Tablets

Build a Droid 2 tablet, and people will buy

TR member dcolbert wants to buy an Android tablet, but he's holding out for a device that meets his requirements. He thinks a giant Droid 2 would be a hot selling tablet. Do you agree?

I've been reading a lot about how Android tablets are failing to compete with the Apple iPad, and I find myself wondering if the entire global corporate gadget-producing industry is operated by imbeciles. An increasing number of tech journalists are starting to wonder out loud if Android is simply too fractured, segmented, and broken to ever effectively compete with the iOS platform - and the manufacturers are wondering why consumers aren't buying their products.

Here's the deal: I'm sitting on $500, and I have been for awhile. It's burning a hole in my pocket, and some manufacturer is going to get it eventually, but not until they deliver an Android platform tablet that meets all my requirements. I don't think I'm alone, and I don't think my expectations are overly complex or unreasonable. In fact, I think the device manufacturers (and Google) are busy over-thinking and over-complicating Android tablets.

The laundry list is really simple. Everyone knows what it is:

  • Long battery life
  • A responsive Capacitive Touch Screen Display
  • SD slot (full or mini/micro)
  • USB host with standard USB connectors (no dongles and no proprietary cables)
  • A CPU core that's comparable with the best Android phones (A8 1Ghz or better)
  • Quality front and back facing cameras
  • A decent version of pure Android OS, without skins or other "bloatware" from the vendor/manufacturer complicating the OS experience
  • A reasonably well known vendor/manufacturer name
  • A price competitive with the iOS platform without requiring a wireless contract or subsidized pricing
  • There are a couple of other trivial requirements - GPS on 3G models, Wi-Fi location services on non 3G models, and a gyroscope/accelerometer

I've got the cash and have literally been driving myself crazy for months wanting a device to spend it on and not one manufacturer has been able to come up with a device compelling enough to make me want to part with my money. It's such a slam-dunk, but every manufacturer so far that has swung has struck out.

A lot of Apple detractors - myself included - have made the claim that the iPad is just a giant iPhone/iPod Touch. But Apple has built what feels like an almost insurmountable lead in the tablet platform segment. So, maybe it's worth paying attention to Apple's success and the similarities between the products they deliver to consumers.

As it turns out, that's part of the reason why I was so impressed with the Coby Kyros MID7015. Coby didn't make their strategy complex or complicated. For a very reasonable price point, the Kyros delivers an experience that's very similar to the 1st generation Droid. It makes perfect sense, because I want all the features of my Droid, just in a bigger device. Don't over think it. Give me exactly that device.

Both the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy had the opportunity to be my Android tablet, but they made very similar blunders that kept me (and my money) sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see if something better will come along. It wasn't just the price point. My biggest issue was their original roll out as 3G devices with no Wi-Fi-only alternative.

In absence of a Wi-Fi-only device, there's an awful lot of confusion regarding plans and subscription features and terms. For both tablets, it seemed that I could pay an unsubsidized price and go month-to-month (at the mercy of the pricing and plan-feature mood-swings of the wireless carriers), or I could pay a subsidized price with a two-year contract and lock myself into a monthly payment. Those were the only initial options available. Add that to complaints about performance and build quality for the Samsung, or platform stability and compatibility for the Xoom, and in both cases, an initial wave of strong interest was quickly replaced by cautious skepticism.

The nail in the coffin for these devices was the uncertainty about the ability to act in USB host mode. Samsung amplified this by using a non-standard, proprietary interface port and cable - much like the iPad. Is it only me, or is it crystal clear that most Android fans who want a tablet but have not purchased the iPad have held off because of the lack of USB host and standard SD slot support? Apple can entice their buyers to settle for devices with missing features. Motorola and Samsung clearly cannot.

The major players (including Motorola, Samsung, and Google) have been running around like the Three Stooges or Keystone Cops for the last year or so, bouncing off each other and taking pratfalls on the Android stage. The worst part is that these vendors may decide that there just isn't a market for Android tablets, but that isn't true. Very few consumers are going to buy a device that costs more than an iPad, yet delivers many of the same headaches, aggravations, and limitations. However, if they deliver a tablet that gives the goods to consumers, they'll see huge sales numbers.

