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  • Calabros - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    yes, its the year of copy cats Reply
  • morphologia - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Because of course, the iPad was the first ever tablet, right?


    The tablet is nearly a decade old by now, not that anyone remembers. It's just that it caught on this time around and is thus the popular product for's called market-building, not copycat syndrome.
  • Stuka87 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    The tablet form factor may be a decade old, but up until the iPad, nearly all of them ran Windows. Which is a horrible OS for a tablet. The iPad was arguably the first tablet to be enjoyable to use.

    But the op didn't mention the iPad at all. He was comparing it to the Xoom.
  • Azethoth - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Interesting numerology subtext: it usually takes about 10-20 years for a new idea to percolate and then make it into the mainstream as an actual solution people will pay money for. I say numerology because like most statistics there are exceptions, and at this point Google is not finding me the original thesis for this stat easily anymore anyway.

    So let us agree to reward the original inventor with a time limited patent in which to make it rich off her idea and then let the masses compete in the economic frenzy when the idea hits mainstream.

    So for phones/tablets:
    Idea: Lets give this to the "DynaBook" by Alan Kay in 1970 +/- a couple of years. Even then he was imagining a full screen lcd multi touch display with virtual keyboard, books, music and many more things on it. Aww, so sad patents only last a little while.

    First attempts:
    Lets make this the Apple Newton and other wannabe new techs from the early 90's. (Palm is basically the only one that did anything commercial at that stage and as a former user of palm devices they were rather lame)

    Bingo: Apple wins the Bingo round. Now that the markets are real we can give yearly kudos to the phone & tablet market leaders who will tend to be "copy-cats". I am an iOS guy because I adopt early, but my money is on Android to take and maintain the lead in both markets and basically dominate this form factor the way MS dominated the PC level.
  • bplewis24 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Good post. Reply
  • lunarx3dfx - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    This kills me. People keep calling honeycomb and webOS copy cats. I don't get it. Last I checked their interfaces are far removed from iOS, and in my opinion they are far more functional. Plus, if you really want to see a copycat, look no further than iOS.

    The iOS homescreen is nothing but icons. People have covered their desktops with icons for years, and for years it has been an atrocity. Apple does it and it's "revolutionary."
  • spambonk - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Picard used tablets in Star Trek the Next Generation in the eighties, so hardly new. And it doesn't matter what software was running on a tablet or how well it sold, or how "enjoyable" the Ipad was - it wasn't the first.

    And Steve arrogant jerk Jobs was the one who said this would be the year of the copycats, so obviously everybody si going to assume that is what the op was talking about when its a android bashing thread.
  • AnnihilatorX - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    Windows tablets are more oriented to work rather than casual usage models, and frankly I will take a Windows tablet over iPad for work purposes.

    In market currently, many Windows based tablets are over twice the price of so called casual tablets, and netbooks. The windows ones have performance comparable to more powerful laptops, but not as lightweight, these are the conventional tablets.

    Just because they are not popular does not mean they are not successful. They are inherently more useful than downsized tablet PCs. The market is pretty small for them due to price, they are luxury items. I remember buying my Fujitsu ST5112 for close to 1800USD, worth its pennies in weight.
  • Zan Lynx - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    Windows tablets always sucked for work because of their horrible battery life.

    I remember using one. It was lucky to get 5 hours of use from it. That means if you started using it in the morning at work you were afraid to take it with you to a lunch meeting because it'd become useless half-way through.

    The iPad is the first tablet I've ever seen with a really useful battery life.
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    Acer 1820ptz, 7.5 hour battery life
    HP 2740p and models before, over 8 hours
    Latitude XT2, with slice, over 6.
    HP TC4400, with super extended battery, over 12 hours.

