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Eight ways other tablets beat the iPad

 
Anonymous Coward
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01/29/2010 05:30 PM
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Eight ways other tablets beat the iPad
Apple supporters will claim that no competing tablet could offer the "iPad experience," no matter how similar the underlying hardware. However, we believe that thanks to a number of gaffes, the iPad may be less successful than expected. Below is a list of eight problems with the iPad that provide opportunities for competitors.

* Display limitations -- Multi-touch and IPS are good, but at 1024 x 768 pixels, the iPad's screen offers little more real estate than the typical netbook. (If you've owned one of the latter, you know that many web pages just aren't usable or enjoyable with such resolution.)

In an apparent compromise between video and e-book usage models, Apple gave the iPad a 4:3 display, meaning that movies display with thick black bars at top and bottom. We're not sure about reading a novel on this device, either; an E-Ink display wouldn't have worked here, but dual-mode Pixel Qi screens will allow future tablets to be legible even in bright sunlight.
* Lack of multitasking -- Apple's bull-headed insistence on not allowing iPhone OS applications to run in the background (except, of course, for a few of its own) is a deal-breaking deficiency. Not only is this limitation insulting to computer nerds, it's also a hassle for ordinary people, who just want to listen to music streaming from Pandora or keep an instant messaging client alive while they also browse the web.

* Crippled video output -- A tablet device should have an HDMI video output, for easy connection to an external TV screen, not just for movies but also for productivity purposes. Apple's device fails to, and add-on component or composite video cables provide resolution only up to 576p. This is a needless limitation, apparently designed to force those who want to purchase movies from iTunes to buy a separate Apple TV device.

* No cameras -- At the minimum, tablets should have user-facing cameras for video chats, and there's no reason they shouldn't also have cameras for taking pictures. The iPad willfully offers neither.

* No Adobe Flash support -- Apple touts the iPad as "the best way to experience the web." However, as even the company's debut demonstrations yesterday revealed, the iPad doesn't support Adobe's Flash technology, and Apple apparently has no plans to remedy this. Flash has many detractors, but it's an integral part of many websites, which are often incomprehensible without it.

Lack of Flash on the smaller iPhone and iPod Touch is excusable. But no Flash on a 9.7-inch screen? Epic fail.
* No standard USB port or SD slot -- This limitation was expected, since the iPhone and iPod Touch sport only proprietary dock connectors, and Apple has grudgingly added an SD slot to only two MacBook models. An SD slot, which would have been provided by any other manufacturer in the world, would be great for moving pictures and other media onto the iPad, and for adding internal storage. Apple says it will sell a dock-connector-to-SD add-on, but this is just one more thing to buy and is guaranteed to be misplaced when you need it.

As for a USB port, such could have been provided with both host and device capabilities. The former would have allowed connection of an inexpensive wired keyboard, generic battery charger, or even an external hard disk drive, while the latter would have allowed easy connection to a PC. Apple's own cable is sufficient for most of these needs, but the lack of USB underlines the iPad's closed nature: If it's like the iPhone and IPod Touch, the iPad won't emulate a disk drive (though the humble iPod Nano does), forcing owners to use iTunes for moving files to and from the tablet.
* No real GPS -- Unless you pay extra for 3G connectivity, the iPad doesn't include a GPS receiver. On the more expensive models, the device's navigation functionality is described as assisted GPS, meaning that it probably requires the user to have a cellular data plan and be within reach of a carrier network. Apple might have given the iPad the ability to revert to autonomous GPS -- as provided by Linux-based PNDs (personal navigation devices), but we doubt it.

* Awkward text input -- This might seem like a niggling complaint on our part, given that the iPad does include a software keyboard and an optional keyboard dock. But the device does not appear to include anything to make the on-screen typing experience easier, such as the predictive technology, nor does it have haptic feedback to let a user know when a "key" has been pressed.

We could have padded out the above list to at least ten items by criticizing the iPad's looks (ugly large bezel), OS limitations (apart from no multitasking and reliance on iTunes, apps will only run full-screen), lack of a removable battery (of course, that's par for the course from Apple), or reliance on the beleaguered AT&T data network.

However, the eight deficiencies cited above provide manufacturers with plenty of ways to create a variety of iPad-beating devices.
Anonymous Coward
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01/29/2010 05:35 PM
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Re: Eight ways other tablets beat the iPad
II-Neutron

User ID: 866176
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01/29/2010 05:54 PM
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Re: Eight ways other tablets beat the iPad
It will be cracked. It will do alot of stuff, waiting on third party developers.

This first release is to capture book reader device and digital book distribution market share. iTunes, Appstore and the iBook store (watch out Amazon!)

I am sure they will expand on it as they did ipod, iphone, yadda yadda yadda.

The device hardware is what it is a in your hands unit.
I do not know why flash has not been implemented inside a browser by a third party developer.

I see the iPad getting a whole new sub system it might be based on BSD or Linux that will allow for multitasking etc. Might be that a BSD distro is made just for the ipad, including Xgl/Compiz gui!!!!

It could rock as a very cool toy!
ii.neutron@gmail.com
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews: 11
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 874994
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01/29/2010 06:07 PM
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Re: Eight ways other tablets beat the iPad
The iPad is STUPID AS SHIT

its like those giant remote controls for old people

they should call it the Jitter Pad

it just doesn't make sense
Mister ObviousModerator
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01/29/2010 06:08 PM

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Re: Eight ways other tablets beat the iPad
Hell, the Barnes and Noble book tablet reader "Nook" and the one from Amazon.com "Kindle" sound better than the iPad.
Anonymous Coward
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01/29/2010 06:14 PM
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Re: Eight ways other tablets beat the iPad
it's something you use while relaxing on the couch or in bed. (instead of having sex with your imaginary girlfriend)
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 784308
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01/29/2010 06:36 PM
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Re: Eight ways other tablets beat the iPad
It will be cracked. It will do alot of stuff, waiting on third party developers.

This first release is to capture book reader device and digital book distribution market share. iTunes, Appstore and the iBook store (watch out Amazon!)

I am sure they will expand on it as they did ipod, iphone, yadda yadda yadda.

The device hardware is what it is a in your hands unit.
I do not know why flash has not been implemented inside a browser by a third party developer.

I see the iPad getting a whole new sub system it might be based on BSD or Linux that will allow for multitasking etc. Might be that a BSD distro is made just for the ipad, including Xgl/Compiz gui!!!!

It could rock as a very cool toy!
 Quoting: II-Neutron



i agree, most people don't get it. This isn't supposed to be a computer, its supposed to be a Kindle, - it as a ebookstore interface. It is the same price as a kindle but does so much more. Kindle doesn't have full internet connectivity, doesn't have SD card slot, doesn't have flash, doesn't have multi tasking, doesn't have music, doesn't have video playback, and doesn't have a colour screen....and yet everyone raves about that.

The ipad looks really good and maybe with the 3G connectivity and the bigger than a deck of cards screen people will be doing so much more online. Alot of how successful this thing will be rests with the size and availability of the online bookstore. If apple has snagged really good deals with publishing houses and mag/newspaper/blog sites - combined with its already impressive music and movie capability - it will be HUGE.

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