Like I said, I'm ready to purchase an Android tablet device, and my demands are really quite simple. I want a tablet that offers a Wi-Fi-only model from the start, that's priced competitively with the iPad, and delivers at least all of the features and build quality of my Droid 2. It doesn't seem like that should be such a difficult list of demands to meet - yet so far, the only companies coming close seem to be the knock-off Chinese brands with a dubious gray-market atmosphere surrounding them.

Listen up manufacturers: Deliver the same experience I love on my handset - the same apps, utilities, and interface, but on a physically larger device. You don't even need to enhance the OS so that apps take advantage of the bigger screen. If you're confused or have any doubts, look at Apple and do exactly what they did.

About

Donovan Colbert has over 16 years of experience in the IT Industry. He's worked in help-desk, enterprise software support, systems administration and engineering, IT management, and is a regular contributor for TechRepublic. Currently, his profession...

39 comments
gandoe
gandoe

on the options offered in the comments, such as a rooted nook color, Asus, Acer, Coby. And yes, I agree, most of the managers in high tech ARE imbeciles.

dcolbert
dcolbert

While I am by no means the last word in advice on these things - I've done *some* research, so I'll offer what I can here about the different options. First... in GENERAL, you get what you pay for. Do not expect a $150 Coby Kyros MID 7015 to compete with a $800 Xoom. Set your expectations accordingly though, and the Kyros is not a horrible device. I've said elsewhere, it is something like a Droid 1 in performance - and requires some technical expertise in order to fully leverage. I think the Nook Color and the other low end tablets are all going to be similar in this range and those features. They're going to have some serious limitations. Coby seems to have plans for a very expanded line of low to mid-range tablets that should improve on the MID-7015. They seem to be invested in delivering affordable low end tablets that offer decent value for the money. Coby is one to watch - but I wouldn't be surprised if the MID7015 was a fluke. I went into Best Buy yesterday and played with the Acer Iconia A500 tab and a Xoom. I spent about an hour between the two. Even though they're both running the same basic hardware and the same OS, the Iconia seemed far more responsive and nimble (for $450 as opposed to $599 starting for the Xoom). I played with the camera and the photos were good, even focusing on close-up text, and it took a long video with no artifacts or glitches. For some reason, it seemed like the Iconia was easier to navigate. I'm not sure if the Xoom is skinned or customized. The Xoom has a frustrating lack of buttons and inputs. The Iconia made a lot more physical sense to me. The Xoom is *slicker* and better in construction, more like an iPad. But I'm not sure that more style over substance at a premium price is what the tablet buying public is looking for in Android tablets. I played NFS Shift HD on the Iconia and it was quick and responsive and... well, just like playing that game on an iPad or an Android phone. It looked good enough to impress me. I especially liked the fact that it had full sized USB, Micro USB and miniSD card reader built into the tablet on the Iconia. ASUS is unfortunately a no-show. I'm holding off for the ASUS... which may end up turning into holding off for the new Samsung, HTC and Toshiba models. ASUS may have not just blown their deliver date, but may have kind of blown the opportunity for the Android market for tablets to start picking up momentum for a few more weeks at least. The Acer *may* actually be the best bet in stability, features, reliability and maturity for a Honeycomb tablet at the right price point right now. The ASUS Transformer may be lacking build quality compared to the ACER - and obviously is lacking some important ports on the *tablet* (you've got to get the keyboard dock to get USB, for example). But it is kind of hard to say because ASUS flubbed their market roll out so badly in the U.S. that very few people here have actually gotten to spend any time with the Eee Pad Transformer. Those who have, I've heard mixed results.

gandoe
gandoe

on the options offered in the comments, such as a rooted nook color, Asus, Acer, Coby. And yes, I agree, most of the managers in high tech ARE imbeciles.

