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Author Topic: Android tablets to rival iPad  (Read 24113 times)
xtabber
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« on: February 09, 2011, 02:13:15 PM »

It looks like there will soon be a number of serious Android-based challengers to the iPad from Motorola, Toshiba, LG, HTC and most likely others.

The Motorola Xoom (http://www.motorola.com/s...ers/US-EN/XOOM/index.html) should be available from Verizon by the end of this month and looks really good, except for the reported price: $800 not including a mandatory overpriced Verizon data plan.

The Toshiba Tablet (http://androidheadlines.c...iba-tablet-goes-live.html) looks even better, but no pricing has yet been announced.

Unless the iPad 2 due this year improves substantially on the existing screen (9.7", 1024x768), the new Android devices look to be a better choice for reading ebooks, with 10.1", 1280x800 displays.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 03:39:19 PM »

Right now I'm saving my pennies for a new desktop machine. So even though I'm not in the market to buy one soon, I'm still really excited to see what these new Android tablets will have to offer.
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Darwin
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 04:11:20 PM »

I've been rather obsessively following tablet development - I wouldn't get too bent out of shape before Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) comes out. The 1.x and 2.x releases are SMARTPHONE OS's, so on tablets they're not optimal.
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xtabber
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 04:32:11 PM »

Both the Motorola Xoom and the Toshiba Tablet run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) according to their web sites.  Since the Xoom has been announced by Verizon for delivery before the end of this month, it would seem that Honeycomb is nearly ready to go.
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xtabber
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 06:47:39 PM »

And then, of course, there are the losers who expect to compete with the first iteration of the iPad long after it has been superseded by something else, such as this: http://www.palm.com/us/pr.../pads/touchpad/index.html that came in the (e)mail a few hours ago.
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Darwin
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 11:16:46 PM »

Both the Motorola Xoom and the Toshiba Tablet run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) according to their web sites.  Since the Xoom has been announced by Verizon for delivery before the end of this month, it would seem that Honeycomb is nearly ready to go.

True, but as you note, neither tablet is actually out yet. I'm REALLY curious to see what Dell and Archos and other tablet makers do when Android 3.0 comes out. I expect Dell will provide FW updates to 3.0 to their exiting line; I expect Archos will cap their Gen8 (Current line) tablets at 2.x and release 3.0 on their Gen8 Gen9 devices in the fall. I WISH they'd update the Archos 5IT to Froyo (or even better Android 3.0!) but I doubt it will ever happen. I love mine running 1.6. My A43IT running 2.21 is decent but falls short of expectations/claims...

EDIT: typo  embarassed
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 11:16:06 AM by Darwin » Logged

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Lutz_
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2011, 01:16:14 AM »

The Notion Ink tablet looks pretty tempting to me - usable in bright sunlight for example.
I would really like to get my hands on one of these.
http://www.notionink.com/
http://www.engadget.com/2...m-hands-on-preview-video/
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Darwin
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2011, 11:19:13 AM »

Yes, the Adam is sweet looking on paper, particularly with the Pixel Qi display. However, it's been vapourware for close to a year now and is only now slowly rolling out to lukewarm reviews... here's an example: http://blog.laptopmag.com...on-ink-adam-early-verdict
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Deozaan
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2011, 01:41:56 PM »

I'm REALLY curious to see what Dell and Archos and other tablet makers do when Android 3.0 comes out. I expect Dell will provide FW updates to 3.0 to their exiting line; I expect Archos will cap their Gen8 (Current line) tablets at 2.x and release 3.0 on their Gen8 Gen9 devices in the fall. I WISH they'd update the Archos 5IT to Froyo (or even better Android 3.0!) but I doubt it will ever happen.

If my manufacturer won't support the latest version of Android, then I'd just run something like CyanogenMod on my tablet. It's what I do for my phone.

Android 2.2 on a phone that "only supports" 1.6. Thmbsup
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superboyac
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2011, 02:54:04 PM »

There are so many problems with the tablet market right now, and it seems like some of the issues are going away slowly, but they are still largely in tact.  A lot of what I say is going to rub people the wrong way, so I apologize in advance.

