Monday, February 14, 2011


Some Valentine's Day Post

Apple - and it irks me to even say this - got it right. Well, they didn't get it right, but they got it more right than anyone else. "It" being "tablets," specifically, the iPad. When it came out, it had lots of promise, but lacked many key features. For instance, it has no USB port. It has no SD card slot. My other gripe is that it's Apple, so it doesn't want to play nice with the rest of my ecosystem. Otherwise, however, the device is undeniably fantastic. It looks good, it runs smooth and it comes in at a *reasonable* price point.

Let me just note right off the bat that I did not find the price point very reasonable when the iPad first came out. I thought $500-$800 was ridiculous for a device of that caliber. Let's be honest, you can still buy a netbook which still does significantly more for ~$300. Obviously, there's a price hike for form factor. Well, obvious to me anyway.

At the time I rejected the iPad based on my hope of seeing the Notion Ink Adam hit the market for a lower price, capable of much more. In a sense the Adam has accomplished this goal. However, things are not all sunny and rosy for the Indian device. First and foremost, my biggest problem with the Adam is the fact that it does not run native Android. Well, I suppose it actually does. But it runs its own overlay by default, like Motoblur or Touchwiz or Sense or whatever other UI nonsense gets tacked onto Android. To me, default Android is the best option. The Eden UI shows promise but it isn't what I am looking for. It leads to things like the more important second: the Adam doesn't support the Market. Deal. Breaker.

Don't get me wrong, I would have been plenty happy with the Adam if I had managed to get in on the pre-order (which I did not, it was sold out before I even logged on). But, now that I have all the facts, I am straying away from the device because of the niggling things about it which I do not like. Would I still buy an Adam over an iPad? Hard to say. They both suffer from the same problem - being isolated in their own little worlds.

Then the Motorola Xoom was announced. This brought me great delight. It lived up to the Adam hardware-wise, plus it had a better screen. More importantly, though, it is pure Android. And it supports the market. It's the perfect device. But then, problems in paradise. Rumors of the Xoom's price started rolling in. $800? Ridiculous. Paying for a form factor is one thing, but paying the same amount as a higher-end laptop? Please. And now $1199? Who is going to buy that?

What is Motorola thinking?

Well at least there's the G-Slate. It has similar specs to the Xoom and is going to run Honeycomb as well. Maybe it will be a better option.


$1275? What are these prices?

Tablets are a great form factor. I am ready to buy in. They suit my lifestyle perfectly and I anticipate great productivity from them. I'd certainly rather have a tablet than a laptop. However, if you expect me to buy a tablet at the same price as a laptop, it had better do everything the laptop can do (for me - obviously since it is a new device category these companies are banking on consumers' willingness to pay a premium) otherwise, I'd just have to stick with a laptop.

In summary, tablets: what a disappointment.

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