jeb.hoge
jeb.hoge

What I look for from a tablet is like what I look for in a smartphone...easy, quick access to social media & web browsing. A tablet to me is a fast content consumption tool; I don't want to watch full-length movies, I don't want to type anything of significant length, and I'm not going to get into significant gaming. I don't even need 3G...wi-fi is nearly ubiquitous anyplace I'd be using a tablet. So ANY device with a price point over $250 is already a hard sell for me. I'd be plenty happy to get a Nook Color, root it right away, and install the latest Cyanogenmod ROM. I can't understand why it's that hard for a big manufacturer like LG or Samsung to see that kind of market and aim a $200 7" Android tablet at it.

madziek
madziek

My answer for all the junks recently put on gizmo market is DB-6 Panther Win XP or 7 on board.- It's amazing !!! No more shity Androids or iPhones !!! ( http://computers.amrel.com/computers/handheld/db6-m-rugged-handheld-computer). It is pricy but....at least you can customize it as you wish. AMREL ! AMREL ! AMREL !

RockerGeek!
RockerGeek!

But that looks like it's targeted towards industrial and military use- or construction even. Pretty much any place where a normal phone/tablet could easily be destroyed... Most consumers are in a business world sitting at desks and running back and forth- hence the want for a tablet. Or, they want something fun and portable for notes/goofing off in class. While helpful, I'm sure, that DB-6 is not what I'd think of for "every day use"

htaylor
htaylor like.author.displayName 1 Like

Yesterday, I was at best buy looking for the EEEPADTransformer which sold out before I awoke at 6 am CST. I was miffed, but they did have the Acer Iconia A500 which was my original choice before the marketing campaign of ASUS. So, I put down the $450+tax and walked away with a new tablet... The OS - yes it has some bloatware... every last android device I have owned has it. HTC Hero and Desire and my G1. (side note: I personally hated the Droid and loved the SenseUI. ) Ports: Standard USB , HDMI, MiniUsb (w/ cable for PC Sync) - Same cable as my Desire, Nook Color, Samsung Galaxy, 3mm Headphone Jack, MicroSD, Dock port (for a Dock I can't seem to find available in the US yet) There are a few quirks that threw me for a second. That is only because I have been using a rooted nook color running Cyanogen with ADW Launcher for 2-3 months as my Android Tablet. It was a matter of the buttons not being where I instinctively thought they should be and the absence of a home button that my finger keeps trying to go to. Without any mods, roots, etc. This tablet out of the box is 95% of what I was looking for. The purchase of a Motorola Bluetooth keyboard brought that up to 99%. The only thing lacking is support for Exchange Activesync under the native email application. That wasn't a deal breaker for me because I can load outlook via citrix if I really want to check my work email. Overall, this tablet has a great build and a good feature set out of the box. I found that 60% of the applications I was using before buying this tablet are now pointless under honeycomb which is great. I am not a big fan of app clutter, but I am a fan of a functional device.

dcolbert
dcolbert

It doesn't sound like your wants differ so much from mine. I'm sorely tempted by the A500. Do you have any hands-on experience with an iPad or iPad2? I'm interested in how the experience compares. Do you do a lot of social media? I do - and the ability to take quick films and pictures and easily and quickly push them to social media sites is important to me. Not critical, but the more devices that allow me to easily do this, the better. But a 95% hit rate out of the box without any rooting or mods is a success, in my mind, especially at the price point. The flood may be coming. Once it does, we'll see Samsung, Motorola and Apple quickly trying to find some way to differentiate themselves, or otherwise finding a way to be competitive at the price points we're seeing from these latest devices. There simply isn't any room for a Android tablet device that costs more than an iPad2 and delivers an experience that isn't superior in all manner. I don't think they can do that - in which case, the only other option is to come very close but undercut on price.

htaylor
htaylor like.author.displayName 1 Like

I have tested both the Ipad and the Ipad2. I haven't owned one, so my testing has only been limited to two to three hours (about as long as I can pry the device from an Attorneys hand for "configuration") The IOS doesn't impress me. For a phone, IOS may be adequate, but for a mobile productivity/gaming /entertainment device, the lack of True Multi-tasking is lacking for me. In my opinion a tablet should fit somewhere in the space between a smartphone and a laptop while leaning closer to the functionality of the laptop. I do not see it replacing my phone, but it sure is lighter than carrying a laptop all day. As far as social networking, I do not consider myself to be a power user in that arena. I post a few pictures every now and then, but I leave the video's up to my girlfriend. I did test the camera out, the quality of the pictures were okay to my standards. I do not see myself video chatting with anyone any time soon, but it does have both the front and rear cameras.

