Tablets

Motorola Xoom review: Groundbreaking, but disappointing

The Motorola Xoom is the tablet that has been preparing to go toe-to-toe with the Apple iPad. Here's the rundown of how it measures up for IT and business professionals.

The Motorola Xoom has arguably been the most widely-hyped-tech-product-not-made-by-Apple in the past year. Motorola has gotten a lot of people excited for the first official Google tablet.

However, the Xoom faces two big challenges. First, all of the hype surrounding the Xoom and Android 3.0 Honeycomb has created extremely high expectations. Second, there's already a tablet on the market that has set the bar pretty high. Despite its well-documented shortcomings, the Apple iPad gets high marks from most users.

Unfortunately, the Xoom doesn't quite live up to its lofty expectations and doesn't deliver the same level of product experience that you get with the iPad. Still, there are things to like about the Xoom, and for some people, this will be the tablet they've been waiting for. See if you're one of them.

Photo gallery

Motorola Xoom: Unboxing and comparison photos

Specifications

  • Carrier: Verizon Wireless
  • OS: Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core 1GHz
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 32GB internal
  • Display: 10.1-inch WXGA 1280x800, 160 dpi
  • Battery: Lithium-ion polymer with 3250 mAh capacity
  • Ports: Micro USB, Micro HDMI, 3.5mm headset
  • Weight: 25.75 ounces (730 grams)
  • Dimensions: 9.8(h) x 6.6(w) x 0.51(h) inches
  • Camera: 5MP with auto-focus, dual LED flash, 8x digital zoom; 2MP front-facing
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, aGPS, digital compass, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, barometer
  • Keyboard: Virtual QWERTY
  • Networks: CDMA 800/1900MHz; upgradeable to LTE 700MHz
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Tethering: Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Price: $799 (no contract) or $599 (with 2-year contract)

Who is it for?

For Android developers and devout Android fans, the Xoom is a long-awaited device that provides some exciting glimpses into the direction Google is headed with Android. For those who want a more PC-like experience on a multitouch tablet than what you get with the iPad (which has more of a mobile device experience), then the Xoom may be the device you're looking for -- especially if you want a tablet but have previously been unhappy with the ones running a version of Windows. Of course, those lusting after an iPad but avoiding the walled garden of the Apple ecosystem may be attracted to the Xoom as well.

What problems does it solve?

While we've seen Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the various Archos devices, those are basically oversized screens running a smartphone OS. Android 3.0 Honeycomb is Google's first tablet-optimized version of Android and the Xoom is the first Honeycomb device to hit the market. In essence, this is the first Google tablet. It's also the first major 10-inch tablet running Android, matching the 9.7-inch iPad.

Standout features

  • Native tablet UI - I've had my doubts about whether Google was serious about building a great tablet OS, but Honeycomb delivers a very usable and likable experience -- when you're in the native UI and the native apps and widgets that Google has built to work in Honeycomb. The UI is very smooth and works especially well in landscape mode, which Google has made the default on its tablet OS. The native widgets work well, and are a key advantage over the iPad. I especially like the ability to stack useful widgets next to each with plenty of room to spare on the large screen. It gives a more desktop-like feel. The email app, Web browser, and Google Talk apps offer an excellent experience that has been thoroughly customized for a tablet view. The Google Books app has the best UI of any ebook app I've seen, with nice touches like a night reading mode.
  • Web browsing experience - Along with widgets, the biggest advantage the Xoom has over the iPad is Web browsing. The Xoom offers tabbed browsing so that you can quickly and easily flip between Web pages like you do on a desktop. However, my favorite part of Xoom browsing is the thumb controls. You simply hold down your thumb on the edge of the screen and semi-circle menu overlay pops up and lets you open a new tab, bookmark the page, go back or forward, refresh, and more (see screenshot here). Quick tip: In order to turn this on you have to go to Settings | Labs | Quick Controls. The other advantage for the Xoom is that the Android browser supports Flash, but surprisingly, Flash support was not included with the Xoom at launch. It is promised for a future software update.
  • Performance - Nearly everything is fast on the Xoom -- the UI animations, search, loading videos, flipping through photos, pulling up Web pages (with a good Internet connection), etc. With a dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and some good video chips, this thing has plenty of horsepower. And, even with all of that power, battery life doesn't suffer. The Xoom's battery life isn't quite as good as the iPad, but it still approaches 10 hours.

