Tablets of 2010: Apple's iPad and Other Alternatives

By Julio Franco ยท 31 replies
Apr 5, 2010
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  1. As you've undoubtedly heard, 2010 is being hailed as the year of the tablet PC (yes, again). That may come as a shock considering the fact that very few big-name tablets are currently available and forthcoming works are mostly shrouded in secrecy. Unless you follow tech news closely, you're probably only familiar with Apple's iPad which launched this weekend and perhaps HP's Slate that was showcased during this year's CES.

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  2. superrrrrr
  3. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 997   +93

    It's all going to depend on how useful they end up being. Personally I'll be watching to see how durable they are and how well suited they are to be used as a infield service manual.
  4. whiteandnerdy

    whiteandnerdy TS Member Posts: 69

    in my opinion, I think tablets are going to end up quite useless. Right now, the ipad can do just about everything an iphone can (except make calls of course) plus the iphone fits in your pocket! And if your complaint about doing things on the iphone is that the screen is to small then i say go get a stylus if your fingers are too big or get some glasses if you cant read it. As for the tablets that are gonna run like regular computer, i see people using these as replacements for netbooks and laptops but i think trying to get anything done on them would be much slower than on a netbook. for one thing you always have the keyboard on a regular computer for keyboard-short-cuts and just typing out an email is quicker with a regular keyboard. Ill stick to my iphone and laptop (at least untill they get cheaper)
  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    oohhh...look at the pretty...and expensive Etch-a-sketch.
  6. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,385   +172

    One of the most significant specs for me is weight, which unfortunately doesn't appear in the table.
  7. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,477   +126

    ipad or not, this technology is going to become the norm. Sure netbooks is the next runner up and some netbooks can be turned into a touch screen pad like tablet but at a greater cost. I own two Netbooks one from ASUS and Acer. ASUS you can get faster GPU clock speed instead of the 166MHz by default that makes these netbook video performance lousy. The the VIS (visual image size) is maxed out at 1024x600 making browser on the net a bit of a lot of scrolling up and down. I have mine set to 1152x864 without external monitor. Some tweaks to text and you got pretty good netbook. Yes the Intel GMA can handle and support new VIS in normal daily operations.

    Ipad and Itouch don't have web cam, IPad can do cellular just have to buy the model that supports both 3G and 802.11n. Of course that model cost more. These 8GB models are a joke. Better off with 32GB but even 32GB will fill-up quick. The Ipad clone out of China on You Tube uses 2.5 HDD and a lot more RAM and runs Windows 7. Cost is $290 which is a lot less than Ipad. Would be nice of that one to be sold here with it's SDHC slots an etc. Called Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial Co.'s iPad-like "P88"
  8. Quite frankly, I dislike laptop keyboards and touchpads. I use Apple's little bluetooth keyboard and a bluetooth mouse with my MacBookPro pretty much everywhere I go.

    So, for me a tablet computer like the iPad is a big go. I can read books comfortably with it in bed and on the chair/couch (been waiting for this a loooong time) and use it comfortably with my keyboard and mouse when I need to do some major inputing.

    I think there are a lot out there like me and that the pads are here to stay. However, I would prefer more juice and more resolution and more storage though I'm sure that will come.
  9. If the iPad had a docking station available that would allow connection to a hard network, external keyboard/mouse/monitor, then I would be all over it since then it can be actually thought of as an computer/laptop replacement. Right now I consider it an eBook reader with media functionality thrown in...
  10. I had my credit card in hand for the Ipad, until I realized it had no camera. This was definitely a deal breaker. No skype - no good.
  11. No love for the Always Innovating TouchBook? Bummer.

    I've had mine since November, and it's my first foray into the wild and wonderful world of open-source. I love the form factor, the battery life, the screen size. And the multi-tasking. The iPad does not impress me, because I've had something that is in some ways better, for almost 6 months now. Sure, resistive touchscreens are cool, but with a 9" diagonal screen I haven't had to zoom in on anything anyway.

    If I want to add 3G, I'll just open up the case and plug in a card. If I want to add a camera, I'm sure some crazy genius at the forum for the thing will post step-by-step instructions for drilling a hole in the case and installing it.
  12. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,720   +860

    It's funny - most tech professionals I know (and many who post on these boards) are thumbs down on the whole tablet PC thing. IT professionals want the real deal - either a powerful laptop or desktop. Not something in between that only does a handful of applications half-baked.

    But there's definitely a market for these things. Kids and young adults will go ape for these because of their portability, wow factor and fits in perfectly with the "I gotta have it RIGHT NOW" mentality that seems prevalent in the teens to 20's age group.

