View Full Version : Any viable iPad competitors out there?


abeaty
11-30-2010, 04:40 PM
OK - I will be buying something for my wife for Christmas and am looking for alternatives to the iPad.

There are a few things that are a must:

1) Calendar co-ordination with a laptop.
2) Website browsing on the go.
3) Some digital media consumption.

The iPad seems to be too expensive for the above features, but I don't know that the alternatives are worth it either. I have been reading up on the Streak and the latest Archos products, but am not really sure what I would be getting.

Any help?

Thanks.

mgmueller
11-30-2010, 06:44 PM
OK - I will be buying something for my wife for Christmas and am looking for alternatives to the iPad.

There are a few things that are a must:

1) Calendar co-ordination with a laptop.
2) Website browsing on the go.
3) Some digital media consumption.

The iPad seems to be too expensive for the above features, but I don't know that the alternatives are worth it either. I have been reading up on the Streak and the latest Archos products, but am not really sure what I would be getting.

Any help?

Thanks.

Any Android tablet (theoretically) will deliver.
Your demands can be fulfilled relatively easy on any of those.
Question of course is quality and performance of the respective units.
I wouldn't go for some "chinese no-name".
Instead, I'd take a look at nook color and PocketBook IQ.
Both come from respectable and well known brands. For both there will (or already are starting to) be huge "hacker scenes", so you'll get even more out of these units. Both are about $ 250 = way below iPad's price point.

discourse
11-30-2010, 07:33 PM
You should be careful with Android tablets. Some are really crap. My local supermarket was selling a 7" Android tablet for 179 euro so I thought I would check it out in. When I picked it up it felt solid. The screen was okay but the internals were really bad and the Android version it ran was outdated. It had 128mb ram, 88mhz processor and it ran Android 1.6. The performance was extremely sluggish to put it mildly. Needless to say I didn't buy it.

I think the Nook Color is looking pretty good as a tablet. If I was in the US right now, I would have picked it up. The specs looks good and the price is perfect. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is another great alternative but way overpriced.

=X=
11-30-2010, 07:40 PM
Your asking for an iPad competitors , but want it cheaper than the iPad?

Right now most of the real competitors are priced close to the iPad, but they do offer more features than the iPad, like Front Facing Cameras, RAM, disk space.

The cheaper tablets are cheaper because they don't have the same quality hardware.

It looks like you are also exploring getting a 2yr contract if so you can pick up the Galaxy Tab for $399. This comes with WI-FI and 3G. At the moment this is the considered the only real compeditor to the iPad. Personally I belive the hardware on the Galaxy Tab is better and you have Android 2.2 + Flash with this device. The device is designed for a business users so it intergrates well with calendars, note taking plus their media spin.

The next closes is the Viewsonic 10" G tablet it goes for $399 (link (http://www.staples.com/10.1-Viewsonic-Wi-Fi-Android-2.2-Tablet/product_912659?cmArea=SEARCH#revs_content)) it is WI-FI only so it will not contain the market on it. See the review for more info (link (http://www.androidcentral.com/review-viewsonic-10-gtablet))


There is also the Velocity Micro Cruz 7" Tablet T103 priced around $299.


The trap is not to weigh the price on screen size. The hardware beneath the hood is also important.


At the end of the day however the only two tablets that have any real substance is the GTab and the iPad.

=X=

tubemonkey
11-30-2010, 08:27 PM
There are a few things that are a must:

1) Calendar co-ordination with a laptop.
2) Website browsing on the go.
3) Some digital media consumption.

The Nook Color will do #2 and 3, but not #1 at this time. B&N promises apps early next year (what they are, no one knows). Also, it's being rooted right now, so access top the Android Market is on the way.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab will do all three, but comes at a hefty price - $600 without a contract or $1,120 with a contract from Sprint.

When I was shopping for a tablet, I quickly ruled out the iPad (too large and too expensive) and the Galaxy Tab (too expensive). The trend was obviously heading toward overpriced devices, so I gave up until B&N shocked everyone with a high quality $250 Android tablet. Since it will or is about (flash support coming with Android 2.2) to do everything I need it to do, I got it. I'm quite happy with the purchase and finally have a tablet at a reasonable price.

tubemonkey
11-30-2010, 08:39 PM
At the end of the day however the only two tablets that have any real substance is the GTab and the iPad.

That depends on what you mean by "real substance". Not everyone has the same needs. I don't need cellular access or GPS or a compass or a camera or the ability to do enterprise applications (mail clients, calendar syncs, office suites, PDFs, etc).

All I need is a web browser, web mail, video playback, magazines, newspapers, and audio/video streaming. The Nook Color provides all of these; except for streaming, which will come with the Android 2.2 upgrade.