What's wrong?

  • Too much stuff is missing - My feeling is that Motorola and Google pushed the Xoom out of the nest a little too soon. It needed longer to develop before it was ready to fly. I've already mentioned the fact that Flash doesn't work in the Xoom browser (at launch), which is odd since Flash works in Android 2.2 and 2.3. A future software update is promised to fix that. The Xoom's MicroSD card doesn't work at launch. That's also promised to be fixed in a future software update. This first version of the Xoom is 3G-only but is ready to be upgraded to Verizon's 4G LTE network, except that in order to get the upgrade customers will have to mail the Xoom to Motorola to install the new chip. There are also too many times when the Xoom gives strange error messages or simply locks up or certain elements crash. Motorola and Google would have been better off waiting until early summer to release this, once the Flash and MicroSD issues were worked out, the other bugs were fixed, and LTE could have been loaded on every Xoom by default.
  • App experience is a letdown - Google didn't do a very good job of lining up app developers to update their apps for the tablet experience before launching the Xoom. As a result, there were only 16 tablet-ready apps when the Xoom launched. That number is growing and there are some really nice apps -- like CNN, AccuWeather, Pulse News Reader, and USA Today -- but it's not enough to make the Xoom very useful. And even some of the tablet-optimized apps like the Amazon Kindle app are still very rough around the edges. As a result, you end up using apps optimized for smaller screens and that get badly stretched when you open them on the Xoom. I wish Honeycomb would let you open these apps in smaller smartphone-sized windows and then you could use 2-3 of them side-by-side, cut-and-paste between them, and multitask.
  • Data plan is overpriced - In the US, the Xoom is available on Verizon Wireless with a badly-overpriced data plan. For $20/month you get 1GB of data ($20 for each GB over that). You can also get plans for 3GB ($35), 5GB ($50), and 10GB ($80), and with those three plans you'll pay $10 for each extra GB that you use each month. For a device like this that is made for downloading and consuming lots of media files (Web pages, photos, movies, music, etc.), that's a paltry amount of data. The situation will get even worse when the Xoom has 4G LTE capability, since you can download a lot more stuff a lot faster on LTE.

Bottom line for business

In the technology industry, we don't give products an "A" for effort. Things iterate too quickly. That's why it's tough to recommend the Motorola Xoom. There's just too much unfinished business on this tablet, plus it's roughly $100 more expensive than a comparable iPad 2 model.

Unless you're an Android developer, a devout Android fan, or a bleeding edge IT professional who wants to get an early jump on Android 3.0 Honeycomb, then I'd steer clear of the Xoom -- at least until everything gets cleaned up, LTE 4G is shipping as part of the standard package, and the price drops by at least $100.

Even then, Android is going to need a lot more really good tablet apps in order to compete effectively against the iPad, which has quickly become a favorite among business professionals for its approachability and plethora of software. Once it gets finished and gets more apps, the Xoom could be in the same league with the iPad. Most buyers should avoid it until then.

Competitive products

Where to get more info

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

23 comments
kelly-wilson
kelly-wilson

I have one, and I do like it. Work issued an iPad 2 to everyone on Friday, and my Xoom arrived at my door on Saturday. There is some tightening that needs to happen with the operating system, but all the parts are there. Also the apps do need to pick up, but there are a lot of people working on that. I owned an early Android phone, and the apps came quickly. Lastly, it would be great if the price came down. ----------------------- secure ipad surfing