    If it were up to the IT community alone, I think these would be a total flop. I'm definitely not interested in buying one. Not sure how much use it would get even if I was given one. But there is no doubt a sizable market - just look at the iPad sales that happened on the first day. I think they'll be around for the long haul.
  13. Uhh... you are forgetting the Asus EEE PC T101MT, a convertible tablet set to launch this month at $499. How can you possibly miss that?
  14. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,385   +172

    I think there's a place for these even for the IT pro crowd, the specs just need to be a little different. I certainly won't mind a small, light device I can browse and read books on, I'd just prefer it to weigh 200g and not cost $500 and up. Which is why I think that the format will succeed eventually. We'll get there.
  15. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    Just a note, we've added available device weights to the table. Thanks for the feedback.
  16. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,673   +1,106

    I just watched a video a demo the Notion Ink Adam. It looks really cool. It blows apple and hp and the price doesn't seem to be that bad. Crazy battery life and i love the fact that you can turn on the display and be able to see it and use it in sunlight. (>10 hours of HD movies? )

    Matthew can you find me some more info on the Adam? i saw some videos but i want to know more about the software part, not just the hardware. if it has at least some good software on it then it most certainly will become no1 on my TO BUY list.
    PS: is the part that it has 160 hours of battery life on normal use without backlight true? most people don't use lcd's in sunlight because they become unreadable, but from what i've seen it is perfectly readable in direct sunlight and only consumes 0.2W
    PS2: an separate article about it would be great. ^_^
  17. "It's funny - most tech professionals I know (and many who post on these boards) are thumbs down on the whole tablet PC thing."
    that's just dumb. well, I can understand thumbs down on tablets that are too small to do some real work (always below 12" and only up to 1280x800), but that's oem's problems, not tablet pc concept in general. I own Toshiba Tecra M7 with 14" and 1440x900 display and pretty decent hardware specs even for these days, only graphics card is outdated and barely handles modern 3D modelling needs. I really wish there was new powerful tablet pc with no less than 1440x900 resolution and no less than 14" display (and multitouch + digitiser), because it's important for working with graphics, for designers and artists, even for music production and performance. oh god, WHY don't they understand that such tablets needed much more than stupid useless oversized ipod touch (that is not even tablet pc).
  18. You're missing the EEE PC T101MT.
  19. @guest

    I guess you have the point in your comment: "these things are not tablet PCs". I guess they acheive what UMPCs could not, because of the lack of interesting Android like OSes and affordable capacitive screens at that time: having interesting browsing and multimedia functionalities using very low power consumption circuitry. Maybe they will end up with interesting capabilities for work related tasks, but I guess this first generation is clearly focused on entertainment. And for the latter, I personaly think they are a lot better than netbooks, but that's my taste. See, I am one of those IT guys described above, and I can use a super powerful workstation at home connected to gig LAN server centralizing my data, but when it comes to "consume media and do Internet browsing and why not reading books or magazines", I could not be more at ease than using such a tablet. After all, I spend a good portion of my days sat at a desk at work so why not sitting in a sofa at home? And when it comes to real work or even to photo management or processing and all the "real" stuff then why not using the super powerful infrastructure instead. Anyway, I am eagerly waiting for the Adam to be released and reading detailed reviews of it before buying one of these.
  20. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,678   +992

    You can almost say we overlooked the Asus Eee PC T101MT on purpose. We don't have anything against it, but it represents the continuance of the older Tablet PC, that is, a fully equipped laptop/netbook that uses a stylus and/or touchscreen.

    When we titled this brief article "Tablets of 2010," the idea was to show a comparison of this new wave of devices -- to me they are tablet computers (or slates), what else would you call them? -- that have something in common, they favor touch based input, remove the dedicated keyboard, and are usually found using operating systems built from the ground up to be integrated with mobile, low-powered hardware.
  21. For my wife it's gotta be a Windows device, where she can run her patient administration software on and keep records on the Slate instead of on paper to be transfered to PC later.

    For me it's also going to be the Windows device, as I'm all for customizing my slate with the applications and features I want, not those that the manufacturer approves for me. Most of these apps I already bought and paid for, so I'd rather transfer them to the Slate then buy them again if at all possible.

    For both of us the need for a front camera, Flash and Silverlight support, and at least one USB port are all deal making or breaking, and the iPad offers none of them.
  22. When I saw unveiling of Apple's iPad, I was all over the looks and coolness.. But after I read the specifications I said 2 words Oh Crap!
    Yeah it looks cool but main things are..
    1) Books.. the Apples eBook format is unreadable in any other machine even in mac.
    2) Task... Multitask.. In this age Do you really think a non Multitasking thing will entice a tech savvy guy?
    Ok I got an iPad so what am I gonna do with it? I cant read book, and Listen music at same time. Why the Hell did they put a 1 GHZ proc in it?
    3) HP'sTablet is running friggin Windows 7, do you think iPad can do as many things as that thing?(plus side is you cant get affected by virusses)
    4)Android Os is also a exciting thing about its rivals.. I dont think iPad will last long. If they dont fix these shortcomings.

    Waiting for the googles tablet. 2011 Chrome os will definitely fit in that thing nicely.
  23. That's so brilliant,best comment here by far.
  24. megrawab

    megrawab TS Rookie Posts: 93

    this year is really a year of pads and tablets...
  25. Thank goodness a tablet review FINALLY includes the Archos 9. It's just a shame that the writer was clueless about it. It's only been available since last year, and is the most stable and comprehensive of the lot. So I don't understand the comment at the end of the review that says (when referring to the Archos 9 and the JooJoo):

    "It doesn't take an expert to see that neither of these is half as attractive as the iPad."

    OK, let's see. The Archos 9 runs Windows 7 -- not a proprietary OS. It comes standard with way more storage than all but the largest iPad. It supports USB out-of-the-box, includes a camera, and supports Flash -- NONE of which the iPad does. And perhaps most importantly, IT MULT-TASKS; it's not a limited "one shot only" device.

    Yeah, you're right; not anywhere near as attractive as the iPad.

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