    They are out there.
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    I've used the following:

    HP TC1100 - Maxed 120Gb HD and 2GB, win7. Lovely machine
    HP TC4200 - For someone in work
    HP TC4400 - For someone in work
    Fujitsu something or other tablet - Bit too bulky
    Latitude XT - Great once you fit a zif SSD
    Headache Tablet: Needed for a headache
    Latitude XT2 - best multi-touch so far. Great once you fit sata SSD
    Acer 1820ptz - Really great machine with average build quality. 15 second to desktop boot time with tweaks and SSD
    Archos 9 - Upgraded SSD and Win 7 pro. Wouldn't stay on overnight
    Samsung Q1 ultra - Great little machine but I kept the R2h instead
    Sony VGN-UX1XN - With SSD. Great machine, average battery life
    Viewsonic Viewpad 10 - Terrible battery life, sold after a week
    Random oem tablet - Opened box, blue screened, tried to fix, sent back

    Current machines:
    Asus R2h - Old but does the job. eMule machine.
    HP 2740p - Just got it, installed SSD, new battery+new slice, more soon

    I do, honestly, think that your comment, "Which is a horrible OS for a tablet" is laughable. How many tablets have you used, tweaked, tested? Suddenly everyone's an expert on how Windows 7 works on Tablets.

    If you can browse the web, open a document and play a game, then it works.

    P.s. You could say that the iPad isn't a tablet at all, but a large phone.
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  • minerva3000 - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    LMAO, have you EVER heard of the MESSAGEPAD invented in the 90’s by a certain Apple company!?

    Yeah, iPad is 20+ years old. Learn to deal with facts, friend.
  • medi01 - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    Smartphones, touchpads, mp3 players and internet are, of course, Apple's invention, right. Reply
  • minerva3000 - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Unfortunately, the market will be so satiated with Android copycats that no clear distinction for the consumer will be possible. More choice yes but definitely also LESS QUALITY. Reply
  • quiksilvr - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    I have to say, they did a damn good job making this look good. It really stands out from the competition. Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Perhaps I just haven't graduated to the level of "power user" on Android systems, but I have yet to even fill 2GB with apps/photos... I guess I don't play many games other than Angry Birds (free), so maybe that's why? I just can't see ever filling 16GB or even 32GB on a device that operates primarily as a cloud access terminal. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Put a couple HD videos on there... or your library of MP3s. Reply
  • daneren2005 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Apps are really small so that isn't surprising. I think I have total only a couple hundred MBs of apps on my phone. I have a 16GB internal + 32GB SD card almost full though from all my MP3s, several PS1 ROMS, some various movies that I plan to watch, TV shows that I put on my phone to watch in bed, etc... Reply
  • peldor - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    You might not need it, but there's almost no point to less than 16GB for a product in this price range. The manufacturer would save maybe $10 by cutting it down to 2GB, but wouldn't be able to move a decent number of units without dropping the price much more than that. They certainly don't want thinner margins, and you can guess how it would look in a spec comparison to other tablets on the market. Reply
  • RHurst - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    Well, my 64gb iPad is always full, I'm sways managing space and struggling.

    The reason that it's being used by the whole family: 400 apps, including a handful with 1-2GB. Nav application (I use it in the car with a proclp holder - awesome-, the nav app is a backup to the oem nav) is big, educational apps are huge (period table, stars, dinossours, I'm loving the history of jazz with my daughter) - unfortunately I don't hear much about those on android...I can't even begin to fit my music library to it.

    Finally my 2 1/2 year old has lots of games (two folders full). And she loves to browse the family pics and videos, so right now my pc is busy transcoding hd videos from the sponge break vacation on the beach.

    64GB simply doesnt cut it for me AT ALL!
  • Stuka87 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    1.69lbs is really getting to be on the too-heavy side of things. I have used a Xoom and it feels too heavy as is, and this device weighs more? The Xoom gets uncomfortable to use after a little use. The iPad2 is about as heavy as a tablet should be IMHO.

