So I guess the big product news story of this year has be to the tablet ‘coming of age’, notably in the form of the ‘iPad’. Everybody seems to want one, not everybody is sure why they want one, but they want one anyway.
Indeed it’s been said that people don’t actually want a tablet, what they actually want is an ‘iPad’, the layers of ignorance compounding ignorance are almost unbelievable.
Obviously there are other tablets out there, but Apple’s marketing has done it’s work and selling anything other than an ‘iPad’ seems a little difficult, to the extent competitors seem in many cases to be slashing prices .. which is good if you know what a tablet is and why you want one.
So, just to put a few myth’s to bed, here’s a quick Q&A;
- Why would I want something other than an ‘iPad’?
> Because iPad’s are very expensive …
> iPad’s are ‘just’ a tablet, there are lots of equivalent devices available
> iPad’s are made by Apple hence have brain-dead features (like no ‘flash’)
> iPad’s will restrict what you can do when you ought to have a choice
- Isn’t an iPad clearly much better than all the competing devices?
- Doesn’t the iPad’s battery last longer than other devices?
- Isn’t the iPad’s screen better than other devices?
- Doesn’t the iPad come with better cameras than other devices?
> ROFL (No)
- Only iPad’s have access to an App store with thousands of apps?
- Don’t iPad’s look cooler than other devices?
> Possibly, although it really is quite subjective ..
So, in summary, great device, some major flaws, heavily overpriced and made by Apple – which we’ll take as a negative.
Enter the Android
When Steve Jobs stood up to proclaim that the iPhone “had” the Smartphone market, it was only six month later that Android devices overtook the iPhone. Now it is true that Android tablet makers have been a little slow off the blocks, but now they are up and running, they’re also having IP problems, Samsung in particular has an iPad beating device, but Apple have managed to prevent them from selling it legally in most parts of Europe.
So, what you’ll find is that the iPad has been overtaken, virtually at least, and the physical overtake is simply being slowed by legal process. In the meantime, what’s available ‘now’ and is it any good?
The Motorola XOOM
My review model was supplied over the counter at PC World for £320 + VAT. It’s a 10.1″ device with a dual core processor, Android 3.0, 32Gb of storage. WiFi, 3G, etc etc .. a full specification is available from the Motorola Site but in short let’s just say that you’re getting a better spec than the Apple equivalent for a couple of hundred quid less.
Yes I hear you say, “but that came out six months ago and didn’t really take off!!”, indeed I say, but there were reasons and since then the pitch has changed and the goal posts have moved.
First of all, six months ago I was waiting for the Samsung Galaxypad, it looked a “little” better, but moreover it was going to come with Android 3.1. Now it turns out you can’t actually get a Galaxy pad because of Apple’s legal action, and new XOOM’s come with Android 3.1, and indeed my model came with 3.0 and the over-the-air update to 3.1 only took a couple of minutes and was completely painless.
The real jaw dropper is that Motorola just dropped the price by £180 .. now if only they’d done that in the first place !! I rushed down to PC World to find they’d already sold out, and managed to get the last unit from the Curry’s next door, so to say they’re not selling (‘now’) may be a little inaccurate and if anything attributable to insufficient stocks.
So, is the iPad worth the extra £200? No, definitely not. Is the Galaxytab worth £200 over the XOOM? No, definitely not, if you’re in any sort of hurry, see if you can get yourself a XOOM, they’re every bit as good as the competition and a bargain at that price!
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