First, the companies need to stop selling tablets packaged with cellular service.  It's not a phone, it never will be.  Phones are phones.  Tablets are tablets.  It doesn't matter if it looks the same or not.  My LCD monitor also looks similar to an iphone and a tablet, it doesn't mean I should have to buy cellular service for it.  Yes, that's an absurd argument, but I'm just making a point.  Apple can get away with it because they were the first and they have a HUGE userbase.  Samsung shouldn't do it, Toshiba shouldn't, etc.  And even Apple offered a standalone version right off the bat also.
i don't know if these companies realize the psychological impact of buying something that has a monthly charge associated with it.  Let's say you want to buy a $300 gadget.  That's fine.  Some people will just do it without even a lot of research beforehand if it just grabs their eye.  However, if that thing now comes with a monthly plan for something, it's a totally different animal.  Now they have to think about the $30 monthly charge, if they really need it, do they get the device now and cancel the subscription in a month?  But now that's more work for them to do, and they have to remember to do it, which isn't always the case.  If they forget, now they have to pay more, or pay penalties, etc.  It's a trap.  It's much more comforting to buy something, pay for it, and not have to worry about it after that.  And we know these companies don't make it easy to cancel.  So they need to stop this subscription bullshit.

Now, build quality.  Apple set an amazing standard for build quality with their first generation tablet.  If companies don't rival that quality, good luck.  Now, Apple sucks in other things that the other companies are doing better now.  USB ports, other convenient ports around the device, more flexibility getting data on and off the device.  But in the mass consumer market, those things are less important than the build quality...which leads to first impressions and all that.

The fragmented Android market is really really bad.  Somehow, and I don't know how, these devices need to be able to update to the latest OS's a little more quickly and easily.  Never in my life have I been so aware of multiple versions of an operating system simultaneously.

The other thing to consider in the tablet market when Android and Windows tablets become available: try not to think about it as ipad vs. etc.  Think about it this way; jailbroken ipad vs. etc.  Why?  Because a jailbroken ipad now has the restrictions removed that all of us pc users care about.  Mainly, it comes down to being able to freely move files and folders around.  So a jailbroken ipad is a totally different animal than a regular ipad.  The app market for Apple is huge, so like Windows, you have lots of options for third-party software.  Unlike the Android market, it's not fragmented.  I don't see this lasting forever.  I predict that Google will try to take care of the fragmentation issues, and then there should be more apps to play around with than the itunes apps.  However, there are a few developers that create apps ONLY for jailbroken ipads, which is very cool.  That puts the ipad into the same realm as a Windows pc.  No restrictions.  So the Apple vs PC arguments becomes moot then, and you just choose the most capable device.  What's cool about that is that you can choose the ipad, which will probably be the better device for the time being.
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Darwin
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2011, 04:11:33 PM »

Great points all, superboyac  Thmbsup

@ Deozaan - I'm still waiting to see what Arhchos does WRT the A5 and Android 2.x they haven't definitively said that they won't be doing it (though as noted above I'm not holding my breath) so it *might* happen. For now, there's nothing in 2.2 that I miss when switching to 1.6 and I don't need anymore apps (so OS incompatibility with apps in the marketplace isn't an issue, yet...).
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superboyac
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2011, 04:18:26 PM »

I have yet to see Archos hit a homerun with their devices.  They always seem so promising, yet they never quite cross that line of truly awesome.
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Darwin
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2011, 06:58:58 PM »

I have yet to see Archos hit a homerun with their devices.  They always seem so promising, yet they never quite cross that line of truly awesome.

Agreed, thought the A5IT is wonderful. I can only imagine that it didn't do better because it only has a 4.8" screen.
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wraith808
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2011, 07:28:01 PM »

I have yet to see Archos hit a homerun with their devices.  They always seem so promising, yet they never quite cross that line of truly awesome.

The first archos devices were ahead of their time.  But because they were ahead, people didn't fully grasp what the potential was at the time, and they cut deals with the industries to cripple them.  Since then, they've sort of squandered the advantages they did have in devices that never quite reached the levels of those first devices.  I still have one of the first/second gen devices, and it's pretty amazing considering how old it is that it is still quite useful.
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superboyac
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2011, 11:47:22 PM »

I have yet to see Archos hit a homerun with their devices.  They always seem so promising, yet they never quite cross that line of truly awesome.