worldcitizen1919
worldcitizen1919

I'm what you would call an 'Apple fan Boy and I believe after seeing the Xoom and buying one that Apple is hoodwinking and taking us all for fools and for a great big ride. For starters I've got flash on my Xoom and my wife can watch 1,000's of her foreign movies. I bought a few apps and didn't like them and returned them for a refund NO QUESTIONS asked within 15 minutes. App experience is MUCH Better than on iTunes where there is a NO REFUND policy even if you clicked on the wrong in app link!! Si I'm having FUN galore. Super fast processor. Nothing I've yet seen on my Apple devices. REAL multitasking not having to push in the home buttton TWICE everytime you want to task. I can Google Voice Chat on Xoom. Soon I will be able to Skype video chat. Google Video Chat is already enabled!!! Apple closed system with Facetime - sorry my relatives overseas don't have an Apple device so can't video call them on Apple! App prices are cheaper on Android and I got just about all the same apps I had on iPhone and they work better. And I still have to update to 3.1 so things are getting better and better for me while all Apple do is add some cosmetic changes until their next hardware release. I turned on my Xoom and 1st thing a huge notification came up from the calendar along with a nice loud sound (unlike Apples muted calendar alerts) alerting me to my Skype conference tonight. Apple ipone and ipad are TOYS. This is the REAL thing for business or pleasure. Google are killing Apple in innovation. Oh one more thing. I do most of my searches by VOICE without having to open an app. I search Google earth by VOICE. Cutting edge stuff right out of the box not having to open and close an app to get features. My bookmarks are on my xoom desktop I just scroll the one I want and get there without opening my browser. Can iPad/iPad2 do that???? I got an sd card for more storage where's Apples extra storage - buy another 64gb ipad for $900 that's their answer. I've been an iPhone fanboy for years but after Xxoom I can see Apple is all fraud. They withold and withold until a new hardware model and you fools lap it up because you're like Apple too close minded to look at Android. They got you sucked in by their hype and you guys like I was addicted to it like crack but now I've seen the grass is indeed greener at Google and I'm glad I didn't get the inferior ipad 2 and iPad 3 that's coming out. Xoom will compete with iPad 3 and still win.

worldcitizen1919
worldcitizen1919

I'm what you would call an 'Apple fan Boy and I believe after seeing the Xoom and buying one that Apple is hoodwinking and taking us all for fools and for a great big ride. For starters I've got flash on my Xoom and my wife can watch 1,000's of her foreign movies. I bought a few apps and didn't like them and returned them for a refund NO QUESTIONS asked within 15 minutes. App experience is MUCH Better than on iTunes where there is a NO REFUND policy even if you clicked on the wrong in app link!! Si I'm having FUN galore. Super fast processor. Nothing I've yet seen on my Apple devices. REAL multitasking not having to push in the home buttton everytime you want to task. I can Google Voice Chat on Xoom. Soon I will be able to Skype video chat. Apple closed system with facetime - sorry my relatives overseas don't have an Apple device so can't video call them on Apple! App prices are cheaper on Android and I got just about all the same apps I had on iPhone and they work better. And I still have to update to 3.1 so things are getting better and better for me while all Apple do is add some cosmetic changes until their next hardware release. I turned on my Xoom and 1st thing a huge notification came up from the calendar along with a nice loud sound (unlike Apples muted calendar alerts) alerting me to my Skype conference tonight. Apple ipone and ipad are TOYS. This is the REAL thing for business or pleasure. Google are killing Apple in innovation. Oh one more thing. I do most of my searches by VOICE without having to open an app. I search Google earth by VOICE. Cutting edge stuff right out of the box not having to open and close an app to get features. My bookmarks are on my xoom desktop I just scroll the one I want and get there without opening my browser. Can iPad/iPad2 do that???? I got an sd card for more storage where's Apples extra storage - buy another 64gb ipad for $900 that's their answer. I've been an iPhone fanboy for years but after Xxoom I can see Apple is all fraud. They withold and withold until a new hardware model and you fools lap it up because you're like Apple too close minded to look at Android. They got you sucked in by their hype and you guys like I was addicted to it like crack but now I've seen the grass is indeed greener at Google and I'm glad I didn't get the inferior ipad 2 and iPad 3 that's coming out. Xoom will compete with iPad 3 and still win.