camcost
camcost

For a year and a half I've been buying and selling Android tablets... even before the iPad hit. I haven't been satisfied with any of them... but I also won't buy any from the current crop either. They're priced way too high. About the time Motorola's Xoom hit the stores (and I wasn't satisfied with it), it donned on me that what I really want is a tablet that behaves like an iPad. Not just the hardware and it's excellent quality build, but the software, the app market, high end Apple-equivalent apps, and a unity of purpose and communication between hardware, OS, and app developers. So I asked myself "why not buy an iPad?" and I did the logical thing and purchased an iPad (right after playing with the Xoom which was sitting next to it on the store shelf). I'm happy now. It just doesn't make sense if a person wants something which performs like an iPad to spend just as much money on something which works almost as well, but just barely misses the mark. My advice to other manufacturers: offer something which performs as well... and at half the price! Go do it. You'll sell them.

dcolbert
dcolbert

And I've had one since shortly after market launch. the iPad is old news to me. And I'm very impressed with the device, but increasingly disappointed with the limitations and shortcomings of the device. Apple has a bajillion apps I don't want or need. You know what else they have, every major app that is also available for Android. So you know what happens? I end up putting the same favorite apps on either platform. In the end, they generally look pretty much identical as far as app selection is concerned. It is all about the apps, I've maintained that for months. But it isn't quantity OR quality of apps, it is a bit of both. It is about having the RIGHT apps. And at this point, the markets have rough parity. There are some iOS only gems and there are some Android OS only gems (just like there are some games you can only get on xBox 360 and some you can only get on PS3, and don't kid yourself for a minute that this isn't BY DESIGN)... but for the most part, if you can enjoy an app on one, you'll be able to get the same thing on the other. Furthermore, I am increasingly frustrated by how the iPad makes me go through hoops to do things the iOS way, if I am allowed to do them at all. Things that are simple and intuitive on the Android OS. And, listen, I'm not an Android fanboy. It could be JoliOS, or Meego, or Moblin, or WebOS, or any other mobile platform that has the critical mass and forward momentum. It could be iOS, if Apple would open up. If Apple had included host USB and SD on the iPad 2 - I'd have an iPad 2. No doubt in my mind about that. But I knew... I *know*, that isn't on Apple's roadmap. Ever. The iPad is expensive and does almost what I want but just barely misses the mark. That is the *point*. And it always will - unless Android becomes successful enough that Apple has to change their policy in order to remain competitive. But I'm not into waiting for four years for Apple to provide users with a cut-and-paste function, or the ability to record movies, or send pictures via text message (it'll take a long time Apple iPhone loyalist to understand my point, here). Apple has set their line in the sand, and the only thing that will make them change that is market forces. The original iPad failed to deliver on several of the bullets above, and the iPad2 did not resolve any of those oversights. So far, the Android tablets have been the best possibility of delivering the missing pieces of a satisfying tablet experience, but they've all blown it in one way or another up to the most recent releases. In the 8 bit days, I was content to live with the limitations of what was available, because I was on the same development wave as everybody else. We had to wait for technology to improve. The shortcomings of today's tablet offerings are not based on a lack of technical ability to execute, but instead based on an unwillingess (or incompetence) by manufacturers to engineer a complete and satisfying device - and the iPad2 is not excluded from that observation - in fact, the iPad2 is more guilty than *most*. The others just don't seem to know what they need to do. Apple knows, but refuses.

ianni67
ianni67

I've installed linux on my tablet (a convertible asus). I feel happy and free since about 6 months. No assle, no additional costs, no subscription. And tons of applications, even most of those for M$ windows can run on linux. Try it.

