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Old 04-26-2010, 10:49 PM   #16
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Consider these specs as a baseline. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I don't see a lot of other choices (yet)...
* 10hrs+ battery life
* Backlit 9"+ hi-resolution color screen
* Small slate or convertible tablet form factor (netbook size or smaller)
* PDF, txt and ePub support
* Price below $500
Sure, but it's fairly arbitrary to decide that those particular iPad stats constitute some kind of "baseline". Unless you feel that there's something extra special about those exact specs (and you don't mind the iPad's limitations), then there are a number of other choices.

Off the top of my head, companies like Asus, Acer, Dell, HP, Fujitsu, Lenovo, etc all make tablet style computers which have specs that are least comparable. Sure, some of their specs may not directly match those on your list but, to balance that out, they have other features which exceed those of the iPad.

My HP was more expensive, but it's got a bigger touch screen and it has the much greater versatility that comes with a full and open OS. That allows me to instal whatever software I like. It also has a decent physical keyboard (that also acts as a protection for the screen when I close it). That's not necessary for some users - but I like it that way.

The ASUS T91MT matches the specs on price, but has a smaller screen, and less battery life. However, it too has the advantages of a full OS.

As WillAdams says above, the Fujitsu's a pretty impressive machine too.

It really depends on what you want. There's nothing particularly magical about those iPad specs. Unless you believe that there is of course...

From what I've read, the iPad seems like an attractive device but, unless it has some specific thing that really grabs you, then it doesn't really have the field to itself. Unless you choose to define the field as "That precise niche which only an iPad can fill".

Cheers,

Chris
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:20 AM   #17
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What do you think? Is there more to the iPad than just the slick interface? Maybe Apple didn't use their mystique so much as they went for a sweet spot in the market where products are still missing despite all the talk of what's to come.

We're all a bit different, but for my money the general idea of a device that can comfortably handle all your on and off-line e-reading (not just novels) is undoubtedly a solid one. However, I don't currently see the iPad as hitting a particularly unique "sweet spot".

I like Apple products - I'm writing this on an iMac and there's an iTouch in my pocket - but if I buy an iPad it won't be because it hit a sweet spot. It has too many limitations for that. I also can't think of any 'must have' advantage that it has over the equipment I already have.

If I do eventually buy an iPad it will be because the gadget lust got the better of me and I just fell for its charm.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:18 AM   #18
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:56 AM   #19
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The ASUS T91MT matches the specs on price, but has a smaller screen, and less battery life. However, it too has the advantages of a full OS.
Well, I have a T91 too, but it's no match to my ipad. Sure, it has the "advantage" of a full OS, but it doesn't have the power to support that full OS.

When I try to open more than 2 tabs in firefox or chrome, the new tabs will cause the machine to hang for a minute.
1GB standard was not enough for windows 7, but even 2GB won't release the T91 from it's sluggishness.
And the screen... the 600px height screen just isn't good for 90% of all the websites. And if you try to rotate it to portrait, you'd have to wait a minute or two before you can scroll again.
Of course, the resolution is too small for a website. But don't try to zoom in, or... yes, you have to wait...

In short, the ipad with it's responsiveness is just a dream come true.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:44 PM   #20
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The A5IT has (except for the smaller screen) significantly better features (SD slot, etc) and has been on the market for a year. The 7" model is available for pre-order on Amazon and is claimed to be shipping in a week or two and other screen sizes are expected this summer.

And it's Android - no content-Nazi's on Android!
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:36 PM   #21
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And it's Android - no content-Nazi's on Android!
don't worry. the kindle software is expected "soon"..
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:04 PM   #22
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don't worry. the kindle software is expected "soon"..
Is it? Amazon hasn't commented on it, and it's not listed as "coming soon" on their website. The only concrete news was the slideshow from Dell about Amazon content on the Streak.
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:14 PM   #23
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well that's what i was referring to. while amazon has made no official statement dell and others have said that kindle software was coming "soon". can't find any solid release date. it would be foolish for amazon to skip that platform when it's available on most everything else.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Well, I have a T91 too, but it's no match to my ipad. Sure, it has the "advantage" of a full OS, but it doesn't have the power to support that full OS.