jfaletra
jfaletra

It appears that the writers here commonly slight their review to what they like best. How about actually testing and doing product reviews against each other? Miximum PC does a great job at this. In fact, if you look at this months issue there is a review about the iPad 2 against the Motorola Xoom and the Xoom wins out overall, but, thay also show the reasons as to why and base it on the devices and not personal preference. Techrepublic is a great site for a lot of things, but hardware reviews is not one of those things. Just my 2 cents. Oh, and I have an iPad2 and a Xoom. :-)

dennis
dennis

In my opinion Jason's comments are right on the money. However many of these issues are quickly becoming mute. Flash is done and works great. I have now uninstalled all non-tablet apps, and visit the app store regularly and there are always many new apps optimized. I love the incorporation of Amazon store, especially if you are a prime member. So many apps and videos, free! Regarding the premature launch, let's forget the launch of iPhone 4, and similar lack of optimized apps in the 1st launch. We need competitors for Apple products...and while I'm pissed for overpaying as an early adopter (paid the highest price), my Xoom gets better every day!

gregzeng
gregzeng

Agree with JJFitz above. IBM "fouled" because its BIOS was bettered by at least 2 better BIOS's. Then Microsoft with its very large MS-DOS base, was much easier to created freeware, shareware, crippleware, trial-ware and quality software, very easy & quickly. Apple changed into many incompatible operating systems, CPUs, crippled GPUs, breached popular hardware standards, legally stopped any hardware & software entrepreneurs, internationally. Many software developers, including Microsoft. treat Apple as a silly low-class toy for rich, glamorous idiots. The hardware producers almost completely ignore Apple, Linux & the BSD-type of operating systems (including OS-X). Microsoft, like Apple before it, is in the process of trying to legally destroy its supposed competitors. In this case, very indirectly, Google & Android. Lawyers are getting both these companies away from their core business. Back on topic, complementing my desktop replacement notebook, is my HTC Desire smartphone. Being short-sighted, the 4 inch screen is ok without spectacles, and the same pixel size as the tablet above. Plus pocketed, spare battery and available 24/7, all places, all times. Retired (medical) IT Consultant, Australian Capital Territory

Interactive Communication
Interactive Communication

Google is notorius for rolling out products design for user to modify, customize, and design. From my experience with moto products, i have relize, they are providing a platform for technoligy to grow with the user interface control. I would say it would be the same as creating your own personal VI engineering (Virtual Intellegenace). Unfourtunatly looking back in hind site, and if i was a stock holder, and part of the sales team. What would have worked better is to provide an interface for customers to us the new honey comb design on any stone age cpu, labtop, or sell phones and start gathering customer data of what they find is neccisary to recieve an effienct tablet. When the new customer sign on to thier new Xoom, it will be able to load the VI setting for the customer by pre determing what the customers demand are. Personally when i am ready to buy one, i hope the tech-invisionaries have a divesified number of "apps" for the HDMI out put. There is a limitation of what the MOTO product is alloud to do with HDMI. The Motorola developer have their hands tie. The broadcasting industry will not allow them to use the hdmi out put in fear of people pirating copyrited products. This is not fair for other users who want the development of the hdmi output. I ask this retoricall question. If NFL network broadcast there feed live on a droid or xoom, why can't the users watch high definiton tv netwoked from MOTO Technoligy? This is what i would use HDMI for -gmail on the tv with the table bieng a key board -web surfing on tv cause my eyes are tired of strainning on a x 10.1 screen -using dj software to listen to diffrent muscion, Slide for each song -Check out my montly G calendar on a fifty in tv Well theese are some ideas "lets see what happen" www.energysolution.tv

