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Handhelds Portables Hardware

Hands-on With the iPad Alternatives On Display At IFA 156

Barence writes "This week's IFA show has seen a flurry of Android-based alternatives to the iPad emerge from leading manufacturers. The Samsung Galaxy Tab made a strong first impression on PC Pro's reviewer. The 7-inch tablet's TFT screen 'beams forth with rich, saturated colors and wide, wide viewing angles,' the device is capable of Full HD playback and the TouchWiz UI is 'clearly intended to draw customers away from the iFamily.' Elsewhere, ViewSonic has launched a pair of 7-inch and 10-inch tablets, the larger of which dual boots into either Android or Windows 7. 'Our first moments with Windows 7 were surprisingly painless, too: we expected the Atom processor and 1GB of memory to be horrendously sluggish, but it wasn't the case,' PC Pro reports. Finally, Toshiba's 10.1-in. Folio 100 marries Android 2.2 with Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform to deliver 'mighty graphics crunching power.' The build quality left a little to desire, though. 'The 14mm thick chassis feels lightweight, and even relatively gentle twisting motions left the Folio's plastic body creaking under the stress.'"
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Hands-on With the iPad Alternatives On Display At IFA

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  • Software. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:38AM (#33488094)

    Software, software, software, software, software, software, software.


  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:46AM (#33488150)
    Is it just because I'm a nerd that I think a thin netbook with a proper keyboard would be more useful and just as portable?
  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:49AM (#33488160)

    Especially if I can buy one for a reasonable price. As I understand it, the Samsung will cost about $1000. In any case, I'm tired of the constant announcements, and no actual products.

  • Re:Display (Score:4, Insightful)

    by delinear ( 991444 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:55AM (#33488198)
    I guess it depends what you're using them for. For web browsing I like the saturated colour, it tends to make things a little easier to distinguish on a small screen (my experience is with the HTC Desire), and menus and apps look visually very appealing. For movies/Youtube the screen is small enough that the colours aren't really off-putting, but on a slightly bigger screen, for watching TV or feature length movies I'd probably find it too much.
  • Re:7" screen? Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PriyanPhoenix ( 900509 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:58AM (#33488224) Homepage

    Although this ignores the fact the Tab comes preloaded with Swype as its keyboard. Most who have tried it view Swype's mechanic as the future of touchscreen text input (and it will no doubt migrate in some for to the iPhone at some point). However it would actually be worse suited to a larger screen because the swiping motions would need to be significantly longer/larger to reach across a larger keyboard.

    Given the chosen input method, the 7" form factor appears to be a better decision, not a worse one.

  • by delinear ( 991444 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:01AM (#33488234)
    If it's because you're a nerd you're probably asking the wrong audience! Personally I can't see the advantages over a netbook or ultra-portable laptop, but the disadvantages (lack of keyboard, plus I don't see how I'm meant to hold it for prolonged periods, e.g. for watching a movie, the keyboard on a netbook functions as a stand to hold it upright on my lap) are off-putting. The gadget fan in me can see the attraction of a killer interface for controlling technology in the home, but since most of my technology can't talk to one device right now, and the devices in question are a little pricey to use as fancy remote controls, I do have issues seeing how I can possibly justify one of these right now.
  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:09AM (#33488282)
    I have an iPad and will get an android tablet whenever one comes out.

    But Samsung has decided to fail before they even get out of the gate. $900 for their tablet? Are you flipping serious? 7'' instead of 10'', 4GB of memory instead of 64.

    I can see it now, in the board of directors meeting

    "Apple is printing money with these at $500, I bet if we double the price, we can make twice as much money!!!"

    If they want to go after the iPad, which they do, they need to create a comparable product at the same price point.
  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <> on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:33AM (#33488406) Homepage
    I care about being able to install, without having to ask permission, in the future any or other possible OSs. Windows 7 starter is a non starter.