The first archos devices were ahead of their time.  But because they were ahead, people didn't fully grasp what the potential was at the time, and they cut deals with the industries to cripple them.  Since then, they've sort of squandered the advantages they did have in devices that never quite reached the levels of those first devices.  I still have one of the first/second gen devices, and it's pretty amazing considering how old it is that it is still quite useful.
That's a sobering thought to have, thanks.  It's interesting to see the history of business successes and failures.  There's a very fine line between the two.  It almost makes you think there's a fine line between the ipod and the Rio player.  A couple of different events here and there, and it might have played out totally different.  On one hand, you want to say that Archos should have just trusted themselves and not capitulated to their eventual partners.  On the other hand, that takes big balls when you have no userbase experience to look at.  That's the risk of a pioneer...it comes down to huevos.
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Darwin
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2011, 10:40:52 AM »

I think Rio vs iPod probably boils down to marketing, marketing, marketing and the iPod's wheel. Which indirectly means that it came down to Apple's deep pockets and their position, even then, as being GUI innovators and builders of high quality hardware. They also had a huge Apple fanboy PC userbase to market the iPod to. To make a rather weak comparison, this is like Archos marketing first the Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet (with Archos' own linux based OS on it) in 2008 and the Archos 5 Internet Tablet (Android OS) in 2009. Few people paid the slightest attention. I think that if either device had been marketed as the "iPod Touch GPS" by Apple they would have sold like hot cakes and garnered fabulous reviews. Of course, there are other factors involved: having the capital to produce the things in sufficient numbers to get them onto shelves, initial releases were rather buggy, and zero marketing...

Of course, it didn't hurt that they were flogging aa decent, well reviewed product.
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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2011, 09:38:10 PM »

It looks like there will be a flood of Android 3.0 tablets using a 10.1" 1280x800 pixel form factor coming to market within the next 6 months or so.  Acer, ASUS, Motorola, Samsung, Toshiba and Viewsonic are the big name brands that have demonstrated working models to date, and there will probably be lots of  smaller players as well.

This form factor provides 30% more screen area than the iPad, but many of these devices also sport features to make them more compelling choices, such as removable flash storage, swappable batteries and HD video output.

The only one that seems to have a price tag as of now is the Motorola Xoom at $800 plus a Verizon contract, which seems ridiculously high to me, but I'd expect more competitive pricing by summer, when there will be many choices.
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superboyac
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« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2011, 10:18:37 PM »

It looks like there will be a flood of Android 3.0 tablets using a 10.1" 1280x800 pixel form factor coming to market within the next 6 months or so.  Acer, ASUS, Motorola, Samsung, Toshiba and Viewsonic are the big name brands that have demonstrated working models to date, and there will probably be lots of  smaller players as well.

This form factor provides 30% more screen area than the iPad, but many of these devices also sport features to make them more compelling choices, such as removable flash storage, swappable batteries and HD video output.

The only one that seems to have a price tag as of now is the Motorola Xoom at $800 plus a Verizon contract, which seems ridiculously high to me, but I'd expect more competitive pricing by summer, when there will be many choices.

I'm excited about all of those!
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xtabber
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2011, 06:13:07 PM »

Rumors are circulating that Toshiba, Dell, Acer and HTC will all be shipping 10" Android 3.0 tablets in June, priced between $449 and $549.  ASUS is also expected to bring out a 10" Android 3.0 tablet with a slide out physical keyboard, priced at $400!  If true, there will be some serious alternatives to the iPad by summer.

Also, PCWorld has an article comparing the iPad to the Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom: http://www.pcworld.com/ar..._galaxy_tab.html#tk.hp_fv . No real surprises, but it reinforces my negative feelings about the Apple iTunes environment, which is the biggest reason I have long avoided Apple music players and handheld products.

