Tablets of 2010: Apple's iPad and Other Alternatives

By Julio Franco
Apr 5, 2010
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  1. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,519   +311

    @Guest, we weren't trying to make a review of the devices in two lines, what we meant is that the iPad is the most publicized device by far, even though the other two are readily available.
  2. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,596   +79

    Notion Ink Adam Tablet looks like the clear winner to me in what you get for the price. Those Archos series still look like fun but I am sure they have their glitches. Adam with HDMI better suited for everyone who has HDMI TV or Montior. Just has to wait and see. But Adam has a neat features use Mono Chrome in the Sunlight where as shade would display full color. Not bad. Video link here and a better shot of the Notion Ink Adam Tablet: http://gizmodo.com/5471559/notion-ink-adam-tablet-caught-on-video-specs-finalized
  3. How about the SmartQ internet tablets? they have been around long before Ipad. Currently they are able to dual / triple boot into Win CE or Ubuntu Linux (or android). They are smaller though.
  4. Whiteandnerdy- I have a Dell XT tablet which I've owned for 2-3 years now. Actually I have 2, one used by my son who is an artist. It's obvious you have no experience of tablet PCs but hopefully I can set you right on a few points.

    1. Getting things done on a proper tablet is much faster than a netbook. For a start it has much more memory and a proper processor as well as a keyboard & swivel screen so it can be a normal laptop or a tablet. Even when using the keyboard I find it a lot quicker to just touch the screen with my finger to click a button or scroll or anything else I would otherwise do with a mouse/pointer. I have a touch pad and joystick pointer too so when my muscle-memory forgets about the touch screen I can still navigate and click as normal. I remember seeing someone with their ipad in a cafe trying to type with a separate keyboard with iPad laid flat on the table & obviously struggling to see the screen with all the reflections. I expect the accessory market will soon be flooded with iPad easels so the thing can be propped up on a table in a position where it's almost as readable as a proper computer. By the time you've bought all the accessories that make your iPad useable for more than reading your electronic copy of the latest paperback or newspaper whatever it's going to take up a lot of space but the corresponding lightness of an empty wallet will help balance the scales, if not the bank account.

    I can use the on-screen virtual keyboard for shortcuts if I want to, I can write with the pen on the screen and the text is converted instantly and remarkably accurately with corrections easy to make on the fly on the odd occasion when it interprets my crappy handwriting incorrectly. Try typing out your email when you're standing up on a train. Yes, you can fish out your iPod and use that but then I can do the same with my HTC Android or Windows Mobile phone which will have cost me a lot less than an iPhone and I can swap cheap memory in and out rather than being stuck with what it was fitted with when I bought it. And I can buy spare batteries for not very much money so if I'm stuck somewhere I can't use a charger I'm not left with a well-designed paperweight when the juice runs out.

    2. Getting real things done on my XT tablet is also possible, unlike an iPad. I am a photographer and I use Photoshop a lot. The Wacom pen is as precise as any separate Wacom tablet I've ever used and it's fun to be able to photoshop in the same way I'd sketch on an A4 pad. My son also uses photoshop, illustrator and Flash, everything you need to go out and sketch or do whatever anywhere. You can't do proper stuff on an iPad but then it's not a serious tool, is it? It's a magical toy designed to tempt people with more money than sense into buying something they think will make them look hip and cool.

    3. You can't use a pen with an iPad, well you can buy a pointer with a spongy tip which is a little more precise than a greasy pudgy finger but nowhere near close to being a proper tool.

    4. Microsoft OneNote, a deceptively simple package which is sooo amazingly useful on a tablet. Write like you're writing on paper and run recognition software on it to convert to text. Put pictures in, clip from websites, freehand sketch, organise and link. I won't go into details but if you have a windows based tablet you should really consider getting OneNote. You probably even have it and not have realised, it comes with many of the MS Office packages. Except you can't with any Apple product because it's not available for Mac OS, let alone iphone OS.

    5. You don't have the problem of being stuck with a supplier who will kill products and programs on a whim just to make you buy their latest offering. I have 3 Macs, only one of which works because they're not designed to last whereas my PC products of similar age still work and are still upgradeable. I remember buying a top of the range G4 new with Applecare for a high-paying job when a day or so lost from system downtime would cost a lot more than the system. How much love could I have for a company that wouldn't honour their warranty without a fight which left me without a system for weeks. I won't go into the vile and frankly dishonest way I was treated by Apple, suffice to say it took 18 months but in the end they had to replace my system (well, 3 times, actually) and pay me money on top. Any problems I've had with my Dell systems have been fixed within days, no arguments. I was so happy when Apple introduced the G5 and OSX then fixed all their laptops and even the G4s so they wouldn't run OS9. Anyone, like me, who had expensive equipment which would only run with software in a native OS9 environment felt really chuffed to be dumped with no upgrade path available in future. Contrast that with a new Windows machine which will probably run DOS if i can find a floppy drive to load it with. Even the little man down the road who built me a cheap PC from a second hand motherboard was quicker and more helpful than Apple and their supposedly Applecare protected product. Plus the fact that any serious software is released for PC first then for mac, if at all.

    Sorry to have run off on a tangent about proper hardware, after all the iPad is a relatively cheap toy aimed at people with money to waste on shiny toys in the hope they will gain the admiration of friends and strangers alike. My point is that the Apple environment is totally dependent on one company & when they decide to drop a product there's nowhere else to go. Windows based machines are served by a huge variety of suppliers with many happy to continue to support older hardware and software which means far lower prices for parts and upgrades and hence a much lower cost of ownership. These days most PC based products offer far more performance per buck than Apple but I have to admit Apple currently have the market cornered for the smooth way their touch-screen works. If the most important thing to you is a touch screen which scrolls smoothly and bounces cutely then the iPad/iPhone is for you. If you care about what you can do with it then I'd look elswhere.
  5. I think the Tablets would be a nice addition as a front end to my network. Currently i use my Ipod Touch as a network computer controller to set up functions on my network PC's. Starting, stopping downloads, and setting up large video file transfers that take time. Also i check on the status of ongoing operations while laying in bed, or taking a huge crap. Plus its kind of nice to watch netflix, or music videos any where or anytime. A Tablet with similar functionality would be nice with the larger screen, at least until they develop a Brain/Chip so i dont have to carry anything around. :p
  6. dlen

    dlen Newcomer, in training Posts: 32

    I think the battery is most important in tablets and looking at the comparison IPad is the winner.
  7. Just curious, why not include the Galaxy Tab??


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