JJFitz
JJFitz

Rather than try to compete with the iPad directly, HTC Flyer is trying something that may make it stand out from other tablet devices. The Flyer will come with a stylus for writing. Yes, it will run on Gingerbread and not Honeycomb at release. Yes, it will come with an HTC Sense UI overlay (for stylus input mostly). Is that too much Android fragmentation? I don't think so. It sets it apart as a real tool for carrying around and taking notes. Who will carry a 10" screen all day? That's for sitting down on the couch with. I hope HTC succeeds. I think they have a chance because they are not just following iPad's lead. The other tablet that may stand out is the HP WebOS / Palm device. They may stand out for a different reason - the potential for market penetration. HP just announced that their computers and laptops will come with a dual boot into WebOS. If people use it on the desktop, they may be more apt to use it on the tablet. HP sells a lot of computers and laptops so developers are more likely to create apps for it. Plus the sync by tapping your HP phone on the tablet is a cool idea. Didn't Microsoft Surface promise that? Anyway, if you just follow iPad's lead, you will probably not get ahead.

lcplwilson
lcplwilson

I've heard that the display is not very good, especially compared to the iPad. I checked it out at Best Buy and it does have a reflection problem, doesn't seem to be very, what?, vibrant. And the touch-screen seemed to be not very responsive. I was really hoping for a better device. Gonna wait awhile and see what happens in the marketplace.

5haggi
5haggi

or has everyone forgotten how much was fixed/working/available for the iPad when it launched? I was never likely to buy this device, but then bleeding edge was never my 'thang'. Two or three months time might be a different story ;-)

latella
latella

Those in the market for a mobile "appliance" stick to the iPad 2. Regardless of its shortcomings, it works. You will adapt to the way the appliance works because you have to. That statement basically underlines the premise that is Apple, Inc. Appliances that lock people in. Lock them into end-user nirvana. Then there are those that need more than an appliance. For these people, an appliance just doesn't cut it. These buyers are more apt to customisation as a means to have the device adapt to them. Hence - everything about the device is scrutinised; the OS, the there-but-not-quite-working features of the device that any "appliance" owner would give two bits for, etc. Is the XOOM an appliance? As it is now, no. Is it a device that John Doe would wanto to use immediately? No. Is it a device for those with the vision and the understanding that pioneers invariably end up covered in arrows? You bet. Now, Where's my check book?

claudio.vilchis
claudio.vilchis

All the complains I've read about the xoom are "No flash support yet ", "no sd card support yet", "No 4G support yet" none of these are available on either iPad or the iPhone. Yet all the media screams of how much better the ipad is. I don't get it.

pethers
pethers

We all knew that it was going to be a hard task for the Xoom to be better than the iPad2, however in a lot of ways the hardware specs of the Xoom are better. And really those better hardware specs are what you pay for - software is not perfect, but can be upgraded and improved over time. Same happened with the original iOS - there were some bugs and plenty of limitations, but with some time this will improve and you'll end up with a nice high spec tablet. The LTE hardware upgrade is a real issue however - hard to believe really! So many will never send it back to have the chip installed, so I can see a whole lot of 6 month old Xooms on E-Bay that have never had the LTE fitted! LOL

KBabcock75
KBabcock75

Wow, who would have thought that a rushed OS would not out perform the iPads OS which has been in development for I believe 2 years now. Apple has this Pad device nailed and those foolish enough to think they are going to be unseated so easily are fooling themselves. I have been running an Android for 9 months now and it is a far cry from the iPhone no matter what the Fan-boys say. I see the Android tablet being in the same boat. It is going to be over a year before they catch up with Apple's smoothness and refinement as it exists today.

jim_manley
jim_manley

especially if you have 4G coverage (and the right kind, thanks carriers for fragmenting _that_ too - NOT! ): ) Requiring buyers to send their unit back for that upgrade is absolutely insane, unless they don't care about the top markets that now have 4G, and are concentrating on that ever-so-lucrative Amish market! ;) Lack of a working SD-card slot makes me wonder if they even have anyone with device driver experience working on this project (maybe all they hired were Android Java developers, and didn't figure out that they needed C/assembly coders, too! :P ). Besides, given the price-point of the iPad2, the Xoom marketing weenies must all be on suicide hotlines, being talked down from ledges, since matching, much less beating, Apple's pricing will result in a loss-leader, unless they are somehow able to block Apple's ads (not to mention assassinating at least 115+ million Appleholics!). The Xoom is going to have to become a lot less expensive, very quickly, or they're going to be collecting dust, just as the Galaxy Tabs apparently are (they've apparently built two million of those and positioned them in the distribution "channel", but, only a few hundred thousand have sold to end-users ... since October, right through the holidays, too). I saw a post/photo about WiFi Xooms supposedly on sale at a Sam's Club for $539 - that is likely a harbinger of Things to Come this year as iPad2 competitors start beating each others' brains out trying to compete with each other, much less Apple. Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware! ;) ).