When I try to open more than 2 tabs in firefox or chrome, the new tabs will cause the machine to hang for a minute.
1GB standard was not enough for windows 7, but even 2GB won't release the T91 from it's sluggishness.
And the screen... the 600px height screen just isn't good for 90% of all the websites. And if you try to rotate it to portrait, you'd have to wait a minute or two before you can scroll again.
Of course, the resolution is too small for a website. But don't try to zoom in, or... yes, you have to wait...

In short, the ipad with it's responsiveness is just a dream come true.
Thanks for the info. That sounds pretty disappointing. I've not used a T91, and my knowledge of it comes from Jack Swinden's quite extensive thread about his, which is elsewhere at this site. He does mention that he bumped the Ram up to 2gigs and stripped out all the unnecessary services and start-ups, but seemed content with the results. Perhaps, as the primary focus at this site seems to be reading books, he felt the performance was then good enough for novels and general on-line reading?

Using the T91 as a reader

I'm unlikely to buy a T91 now, but if I had it would have been used for reading books and web-sites such as news and forums. I would not be needing multi-tasking, just the ability to instal a range of different book reading software, and do relatively undemanding work. Jack's solution would seem to cover that, but it's certainly useful to get your perspective as well, for those who might expect more. Thanks for posting it.


My own HP tablet has a similar processor speed but switchable graphics and 4 gigs of Ram, so I'm not having the same problems that you are. I'm even able to play a current game on it, which I didn't expect.

My only point is that there are a number of tablet style computers already available, and that the iPad doesn't really have the field to itself. Which one we prefer is of course, as always, a matter of personal needs and preferences.

Cheers,

Chris
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:15 PM   #25
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Hmm.. I don't get the benefit of running a "full" operating system (which is misleading as the iPad OS is not "half" an operating system) and then stripping out most of it in order to get decent performance. Wouldn't you be better off with a full install of a half operating system than a lobotomized full install?
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:34 PM   #26
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Stopping unnecessary Services and the like doesn't affect typical usage, so "lobotomize" is not an appropriate description.

One maintains the ability to run the same apps as any other Windows machine.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:38 PM   #27
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Depends on what you are stopping. You could shut down network services because they aren't necessary for eReading and consume resources, but then you have no internet access. So what is the point in running a "full" OS if you're disabling parts of it?
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:54 PM   #28
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Hmm.. I don't get the benefit of running a "full" operating system (which is misleading as the iPad OS is not "half" an operating system) and then stripping out most of it in order to get decent performance. Wouldn't you be better off with a full install of a half operating system than a lobotomized full install?
Possibly. But just because you don't 'get' it doesn't mean that somebody else won't.

It rather depends on what features or functions that you happen to want. Jswinden clearly doesn't like the restrictions that the iPad place on how you can use it, and feels that getting more than he needs and being able to choose what he removes is preferable. He's hardly alone there.

For my own part I'm perfectly happy to admit that Apple make wonderful products, that Steve Jobs is a very smart man, and that Apple owners are generally wise, handsome and discerning..... (after all I'm writing this on an iMac and I own an iTouch and an iPhone, so it must be true... ). But I also get why somebody would prefer to have more freedom to tinker around than Apple usually give you - because I like doing that too. I'm happy to own a range of gear from both camps, because I win both ways.

Cheers,

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Old 04-27-2010, 09:35 PM   #29
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It's a full _desktop_ OS which has features which aren't appropriate to a portable device.

Believe it or not, a laptop/Tablet PC/netbook works fine if one turns off telnet and such ilk and can still run apps which as-of-yet aren't available for the iPad.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:34 PM   #30
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I sold off my T91mt to get the iPad and I couldn't be happier having made the decision. While it's a fine machine, Windows is not finger friendly. During the time I owned it I ended up only using it as a reader. The largest problem that kept me from enjoying it was that clicking on small links, like page numbers on forum threads, was hit or miss - mostly miss. It was just easier to continue surfing on my laptop.

The iPad? It's made my laptop feel pretty lonely.

I think that some of upcoming Android devices will be viable alternatives but that Windows tablets aren't there with Windows 7.
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