dcolbert
dcolbert

One of the convertible netbook or notebook tablets. I can appreciate what you're doing and that it is suitable to your needs - but it isn't what I want from this kind of device. The platforms tend to be as expensive if not more than an Android/iOS format tablet, have battery life more like a netbook or laptop than a portable personal consumption device, and are prone to a lot of the same traditional issues of PCs and notebooks that modern tablet/smartphone platforms have some immunity to. Mostly, I want a consumer oriented, out-of-the-box solution that meets my needs as I bulleted in the, which I don't think are unreasonable.

varmel
varmel

Was just reading about a Toshiba Tablet with Honeycomb that shoud be this spring......... any thoughts on it?

ksaldutti
ksaldutti

The OS is not IOS b a long shot. When it becomes as fluid as IOS it will be the competision is wants to be. Google is not ready to take on Apple.

camcost
camcost

As a long time Android user (and convert to iPad) I have felt the pains of assuming an Android tablet would be as good as an Android phone. It isn't. The phone does what it's supposed to do, the tablet is little more than an afterthought, hoping to cash-in on the iPad craze. It seems like Apple had people like myself in mind when they designed their product. After too many cheap tablets that barely worked, it was a breath of fresh air to use an iPad which seemed to tune-in to my thoughts and way of doing things. No, it's far from perfect, but it's about as close as any tablet I've used (and I've probably used more for a longer time than the majority of users in this forum).

dcolbert
dcolbert

But I see it as settling for an unsatisfying compromise. It isn't that I despise Apple. Their products are top notch, for sure. The iPad is a marvel of engineering and design and I don't really expect any Android tablet to compete with the form or feel of an Apple device. But the artificial limitations of iOS chafe me. My point is larger. My Droid phones have delivered a satisfying experience, on par with an iPod Touch or iPhone - integrating a host of features that go beyond and above what an iOS device with a similar format is capable of. The iPad is really just a big iPod Touch/iPhone. So doesn't it stand to reason if you just kept the quality recipe of a Droid 2 (or an EVO, or any other well built Android OS phone) and made it bigger, like an iPad, it would LIKEWISE compete as well with the iPad as a droid phone/pmp competes with the iPhone/iPod touch? My experience with the Coby Kyros tells me that, "YES, absolutely... this is exactly the right way to approach this". But it hasn't been approached this way, it has been completely overthought. Which leaves the iPad as a superior choice, currently, not because it is the BEST choice, but, like most presidential elections, because it is simply the less foul of two very distasteful choices. Listen... to wit: a 7" to 10" Droid X is what everyone wanted, and Motorola could have delivered something like this quickly, Google could have signed off on it - and I guarantee you it would have been better received than the Xoom. Just take all the same components in the Droid X, and attach them to a bigger LCD. Add a full sized USB host port, a full sized SD card reader, and make it have front and rear facing cameras... and sell it for between $250-$450. I mean, I don't think it is impossible, because Acer and Asus are doing *almost* that, other than burdening their devices with Honeycomb.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Tell me how it is superior to Android OS? By requiring me to do most of my synchronization through iTunes? By limiting my ability to load apps and manipulate files? By restricting my choices on apps according to Steve Job's whims? By effectively restricting my choices on what websites I can view? I find the Apple iOS ecosystem terribly restrictive and oppressive. I constantly have to fight with the platform to get it to do simple things any portable computing device should easily handle. It is a platform with training wheels, best suited to the least technically competent segment of the market. Getting around these restrictions also entails far more risk, as Apple consistently tries to make this the case - making Jailbreaking and future updating a tedious chore that requires far more effort than is required to root and mod an Android device. Oddly enough, if an Android device is well designed, there is little *incentive* to root it or mod it, because it generally enables everything it should by default. It is a great concept, the iPad, but it is mostly a curiosity and a toy. It is well suited to the needs of my wife and daughter - and I'll probably keep it and let them use it for the very simple tasks that it is best at. I have much more ambitious plans for an Android tablet - things that an iOS device doesn't trust users to be able to do. Not saying that Android Honeycomb is mature. Everything indicates that there are some pretty big problems with it. But that isn't what is holding the floodgates back. There are tons of people like me who don't want iOS limitations (and many of us already OWN iOS devices, so we speak from first hand experience) - who are waiting on something better from Android - but Honeycomb isn't the biggest concern keeping us from moving forward.