marda155
marda155

My guess is no, otherwise it would be pretty obvious to you why the voice of the majority is in the Apple court. I've spent a week trying to get relatively simple tasks that are touted as "features" on Motorola's own website to work on the Xoom. Try to get any other mail than your gmail messages in the mail client. Try to browse the internet or use the app market from your enterprise network (no http proxy client on a device hailed as the first tablet designed for the "prosumer" - and most likely won't have a proxy client this year - really?). Try connecting a bluetooth mouse, a highly marketed feature and frankly one of this device's real gems in my opinion. Alas, that doesn't work either. Now consider that apart from the mouse "feature", the first gen iPad handled these tasks with ease from the first release, though as Bob_or_Fred mentioned the iPad never claimed to be a business enhancement device. I agree that eventually these items will most likely be remedied, and that I have been quite impressed with the sheer performance of apps such as Google maps on the Xoom. However, there are just too many disappointments from the start to consider the Xoom legitimate competition for the iPad (not to mention the iPad2) at this time.

Bob_or_Fred
Bob_or_Fred

The one big difference, though, is that the iPad never promised to have them. The card support in particular is like shipping a computer with a dvd drive that has no drivers available. Having a physical port that cannot be used is a serious flaw.

jasondlnd
jasondlnd

Apple seems to have set the bar with the iPad, and will be continuing to do so as they develop it further. Android is going to have a lot of trouble catching up, if they can at all.

Oggletree
Oggletree

The most USELESS piece of JUNK I have ever used

claudio.vilchis
claudio.vilchis

I agree they jumped the gun but in the end it will have those features. the iPad will never have those features.

JJFitz
JJFitz

Your statement that "The main reason that Windows PCs became the de facto "standard" was because they were brought into corporations by the IT weenies whom were playing with them at home, not because that's what the users wanted." is absolutely false. Back in the day, IBM had a big footprint in large corporations. Think IBM mainframes, terminals, and "Selectric" typewriters. IBM's reputation as a manufacturer of workhorse machines preceeded the IBM PC. So it was an easy transition for corporate America to adopt the IBM PC. In the early 80's, the IBM PC ran on an operating system called PC-DOS. Through several evolutions, PC-DOS became MIcrosoft DOS, then Windows 1.0, up to Windows 7. (I skipped a bunch of iterations but you get the point.) All throughout this transition IBM maintened open hardware standards and a lot of companies created hardware that would work in and improve on the IBM PC. Eventually, new companies sold their own personal computers running on Microsoft operating systems. Many people continued to call them "IBM PC's" when not a single component was manufactured or sold by IBM. Apple Computers came out at roughly the same time as the IBM PC. They ran on their own proprietary hardware and operating system. You couldn't run corporate applications written for DOS on them. You couldn't even open the cases without a special screwdriver and they cost significantly more to buy. They were cool. The graphics was far superior than the stuff running on DOS and early Windows machines but they were mainly used by gamers, academics, and graphics designers. - not by number crunchers or data managers. Windows didn't become the "de facto" standard because IT weenies brought them in from home. They became the standard because they rode in on IBM's reputation and the fact that IBM kept the hardware specs open for other manufacturers to improve upon. I would argue that the reverse is true. The Windows PC became the "de facto" standard at home because people were used to them at work and they were significantly cheaper than the Apple.

jim_manley
jim_manley

P.T,. Barnum (of Barnum and Bailey Circus fame) was right - there _is_ a sucker born every minute, and this week, it's the Fandroid afficionados who are buying the Xoom (rhymes with Doom ... hmmm ;) ) Apple has managed to build a 15++ million unit lead over everyone else in the tablet world, in addition to shipping over 100 million iOS phones/iPod Touches in almost the past _FOUR_ years. It's not like this couldn't have been seen coming - the iPhone and Touch would clearly be killer consumer products if scaled up to a tablet size - if battery life and performance could also be scaled. Those are the key features, not how many ports it has, whether it has 4G that's not available to the majority of users (and won't be for years, if ever, for half the U.S. - many rural folks would love to have 3G within the next five years), or can display worthless Flash ads that leak memory and eat hardware resources like locusts (and don't even get me started on Flash video - that's easily circumvented via transcoding on the server side, as is done for YouTube for iOS devices). The main reason that Windows PCs became the de facto "standard" was because they were brought into corporations by the IT weenies whom were playing with them at home, not because that's what the users wanted. When allowed to pick what was best for their needs, "normal" people have preferred Apple products, regardless of how many FrazzaHertz the CPU clock ran at, or what ports were on the box. Now that "normal" people have been given a choice as to what phones and tablets they like, over 115 million of them have voted with their wallets/pocketbooks that an iOS device is just fine, even without built-in Flash, 4G, USB, SD-card, etc., that the very same IT weenies who foisted Windoze PCs on the world are bleating as being "features" that are absolutely necessary on every device on the planet (ever notice how many of the tech pundits are unemployable former IT weenies? It's not a coincidence). Apple has been very smart (and profitable, which is not something most tech companies have been able to say - heck, Google is more of an advertising company than a tech company) in how they've dominated the tablet market in a few months, after watching Microsloth fumble for over 10 years trying to force-fit Windoze on way-too-heavy/way-too-power-hungry tablets (many of which required using special styluses/stylii). They dipped a toe in the water with the iPhone, expanded it with the Touches, and then widened their assault with the iPad, only putting in what was really needed in both hardware and software on each model. They apparently cut volume deals with the manufacturers of 9.7-inch tablet touch-screens (and probably other critical components) that guaranteed them an unlimited supply over competitors as long as they would buy everything that could be produced - ever wonder why there are few, if any, other 9.7-inch tablets (the Xoom, Viewsonic, etc., ~10-inch tablets use different components)? Apple has thus managed to corner both the retail and the parts markets by becoming the primary channel between them, reducing their costs very significantly (which enhances profits over the long term as component prices are kept low with high volume). This is what's called a "barrier to entry", and the tablet competitors' fragmented approach (including Google's ill-advised, half-baked feature-stair-stepped multiple Android versions that generally cannot be upgraded on older hardware due to ramping hardware requirements) is going to severely injure all of them (if not outright kill some of them) financially, if they try to go toe-to-toe against the iPad2 on price/performance. Note how the Zune and now the WIndoze 7 phones are doing against the iOS devices, and project the future of Microsloth's Windows 7 tablet (which is supposed to only be _demoed_ this Summer), literally years later than Apple's efforts. Apple is far from perfect (AppleTalk as the only interface on early Macs - DUH!), but, like it's said about the American Way, it's way ahead of whatever is in second place. Like the U.S. having to build fences to keep out too many people from over-burdening its infrastructure, Apple is in the very happy position of not being able to keep up with demand (and it's not engineered by Apple, it's just the laws of manufacturing and economic physics), and their so-far-very-second-rate competitors are showing not a single whit of understanding what's really going on. Toward the end of Jobs' keynote at the iPad2 roll-out (and I think it's been shown in previous keynotes) there's a mocked-up photo of a pair of intersection street signs that say "Technology" and "Liberal Arts", and Jobs talks about how Apple has always been the place where the two intersect. The heavily rational/logical techies really need to learn what the other 90+% of the population finds attractive - FaceBook is an example of Things to Come (I'm not a big fan of social media - I'm an engineer, but, I can read the graffiti on the walls!), and every day, more people seem to be accessing that kind of stuff on Apple's products. Caveat Constructum - "Builder Beware"!

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