    While I wouldn't use Windows 7 if I could avoid it on a tablet, I'd rather have Windows 7 forced on me than iOS.
  • by InEnacWeTrust ( 1638615 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:35AM (#33488422)

    So click decline on the EULA screen. Part of the EULA says that if you decline the manufacturer is responsible for giving you a refund.

    Indeed, and in some countries (Europe mainly, I don't know much about the situation overseas) there's been several court cases where the guy declining the EULA and wanting a refund won against the retailer who denied it to them.

    Refund ranged from the retail price of Windows Home edition to a flat amount (100$ or so) to 1/4th or 1/5th of the total price of the computer on which the software was installed. This refund was not limited to Windows per se but also included all the preinstalled software that the retailer paid.

  • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:42AM (#33488448)

    I'm afraid that you belong to such a minute minority that your needs will never be catered for, or only by super special vendors. I'm willing to bet that >99% of the buyers of say, an tablet PC, want the device to work and be usable out of the box. Even if they were keen to install something else on it later. And that means having an OS and some applications pre-installed is a must. Having to download drivers, to download all the software, whatever is not just a chore, you can't even do it with your device if it doesn't come with anything installed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:49AM (#33488490)

    If they want to go after the iPad, which they do, they need to create a comparable product at the same price point.

    realistically, they would have to make a *better* product at a *lower* price point to be seriously considered. we're talking about competition with an apple product after all.

    sorry for posting as anonymous, cbf signing in.

  • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:57AM (#33488542)

    I actually think that this are two points where Apple got it right. At least the market at large thinks so.

    Price: the iPad not really expensive. Price of an iPad is not far from a netbook.

    It's not a general purpose computer. That may be a weak point, may also be a strong point. The weak point being that it has limited functionality; the strong point being that it can focus on being really good at the functions it can do. Sounds a bit like the Unix philosophy of having many bits and pieces of software that each do one thing, and do that one thing well. And considering the success of the iPad it's doing what many people want it to do, and it's doing that well.

    I agree with the "walled garden" issue. I would love to see Apple have an official app store where only vetted apps are available, but also leaving the door open to third-party "use at your own risk" app stores.

    These competitors may fall in between: not specialised enough to do without a keyboard, not general purpose enough to buy one instead of a cheaper netbook.

  • by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @11:09AM (#33488648)

    And car makers are stuck bundling an engine with their cars.

    You should have to tow your new chassis off the lot to your garage to drop an engine of your choice in.

  • by Karlt1 ( 231423 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @01:24PM (#33489720)

    In fact it had many of the limitation people complain of the iPad. I did not allow wireless connection for data. It did not have a memory slot. It was firewire only.

    Which MP3 player in 2001 did have wireless? And do you remember the size and prices of memory cards in 2001?

    The iPod also didn't use a delicate huge ass 3.5" hard drive and a slow serial port connection or USB 1.

  • Re:Display (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stoanhart ( 876182 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @03:14PM (#33490862)
    No, I love them. In fact, after having a Vibrant, I intend not to buy any more displays unless they are AMOLED. I just love the deep black levels.
  • by TheGoodNamesWereGone ( 1844118 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @05:45PM (#33492390)
    Sorry, but I just don't see why. A few months ago I found a 16GB 3g iPod laying in the middle of the street. I turned it on, but the only identification the owner had put on it was simply the name, "William." So I took it home and booted to Windows, and installed iTunes so I could interface with the damn thing. It was then I learned that just about *anything* you want to do, you have to go through Apple to do. Apple has your nuts in a vise in ways Micro$oft never dreamed of if you own one of these. Over the next few days I downloaded a number of jailbreaking apps, all carrying strong cautions about my device being subject to bricking. I made a token effort. All this just to have the ability to control a device that I now owned. I'd've been very happy to give it back to William had I known who he was. I ended up selling it for $40, so, happy ending there. As for the iPad, I'm sure it's a shiny and very nifty piece of technology, but the price to both wallet and soul are wayyyyy too high.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin