it will be supported.

There is a product - PlayOn - that uses a server app on a networked PC to stream any source to a flash-enabled device - like the Xoom will be. They're working on a Honeycomb specific app. Another thing to keep an eye on.

Games - I know I'll find plenty of games to while away the time with, though I've been surprised at how little gaming I've ended up doing on the iPad.

So I'm in "wait-and-see" mode right now, but it's looking pretty hopeful.

Moggy wrote:

Browsing - All good. In fact, even better than the iPad. If you don't like the built in Chrome, you can download Firefox or any other of a bunch of browsers.

Is the pinch zooming as responsive as the iPad?

To me, one of the killer features of the iOS browsers is being able to pinch and manipulate the view even when the page is still loading. No need to wait for loading & rendering - it just fills in the blank space with the little checkerboard pattern.

My 1st gen Android phone most certainly did not behave that way. It chunked and coughed and re-rendered instead of just zooming in and out like a moving magnifying glass.

*Legion* wrote:
Moggy wrote:

Browsing - All good. In fact, even better than the iPad. If you don't like the built in Chrome, you can download Firefox or any other of a bunch of browsers.

Is the pinch zooming as responsive as the iPad?

Seems to be. Maybe even more so as the pages render so quickly

I picked one up at a verizon store and did not activate any service. I'm trying to decide what I think by the time my 14-day return policy comes up.

If there's anything that anyone wants to know ill be glad to give out any observations I can. So far my experiences are similar to everything I've read online.

I think I'm going to get one..but I'm waiting for a few days to see just when and what Apple does with the iPad

TheGameguru wrote:

I think I'm going to get one..but I'm waiting for a few days to see just when and what Apple does with the iPad

Sounds like iPad2 is going to be an incremental change where iPad3 is going to be more of a generational jump, but the rumors have been wrong before....

sheared wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

I think I'm going to get one..but I'm waiting for a few days to see just when and what Apple does with the iPad

Sounds like iPad2 is going to be an incremental change where iPad3 is going to be more of a generational jump, but the rumors have been wrong before....

That's the feeling I got as well. As I make the Xoom "mine", it's growing on me. I now do all my surfing and GMail on the Xoom. I transferred my books over and have started to use Aldiko as a reader. Works fine, though I liked Stanza's features a little better.

Certainly no issues with battery life and sound volume seems just fine.