At the end of the day, tablets costing $500 and up are overkill for the average consumer. Most will find the Nook Color to be more than adequate for their needs, and at half the price.

speedtouch
11-30-2010, 09:16 PM
I would not consider the PocketBook IQ a competitor to the iPad. The IQ is not nearly as smooth and slick an the iPad. However, it is a fine ereader and a decent web browser and email device. It even does videos and mp3s. The resistive screen is far inferior to the iPad's capacitive screen. But, keep in mind the IQ is much, much cheaper. If you don't want a 10" computer in your lap (iPad), but would rather have essentially a 7" device that runs Android, then the IQ is the device for you. Don't get me wrong, I like my IQ. The PocketBook software needs refinement and it's not running Android 2.2, but both are being addressed now and should be released in a new firmware sometime in the near future. But the IQ can't really be considered in the same class as an iPad.

abeaty
12-01-2010, 09:16 AM
Hmm.

Thanks for all the answers. I figured that when competition started to appear for the IPAD that the prices would drop as generally happens with electronics.

I hate paying hundreds of dollars for the hardware and then a monthly subscription fee for the data plan.

She really does want calendar access and integration so that eliminates the Nook and IQ.

It definitely makes sense to get 3G so you have interest access when on the road or on vacation so that eliminates the Viewsonic G Tablet.

This basically leaves the IPAD and Samsung Galaxy. The main difference is up front cost and monthly charge. I find not needing to be in a monthly contract attractive so right now the IPAD is leading.

However, I hate that Apple has locked down the hardware, the software and flash so I am right back to where I started.

I will need to do more research on the Samsung.

speedtouch
12-01-2010, 10:15 AM
I went through the same frustrations as you. I wanted something close to an iPad as I could get. I settled on the IQ. It's not perfect but it meets my requirements.

There could very well be some Android app that can sync with Google Calendar. Does your lady use Google Calendar? I used GC and could not live without it. It syncs right up with my Palm Pre and keeps my life in order. I do need to look around for an app like that for my IQ. There's got to be one somewhere.

But if you need 3G, then the only way to go is iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab. The Galaxy runs Android 2.2, so it should run Flash pretty well. The IQ doesn't have 3G, but it should have Android 2.2 fairly soon and will be able to run Flash then. The IQ does, however, have wifi that works well.

I suspect that in 2011 you'll find lots of iPad competitors. Right now the market just hasn't come out with a true competitor. I suppose the Galaxy would be the closest at this time. Watch out for the upcoming HP/Palm PalmPad in 2011. When it comes out I'll probably jump the IQ ship and grab a PalmPad. WebOS is just too sweet.

=X=
12-01-2010, 10:21 AM
You don't have to buy into a 2yr. contract for the Galaxy Tab. If you are willing to pay full price you can go on a pay as you go plan.

Verizon is the only carrier that requires a two yr. contact regardless of their discount.

abeaty
12-01-2010, 01:54 PM
Yeah. I am starting to investigate purchasing a MIFI product, paying the monthly fee once and then getting all my devices without 3G capability. That way as long as they have WIFI, then I will be able to connect to 3G or 4G.

I am looking at Sprint's overdrive which also gives me unlimited 4G connectivity and capped 3G capability.

Pretty attractive as long as I am not paying other monthly 3G contracts.

This of course brings the Viewsonic Tablet back into the picture as well as all other WIFI enabled devices.

wodin
12-01-2010, 02:42 PM
I keep hearing persistent rumors that Best Buy will be offering the Galaxy Tab without 3G for around $400 in the near (this month?) future.

ebusinesstutor
12-04-2010, 12:25 AM
The reviews I have seen for the Nook Color online are mixed. Some people had trouble with videos other than MV4s and there was no 3G And it will use its own app store rather than the standard Android app store so apps will be very limited.

It seems to be a very good reader but a limited useage tablet.

Richey79
12-06-2010, 11:21 AM
You remember the time when there were suddenly enough eink readers on the market that the prices began to fall drastically and every company was striving to have the best feature-set?

I don't think that time has quite come for tablet PCs, but it's around the corner.

Personally, I'll be waiting until February or March, then having another look at the market. I'll be interested to see how well the next couple of builds of Android scale on tablets, too.

wheatfree
12-06-2010, 12:23 PM
I think it's still a year off until we see real competition for the ipad. I bought a Pandigital Novel a few months ago and hacked it into a full android tablet with google market and all the apps I can install. It works for me, but I know that's not for everyone, and it's still lacking in some major ways.

I think flash is the ipad killer, and until we get tablets that can support flash out of the box, with full market integration, the ipad wins -- no matter how much it costs. I'll be trading up when we get there, but until then, I can't see paying $400 for something that may, one day in the future, do everything I want if I hack it into submission.

mgmueller
12-06-2010, 12:35 PM
I think it's still a year off until we see real competition for the ipad. I bought a Pandigital Novel a few months ago and hacked it into a full android tablet with google market and all the apps I can install. It works for me, but I know that's not for everyone, and it's still lacking in some major ways.

I think flash is the ipad killer, and until we get tablets that can support flash out of the box, with full market integration, the ipad wins -- no matter how much it costs. I'll be trading up when we get there, but until then, I can't see paying $400 for something that may, one day in the future, do everything I want if I hack it into submission.

