Monday, May 31, 2010

Still Waiting

60 Days - 2 Million iPads Sold

I already did my iPad 60 days later post, but in the wake of Apple's announcement, I looked around to see where the competition is. Even though I'm firmly in the Apple Camp right now, it wouldn't take much for me to switch. I'm pretty mercenary about gadgets and use whatever works best. A quick look around the internet does not fill me with hope that the iPad will have a significant competitor this year.

Some devices I've been watching:

Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid Notebook -

Cancelled. This was the netbook that had the screen that popped out of the front. Apparently they're going to start over with scratch from Android. Goodbye Skylight OS.

Hewlett Packard Slate -

Cancelled. HP bought Palm, and are starting over from scratch with WebOS. Windows 7 got the boot this time.

Microsoft Courier -

Cancelled. I watched the mockup vids for this device. I would have probably bought one instead of an iPad if it was in the same price range. It looked awesome.

Asus Eee Pad -

Engadget got to lay hands on some show models. Neither of the two functioned which is bad, but they appeared well made and promising. Have to wonder if they'll still cling to having them run Windows 7.

MSI WindPad 100 -

"We noticed it take a few seconds for applications to launch, and the Wind Touch UI was incredibly sluggish." - Joanna Stern, Engadget.

Instant fail. The allure of these devices is the quickness of their operation.

Asus Eee Tablet -

It isn't a tablet computer. It is a digital notebook with a stylus sensitive touch screen sporting 2,450 dpi, 0.1 second page turns, on a back-lit TFT-LCD with 64 levels of grey. Sounds like a good e-Reader, but with a touchscreen operating at that resolution... writing on it would feel almost like paper. The vids I've watched make this something to lay hands on and try out. Don't know if I'll fork out the two or three benjamins they'll want for one, but I'm intrigued nonetheless.

Conclusion -

Tablet devices that want to compete need to have everything the iPad has or more. Every time I saw a video of someone reviewing one of these devices, they reached into their bag and held the iPad up to it side by side. Windows being cursor driven is never going to be as fast as the iPhone OS. Only Android or Skylight have a prayer. Unfortunately Skylight and Linux have the same problem, the lack of a developer base.

I think the only thing that'll really challenge the iPad is something roughly the same dimensions and weight, running Android. Everything else is simply going to fail when subject to a comparison. With Apple selling a million iPads a month, competitors lose time and market share quickly. Most claim they won't have anything by September. That's another 3-4 million iPads in the market, by the time they even have something on the shelf.

Really disheartening.

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