    I do like the overall shape of this one. It looks like it would be nicer on your hands.
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Curious to see how this stacks up to the Asus Transformer. I believe it's $50 cheaper than the Iconia and is confirmed to have an IPS screen. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Not to mention Asus has already released their kernal. Reply
  • daneren2005 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Not sure but does the Transformer have the Android Market on it? I know a lot of the cheaper tablets I have been seeing lately all seem to not have access, essentially making the device worthless. Reply
  • s44 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    There's always Amazon. Reply
  • human_error - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    It does have the market - it's running stock honeycomb.

    The transformer isn't a knock-off cheap version on the xoom - it is better in many ways (better screen, better speakers, a working micro sd card slot out of the box) and all while running the same tegra 2 setup as the xoom with stock honeycomb (and a couple of asus apps and widgets which can be removed).
  • ssampath - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Not sure if the reviewer has used tablets extensively. But the size and the weight to me are even more important than the performance! It is a device you are constantly holding during use and needs to be as light as possible. I Xoom feels very uncomfortable compared to the IPad 2 because of the little bit of extra weight and slightly smaller bezel that makes it difficult to hold. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Perhaps -- and I'm being generous -- you might notice the 5% increase in weight without using a scale. There's no way you'll notice a .01" (<2%) increase in thickness. Far more important is going to be the overall build quality and design. Apple has gone with a modified chassis on the iPad 2 that most seem to think feels better in the hand. I'd wager that the curvature is what makes the difference as opposed to the change in weight, but either way it's a subjective thing.

    I'm not comparing with the iPad 2, where the size and weight are quite a bit different; the Xoom and A500 are sized so similarly that industrial design elements will almost certainly be the overriding concern. Well, that and price. And if I'm going to do any typing, the onscreen keyboard is still a dead end for me.
  • Azethoth - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    If you follow the research studies people can consistently be fooled about change that is less than 10%. So a beep that is more than 10% longer than another: can be distinguished. Less than 10%? Sounds the same length. A few years back there was a series of pin pricks on skin tests where a similar 10% factor was found concerning time between pricks & distance between pricks etc.

    So applying it to this situation the 5% is likely not material, leaving the shape as the culprit.

    As with all statistics individual mileage may vary.
  • czesiu - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    xoom has smaller bezel?

    I think that all tablets are too heavy to be comfortable. Even 300g Archos 70 feels heavy after holding for long time.
  • vision33r - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    A lot these tablets are gonna fail because they have a PC maker's mentality.

    Tablets are not about power, it's about ease of use, ergonomics, size, and ease of viewing.

    And price matters.

    In fact the Kindle will out live and sell most of these Android tabs because most consumers are buying them for simple tasks like reading and web browsing. Battery life and ergonomics is king on the list of requirements.

    Honeycomb is like Windows, it's too much desktop management for avg users. They want to launch apps like turning pages on a book. iOS is exactly that, simple to use and gets great battery life without all the spongy tasks running in the background like Android has.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Except that while Kindle works fine for books, it's not so good for web browsing. Most agree that the Kindle browser is only good for text-only sites or mobile-optimized sites. YMMV of course. Reply
  • sprockkets - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    But I also want a device that allows me to download content directly without Apple's bull shit itunes/walled garden.

    I also want one that doesn't require other apple devices to do what other devices do using normal industry standard protocols like DLNA.

    Apple can have their market.
  • bplewis24 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    It's pretty clear you've never owned an Android product, let alone used Honeycomb. Otherwise you wouldn't make statements that are patently false.

  • Commodus - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    I was at CES, Mobile World Congress, and CTIA, so I've used four or five Android 3.0 tablets already. He's right.

    Android 3.0 is certainly simpler than Windows, but it still feels uncomfortably close. The UI is also a bit bipolar -- literally. You end up jumping between the top and bottom too often. Performance can sometimes be an issue. I've seen some tablets run terribly next to one with a similar widget load, for no seeming reason.

    Plus, having used an iPad 2 (in fact, I'm writing this with it), I'd say most of the advantages for the current crop of Android 3.0 tablets have gone away. You really have to just be opposed to Apple culture or like the Android groove to prefer one over the iPad.
  • medi01 - Sunday, April 10, 2011 - link

    Right. Advantages like being able to access file system on your device.
    Advantages of having expansion slot are "gone" on android devices.

