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Saturday, April 16, 2011

What's up with the PlayBook, iPad 2 and Xoom?

Written by: Kareem Ali (


There’s no question that the current trend in computer tech is the tablet-pc form factor, and although we’re only 4 1/2 month into the year Apple’s already off to a great start in the market with the iPad 2, Motorola’s Xoom, the current Android tab king isn’t doing too well it suffers from a lack of flash video support despite being Android, and no SD support for upgrading it’s memory. Last and probably soon to be least of the three is RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook which hasn’t even released yet (due out on April 19) but is already receiving negative press from people who had a chance to review the test unit RIM sent out earlier this week.

So why are these numbers what they are? Why is Apple dominating, Motorola struggling and RIM getting shot down without a chance? Here’s what I think, and before I say anything I want to say I hate fanboyisim I only say what I feel I have my preferences but I respect all good tech.

Apple is kickin’ all tablet ass at the current moment mostly due to the fact they were first to market with the iPad last year, it sure as hell wasn’t the first tablet ever made, but it’s pretty safe to say that it’s the first tablet to actually do something worthwhile, make a profit and provide a great user experience. According to those close to him Steve Jobs had been wanting to release a tablet for some time, and Apple has a reputation to keep up. So it’s not a big surprise that their tablet is king they no doubt have put more time, money, blood, sweat and tears into the iPad and the iPad 2 than most of the companies who seem to just be trying to rush to market.

Motorola’s Xoom tablet, friend of many a Spanish-television novella (here in Los Angeles at least, and my girlfriends Mexican, so believe me I know Novellas), is a really nice device, it really is I’ve played with it it’s nice, games are cool and it’s the first to run Android’s tablet-only Honeycomb build so that gives it some bragging rights, but there’s just something missing, although it’s sleek, it’s quick, it’s beautiful to look at, has the HDMI out sweetness, and about 50 other kick ass features I’m too faded to remember it just dosen’t have the following. Some say the Xoom is too expensive, others say it sucks ‘cause Apple didn’t make it (I hate those guys btw) and some like me just know there’s more badass Android devices which will defiantly blow this thing out of the water in just a couple months seeing as the Xoom can’t play Flash video as expected and lacks and SD-card slot that shouldn’t be too hard.

Rim’s Blackberry Playbook just isn't happening, I mean it’s going to get released it’s got it’s date (April 19) and it’s working, somewhat at least, but it’s just not happening. The review units of the Playbook were sent out earlier this week and the reviewers were not in the least bit happy with the device. The whole thing just seemed like there was no point to it’s existence, RIM promised it’d play Android apps which would make sense since this thing desperately needs a few…just not now you have to wait for a software update. There is also the pesky fact that it’s Wi-Fi only which means you always have to be tethered to a Wi-Fi network unlike the iPad 2 or the Xoom, and let’s not forget no built-in email support. The reviews actually cause RIM to lose some in the stock market and caused their co-CEO to come out and defend the product, which he did by saying, basically the Playbook is a f’ing add-on to your BlackBerry if you have one.

It really seems to me like a lot of these companies releasing tablets are being much to rush-rush about it and just trying to get themselves mentioned in the same breath as the iPad 2 which is sad. I’d much rather see these companies bide their time a little more and try to actually out do Apple in this space rather than just ride in the wake of their success.

There are some pretty cool looking Android tabs that have been announced in the past few months, my personal favorite, HTC’s Evo Tablet,  but then again I love me some Android and some HTC so I may be a little bit biased in that regard.

And where the F is Microsoft? shouldn’t they be trying to shove that gigantic Windows 7 Kernel onto some more tabs?

(I honestly don’t care about Microsoft's future tablet plans unless they involves some form of WP7 action, I just wanted a chance to rip on MS for trying to stick to their old ways and put a made-for-PC OS onto a tiny little tablet)

I just want to say to all those companies out there looking to make tablets, please don’t tell me things like “my device will play Android apps” and then tell me that your selling it before it does, what I mean to say is try and get about 5  updates ahead of where you are now and then release your product, it’ll be more polished and make for a much more enjoyable UX when it releases, you might think it’s good enough now, but just wait 5 updates keep it low-pro and in-house make a few for your workers and have them tell you what to update, if you do this 5 times you don’t spend money on mass producing an unfinished product, rather you have a product that’s been worked on through 5 updates in-house and is really really polished. This should take no more than a year and can mean the difference between making something sweet like an iPad or a giant useless phone add-on like the Playbook.

To put it in terms you’ll understand you could make much much more $ by not releasing crap and waiting a good year to work out the kinks, I got some ideas email me Winking smile.

Inspired by: PC Mag

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