The Toshiba tablet seems particularly promising to me because it makes a point of addressing one of the major issues I have with most of the handheld devices out there, lack of connectivity options. In addition to a mini-USB port, WiFi and Blutooth, it has a standard USB port (which one can supposedly use to transfer data from any USB 2.0 device), a full-sized SD card slot, and an HDMI port. It also has a replaceable battery (for "screwdriver-savvy" users, according to Toshiba). I'd guess the question is whether they can keep the weight down with all that built in.
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Darwin
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2011, 08:25:30 AM »

More Android tablets are appearing in bricks and mortar stores around me - of the Android 2.21 variety, so six months old or more - and I have been impressed with the build quality and ease of use. Of course, the price is comparable to the iPad 1 fire prices I'm seeing (16GB Wi-fi only for $400), but still...

This summer/fall should be VERY interesting. Can't wait (note to self: get a job so you can afford some toys this fall!).
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2011, 09:36:13 AM »

Here 449-549$ tablet has additional cost of 120$ for import duties, 30$ service tax. So basically price comes down to 800$. Converting it into local currency 1$=44R, 800$*44=35200R, Which is equal to cost of laptops of same leading brands.  tongue

If i've to purchase tablet then i'll wait for the sketchpad tablet that nudone posted in another thread. smiley
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Edvard
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2011, 11:47:24 AM »

First, the companies need to stop selling tablets packaged with cellular service.  It's not a phone, it never will be.  Phones are phones.  Tablets are tablets.
I agree, to a point; the reason they do that is mainly for internet capability, so it kinda makes sense.
That said, I STRONGLY feel that you should have the freedom of choosing your own provider no matter the device.
...or no provider at all if you wanted, and simply access through WiFi at home, work, or hotspot when it's needed.

Then and ONLY then will I ever seriously consider a pad device.
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Darwin
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2011, 02:20:13 PM »

First, the companies need to stop selling tablets packaged with cellular service.  It's not a phone, it never will be.  Phones are phones.  Tablets are tablets.
I agree, to a point; the reason they do that is mainly for internet capability, so it kinda makes sense.
That said, I STRONGLY feel that you should have the freedom of choosing your own provider no matter the device.
...or no provider at all if you wanted, and simply access through WiFi at home, work, or hotspot when it's needed.

Then and ONLY then will I ever seriously consider a pad device.

+1  Thmbsup It would be convenient sometimes to be able to connect to the internet away from wi-fi. However, locking the device to a particular carrier S-U-C-K-S. Why can't they just sell us tiem cards, like you can get for a pay as you go phone? You can use these for data connectivity so why not enable it for a tablet? I don't want to spend $20 a month for a data plan that I realistically might use once or twice a month...
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« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2011, 06:55:29 PM »

Amazon now has a page for the Toshiba Tablet: http://www.amazon.com/Tos...roid-Tablet/dp/B004I43F9C

No pricing or availability date so far, but I'd guess this means the product is for real and coming soon. There has never been any mention of cellular service for the Toshiba, although I'd guess it might be possible as an add-on using the full-sized USB port on the device.

Amazon also has a page for the Motorola Xoom without cellular service, priced at $599 ($200 less than the Verizon Wireless version), also with no availability date ( http://www.amazon.com/MOT...ablet-Wi-Fi/dp/B0045FM6SU ), and a Dell Streak 7" tablet without cellular for $379, also with no availability date ( http://www.amazon.com/Del...Tablet-Gray/dp/B004QZASJ8 ).

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superboyac
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« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2011, 08:50:04 PM »

I'm skeptical right now, but that Toshiba looks like it's going to be the stud of the tablets when it comes out.  We'll see if they screw anything up.

ipad is still king.  These manufacturers better start thinking about selling standalone tablets without tying to carriers if they want to gain any small advantage at this point.  2nd place is still very distant from apple, and they are only getting better.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what Windows 8 is going to offer for tablets.  Android is developing a lot more slowly than I would have expected from Google.  Or maybe it's the carriers slowing it down, that would make more sense.

The day I can buy a non-carrier tied Windows or Android tablet that can rival a jailbroken ipad is the day that Apple begins to lose control of this market.  Until then, no chance.
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