Burnkitz
Burnkitz

Have you looked at the Acer A100 & A500 ?

dcolbert
dcolbert

Also decent choices... but I think the Asus is superior to both for less money... Of course, I could go down to Best Buy and get an A500 today. Weird thing is that both the Asus and the Acer have almost identical specs (as well as to the Xoom), despite the price differences - but the ASUS and Acer units have received very poor reviews of the camera ratings, with the more expensive Acer unit getting worse reviews than the ASUS. I'm also not interested in making too many compromises this time around - especially if that compromise means paying more for worse results. :) If the A500 was the same price as the Eee Pad, I'd probably pick it up. Of course, if it were the same price, it would probably be sold out, too. :)

carterct
carterct

...and I quite like it! I bought it because it had 250gb storage, which is actually enough for my music collection - 8gb? 16gb? pah! Like the article states, it came with some bloatware but I did some minimal research and managed to get the vanilla Google marketplace installed and everything seems to work fine, although it is definitely not for your average clueless Apple consumer as you need to have some basic PC knowledge about copying and handling media files.

dcolbert
dcolbert like.author.displayName 1 Like

I have a Coby Kyros MID 7015. For $150, it is a very capable, portable tablet. It has some major liabilities when compared to a top tier tablet, but with a little work, it is very servicable. The problem is, while these kind of solutions have appeal to many more users in the Android demographic than in the iOS demo, to be hugely successful, it has to be a solid consumer solution out of the box, with no tweeking required. That is why so far, mostly DIY types who are willing to mod and hack hardware are on the leading wave of the Android tablet thing. The person below who suggests, "Do away with Android completely and just use Linux", kind of illustrates that this mentality is prevalent in the Android community. I mean, a pure Linux tablet OS has far less commercial appeal and potential than *any* version of Android from 2.1 to 3.0. I guess I should be clear here about my metrics for "success". Alternative tablets have to find a profitable segment of the tablet market that iOS devices currently dominate. They need to offer viable, compelling alternatives to iOS devices, preferaby ones that are arguably superior. So far, they are failing to do this on an epic scale. The Eee Pad Transformer is the only Android tablet that seems to have created any sustained excitement and buzz - but it also appears to be largely vaporware. Although the official release date was yesterday, it looks like it will be 1 to 2 weeks minimum before the first round of purchasers get these in their hands, in the U.S. - and they're having trouble meeting demand in the U.K., also. I mean, that really was the undercurrent of my article, too. Not so much a focus on the technology, but a focus on how utterly horribly the manufacturing corporations are executing on bringing products to market that meet the desires of the consumers. If Wall Street is watching, it should be down-ranking all of these companies, including Apple, on their ability to execute and meet market demand. There is a huge, swelling demand for this particular kind of product, and even Apple can't seem to make product fast enough to meet that demand. But the companies that would like to compete with Apple, they should be ashamed of themselves (Samsung, actually, has basically admitted that they ARE ashamed... and good for them. They should be - and in acknowledging that, I hope to see them do better in the near future). It must be so embarassing to miss the mark by as far as Motorola and Samsung have - but at least they put something together and got out of the starting gate - which is more than you can say for almost all the rest. Android tablet manufacturers have either done horribly... or even worse.