    Oh, I recall lack of something could be good, if it's about Apple devices. So I guess you should sell this idea to Canon/Nikon, they should start manufacturing camers with no card slots. And also advise them to allow syncing with only one PC. Direct file system access confuses customers, you know, it's very Windows like.
  • Henk Poley - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    I see your sarcasm, but what you say is true. A list of items of previously edited documents is easier than having to hunt them on a filesystem. Also, if camera makers can add enough high performance flash into their cameras they certainly should (we are not at that point though). Reply
  • medi01 - Sunday, April 10, 2011 - link

    What does Kindle have to do with this, apart from Apples ridiculous attempts to sell tabs as reader devices? Have you ever used a device with modern e-ink screen? It puts much less strain on your eyes than TFT and it's battery lasts weeks (!) not hours. Reply
  • bill4 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Get the Asus eee transformer coming soon instead. It has a gorgeous ipad quality s-ips display and looks to be priced at just 399. plus you can get the awesome dock for 149 more which isnt even an option on most tablets.

    Every preview, hands on, etc I've seen of the eee ends of positively glowing.
  • Pinkynator - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Unless you're in Europe. $399 will translate to 459€ (or £459), plus VAT, doubling the price... Reply
  • human_error - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    it's out in the uk for £379 now... Reply
  • Pinkynator - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    Seriously? That's the world's first :D Maybe there's still hope... Reply
  • spambonk - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    "Given that Google has expressed an interest in standardizing the Android experience and avoiding fragmentation,"

    They haven't - that was just an unsubstantiated rumor. At least they don't in the way you mean, which Rubin has had to make clear in his blog. Google does not tell manufacturers they can't customize Android. Nor will they.
  • bplewis24 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    And thank goodness for that. Open Source lives on. The market will determine which products are worth buying.

  • kmmatney - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    I think the market has pretty much decided that already... Reply
  • Commodus - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    Rubin wasn't being entirely forthright. It's still true that the company is playing favorites as to who gets Android 3.0 first (HTC got the snub while Motorola, LG, and Samsung got first dibs).

    Moreover, the decision to hold off on source code for now has a convenient side effect: it keeps the Chinese white box companies from releasing any tablets or phones based on 3.0 until the platform has been established. There's no doubt that Google is willing to be patient to teach those firms a lesson.
  • joos2000 - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    It sports a brushed aluminium look, sure, but I'll bet my 3 year old DELL that is a plastic case. And a TN panel in a tablet? In a tablet, the quality of the screen is everything, obviously the last thing to skimp on, not the first. Tsk tsk, what a piece of junk. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    From the press release: "The design boasts an Alpine Silver brushed metal aluminum chassis that is cool to the touch and comfortable to hold." So in this case, it really is aluminum (short of a straight-out lie from Acer, which I'm pretty confident they wouldn't do). Reply
  • TareX - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    Isn't that the club of buggy OS that force closes apps and has a very limited app library?

    Sure you get visual multitasking and flash support, but at a dear price of usability, battery life, and stability.
  • Mr_Armageddon - Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - link

    I am surprised that the article fails to mention one of the things that makes the Iconia A500 unique among tablets currently on the market... USB Host support. The right side of the tablet has a full size USB 2.0 port.

    Quoted directly from the A500's product page:
    "This tablet is the first on the market to feature a USB 2.0 port with host support for viewing content from flash drives or smartphones, or for connecting a USB keyboard for fast typing."

    This is a feature I have really been wanting in a tablet, and I am glad to see a manufacturer finally step up to the plate. I plan on getting one once the 3G version is out for AT&T.
  • rburnham - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - link

    I noticed that Acer includes a Zinio app. Why didn't Motorola include that app on the Xoom? I'd kill a small animal to get that on my Xoom. Reply

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