For my specific needs, Samsung Galaxy Tab already is very close to being an iPad "killer". Actually, I haven't touched my iPad for maybe 2 months now.
From the hardware specs, Galaxy Tab already would be more than adequate. Android 2.2 gives a glimpse of the potential, but isn't quite there yet. It's way more fun to toy around than iOS. Or, to be more precise, you CAN toy around, whereas iPad doesn't leave much room for experiments. But: Stability!
I can't remember iPad ever crashing on me. My Android tablets, Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy Tab, do it constantly. Maybe 2 times every single day.
Some might say: "I prefer Androids sometimes crashing on some flash enabled websites to iPad, which doesn't do anything at all with flash". But most probably prefer reliability over featureset.
As many have said before: iPad doesn't do much. But it excels in what it does.
Still: I guess, in 6 months the tablet market will be as fragmented as the mobile phone market.
Or maybe (just maybe) Notion Ink's ADAM will solve all our problems...

=X=
12-06-2010, 12:53 PM
I think it's still a year off until we see real competition for the ipad. I bought a Pandigital Novel a few months ago and hacked it into a full android tablet with google market and all the apps I can install. It works for me, but I know that's not for everyone, and it's still lacking in some major ways.

It's closer than that, There are a lot of really good tablets slated by the First Quarter of next year. So I expect them to hit on the 2nd Q.
The next version of Samsung Tab slated for Q1 of next year will have Super AMOLED screen and a Tegra2 chip.




I think flash is the ipad killer, and until we get tablets that can support flash out of the box, with full market integration, the ipad wins -- no matter how much it costs. I'll be trading up when we get there, but until then, I can't see paying $400 for something that may, one day in the future, do everything I want if I hack it into submission.

The Samsung Tab does Flash out of the box and has full market integration... so does that make it an iPad killer?


=X=

Logseman
12-06-2010, 01:25 PM
I can't see paying $400 for something that may, one day in the future, do everything I want if I hack it into submission.The Samsung Galaxy S has horrible lag problems which require hacks to make it really useable, yet people don't mind shelling out their good cash to get it, since it's sold millions of units already. I am one of its buyers :D though I admit I didn't know about the lag issue.

koadic
12-09-2010, 06:35 AM
Or maybe (just maybe) Notion Ink's ADAM will solve all our problems...

I personally am waiting for the NotionInk Adam Tablet (www.notionink.com). Preorders are going to be available here really soon...

10.1" 16:9 LCD w/ Optional Pixel Qi screen (sunlight readable)
1 GHz dual core Tegra 2
1GB Ram
1GB Rom
8GB onboard storage
B/G/N Wifi and optional 3G
Android 2.2 (releasing with 2.3 has been hinted at)
... (read the rest at the website)

Should be less than $500 fully loaded (Pixel Qi/3G), but the only prices I have seen are on the Wordpress blog (http://notionink.wordpress.com/)... possilby $399 for LCD/WiFi (+$50 each for PQi and 3G)

ivanjt
12-09-2010, 09:07 AM
There is the best of both worlds - the enTourage eDGe with both e-ink and an LCD screens and it is available now unlike the vapour ware Adam.

koadic
12-09-2010, 10:31 AM
There is the best of both worlds - the enTourage eDGe with both e-ink and an LCD screens and it is available now unlike the vapour ware Adam.

Personally, I think that thing looks ugly as sin, and weighing in at 3lbs (non-Pocket version) with battery life of only 11 hours on eInk OR 6 hours on the LCD? No thanks. To each their own though.

As for vaporware... while it was delayed due to financial backing, they actually have a product submitted to the FCC for certification and are opening up pre-order's today at 1:30pm EST (for those inclined to early adoption) for those who followed and commented on their blogs prior to the Dec 4th post, and then 6 hours later for everyone else. As for pricing...

Earlier we told you that the first version will start at $399. But now the LCD Wi-Fi version will start at $375.33 and 3G version at $425.33. Transflective version (Pixel Qi) will start at $499.45 for Wi-Fi only and 3G variant at $549.99. (For specifications please see our website).

Anyway, I find the specs and reported battery life much more attractive compared to the eDGe, and if the Samsung Galaxy Tab had a larger screen and ability to be read in direct sunlight, I would be all over it (and not just for reading out doors, ever try looking anything up on a laptop in the passenger/back seat of a car in the middle of the day?) The next version with SAMOLED might be better, as I have a Samsung Epic Galaxy S phone to compare to what it might be like, but in full on direct sunlight, it still isn't great.

tubemonkey
12-09-2010, 10:57 AM
...and if the Samsung Galaxy Tab had a larger screen and ability to be read in direct sunlight, I would be all over it (and not just for reading out doors, ever try looking anything up on a laptop in the passenger/back seat of a car in the middle of the day?) The next version with SAMOLED might be better, as I have a Samsung Epic Galaxy S phone to compare to what it might be like, but in full on direct sunlight, it still isn't great.

Thankfully, reading in direct sunlight is not something I'd ever do. Therefore, a backlit LCD tablet is perfectly acceptable for my needs.