Hazydave
Hazydave

I did buy a tablet.. the Notion Ink Adam. I had to order drop shipped from China, by an Indian startup company no one's heard of, but it's pretty close to what I wanted... no Honeycomb yet. Hardware is nice.. not iPad level fit and finish, but what is? This has two USB "A" connectors for add-ons, one miniUSB for docking. Micro-SD, they should have done full SD (or both), plenty of room on aa 10" tablet. Mine has a Pixel Qi display, so the colors are muted compared to these nice IPS displays, but it works in bright sunlight.... switch the backlight off for battery savings. The Adam has a Tegra 2 SOC, and thee same basic 25Ah battery in the Xoom or the iPad.. don't expect iPad life until Android improves on power management. Unless you switch off the backlight. No dock, but a $15 mini USB keyboard works great. Software wise, this isn't ready for non-hackers yet. It comes with an app launcher called Eden, which I found disturbingly weird... little evidence of Android or even UI design experience in that one. But run the stock launcher, or one of the enhanced launchers, and its good. There are some other anomolies, though at least some seem to issues with Android 2.x in general.. like, how do you mount two USB drives (the first is automatic).

camcost
camcost

I appreciate when someone gives an honest evaluation of the device they purchased.... stating the pros and the cons. Seems like most people in the forums go to the extreme "my tablet is a piece of junk, don't buy from _____" or "my tablet is much better than an iPad". I rarely trust reviews when they are so biased. You have stated the facts about the Adam (many of us have had our eye on that one for some time), and I much appreciate it. Thanks.

RockerGeek!
RockerGeek!

....Google would have skipped the CR-48 business and made a pilot program for honeycomb with plain tablet. But then, that would have made more sense- and who wants that? < /sarcasm >

alzie
alzie like.author.displayName 1 Like

Same here. I have an eee pc 900. I want my tablet to be that, with a touch screen, minus the kbd, and way better charge life - sold!

rick
rick

In addition to your comments I wish to add a screen size of 8.5x11. I want my magazines presented digitally without pinching or zooming.

dave.williams
dave.williams

So if you want it to be like your D2 do you include the slideout kb? :-) Slideout kb with tilt option would be a killer feature if they could do it and keep the weight and thickness down. Atrix is nice, so is Eeepad but I'm waiting until they fiure out how to put a kb on it. And a oversized slot for my Droid phone to plug into, like a giant SD slot. With auto sync for files and apps, wifi and/or 4g, under 12oz, and a long battery life like the iPad. I figure I've got about a 2 years wait ;-)

jan.de.baat
jan.de.baat

For the iPad, I know they developed a case with a built in keyboard connected by bluetooth. That would be a nice alternative to the slider KB.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Seriously, right? Literally, a giant Droid 2 tablet. Nerd-Nirvana. :)

ivank2139
ivank2139

I am in the same boat with you guys. I want to buy a new Tablet with Android 3 Honeycomb. 10 inch, wi-fi only. I thought the Iconia from Acer was going to be it. then I heard Google is prepping a new tablet. I suspect Google's offering might be the one but I have to wait and see. The Xoom seemed good but the price is too high.

kadams
kadams

What price would you consider just right? (Short of Free that is :) )

dcolbert
dcolbert

$250-$400.... Coincidently, the sweet-spot on pricing for Netbooks, as well. I mean, at the outside, you've got the $99-199 range... which isn't a niche that should be completely discounted. For example, I think once the Viewsonic tablet finds itself down around $175-199, it will see better numbers than it is seeing as it is currently priced. Either that, or Viewsonic has to improve the problems that it suffers for the $300 they want for it currently. That is the problem... it isn't just the price, it is the feature set, build quality, and pros and cons at the price point that influence this. The Viewsonic tablets are really good tablets, just not at the price they're asking. The Coby Kyros is a GREAT tablet at the asking price, but not a good tablet at all compared to what you could get for a couple of benjamins more.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Those two minor tweaks to their game plan, and I'd drop Android, get myself a Verizon iPhone, and stick with the iPad. But history shows that Apple will take a good idea and run it into the ground against platforms that are more open. Every mistake that Apple is making now with the iPad, they made with the original Macintosh line and Mac OS Classic. This took them to the edge of insolevency. It has been a remarkable recovery from the brink, for Apple, and now the only risk they face is repeating history. It isn't in their corporate DNA.

camcost
camcost

For decades the cry has been "Apple products are wayyyy overpriced." When you discuss it with the person, their statement usually means they feel that a comparable non-Apple computer should be about 30 to 50% cheaper for similar quality and build. At first this sentiment carried over to the iPad last year when launched. It was apparent that many folks felt that if Apple released their product at $500, it wouldn't take long to see competing tablets around $250 to $350. Fourteen or fifteen months have now passed and this has not come to pass. It's true that a few Chinese imports hit the internet/ebay marketplace selling far below the iPad's cost, but the quality wasn't even in the same ballpark (they ranged from 'junk' to mediocre). None of the major players could even enter the field under the heading of "same (or better) quality... drastically lower price". Apple even pulled a second low-cost punch by offering some super apps at prices far below what we've come to expect (Garageband for $4.99!!! I've purchased several vaguely similar Windows music apps for $50 to $100 each... which couldn't even compete!) Point is, Apple's done many things right with the iPad. For the first time ever, they've even done 'price' to their advantage. But what's bothering some folks is what they've omitted (Flash, SD slot, restrictive OS, etc) and strict reigns on expandability. If they would only open-up a bit in those areas, while at the same time keeping the ease-of-use for those who could care less about expansion, they would silence their critics and plant their flag so deep it would be hard to remove. (Okay, probably won't happen, but who knows?)

dcolbert
dcolbert

Right now the huge buzz is over the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. I just read that within less than 24 hours of going on sale on Amazon, the entire stock of this tablet was sold out. And it looks like Asus has done it right - they've hit almost all of the points I suggest are necessary up above (although we'll see if Honeycomb introduces the same problems for the Eee Pad as it has for the Xoom). But here is the problem, online or at brick and mortar stores, you can't *find* anyone who has stock or even seems to *know* what the Eee Pad Transformer *is*. I was just checking out the Asus Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ASUSEee#!/ASUSEee And, man... you can't help but look at this and think, "Asus is no Apple, are they". It seems very amateur-hour, the whole way the RTM for this product is being handled. The advertisements really seem East-Euro centric - not targeted well at western markets. At this point, the Eee Pad seems like the right device. It is really virtually a giant Atrix, for around the same price. They hit every major point I make above (although you've got to get the docking base to have the USB - there is no USB slot in the device itself). I wonder though, how much of the current lame-ness in execution of the product roll-out is the fault of Asus, and how much is the influence of Apple and the Wireless carriers conspiring to keep such an attractive product from being widely available. There was a huge controversy a few weeks ago when Best Buy ran an ad for this product, which was quickly pulled. Since then, there hasn't been a peep from Best Buy. Obviously Apple and the Wireless telcos have a HUGE presence in big-box stores like these. Not saying it is time to put on our tin-foil hats yet, but the way the roll out of the Transformer is going, seems fishy to me. I think Asus would be getting my money today, if they were in stock *anywhere*. I am reminded of when AMD beat Intel to 1Ghz during the P3 era - only, you couldn't actually buy them anywhere. By the time AMD got into the channel with product, Intel had arrived with the 1Ghz P3 in massive numbers, and what could have been a major coup for AMD fizzled.

kadams
kadams

I would love to purchase a tablet just for casual use. And maybe some not so casual ideas i have for work. However the price would need to be right. I like what i see with the Ipad's but they are way over priced in my estimation. Same with Xoom tablets, etc. Some other tablets out there are priced right but seem underpowered. my 2 cents...

Alpha_Dog
Alpha_Dog

I too was sitting on the sidelines, but needed to do some mobile development, so when an opportunity to procure a Xoom on trade fell into my lap I jumped on it. I am frustrated by the lack of real ports. I want USB and Ethernet, but realized that I was not going to get it within a year or two when I deploy a tablet to our field personnel.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Everything I've read so far indicates that the Eee Pad is, spec for spec - neck and neck with the Xoom. The only differences seem to be the Xoom has a higher quality LCD (the same IPS type display as in an iPad/iPad2), and a sturdier build quality (the back of the Eee Pad is supposed to feel flimsy and plastic). But the Transformer jumps ahead with the dock, full USB host mode, Flash and SD working out of the box, and outrageous battery life (again, with the dock)... all for much less money. Of course, no one knows where to find the Asus, even though it was supposed to hit the market today. So I get to hang on to my money, probably for at least another week.

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