Friday, March 11, 2011

iPad 2 Release Day

... and no plans for me to get one. Weird. In my last post, "Tablet Future" I said this:
"The killer feature will be when a tablet has better than 300 DPI in a 10 inch or larger form factor. FWIW: I seriously doubt that iPad 2 will have a Retina display, at least not in 2011. "
If you are just here from your trip to Mars, you may not know that the iPad2 (hereafter just "2") in fact has no better screen resolution than the first generation unit (hereafter the "1").

Various wags have said that the 2 is really the iPad 1.5, and I have to admit that, as I watched the iPad 2 reveal, I was thinking the same thing. Since it would not be original to call it the 1.5 at this point, I won't. Nope. Never hear that from me.

The 2 is a nice unit. Just not compelling enough to make me want to trade in my 1. I already chaff at the restrictions placed on me by Apple: enough so that my next tablet is not likely to be an iPad at all. I admit: I was waiting. The killer feature would have been a high DPI screen, and I would have handed down my 1 and gotten a 2 if it had one. Oddly, it looks like they got the video hardware ready to handle a, with a 9x improvement in performance. I have to guess that they just could not source a "Retina" display in quantity for the price they wanted to pay at wholesale.

The Android tablets really have no better DPI to speak of. Different / better aspect ratios, but not DPI. So why go there? Why not just stay with the iPad?

The Xoom has all the same more or less speeds and feeds (dual core processor, good video card, big RAM), but also has SD card coming in an update (the slot is already there), has a better screen aspect ratio, and is not locked. Really: That one thing alone requires being supported.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 is near, and Samsung does *nice* screens as well. Also has the better aspect ratio like the Xoom. The announced Toshiba unit looks nice, and we'll no doubt see a Dell Streak come along in the 10 inch range.

In every Android case, there will be tons of updates and 3rd party ROMS (Android mis-use of the term ROM is pretty standard: They are not really Read-Only Memory, but software stacks that replace the kernel, apps, and other supporting bits that run the tablet. When I get a chance, I'll post about my ROM adventures on my Samsung Captivate).

In the Apple case there will just be whatever Apple supplies, and there will be the usual tug of 'ware between the jailbreakers and Apple. Kind of like a tug of war, but in software.

When I do not have an iPad anymore I will miss exactly one application that has not moved over to Android yet: BLASTR. Instead, I will have to read the SyFy website with the built in browser. Not sure why SyFy has not created an Android version of that. I wish they would....

Thin is In

The 2 will be thinner than anything in Android space for a while. The aluminum case clearly nicer. The price point competitive. If you don't care about variety of apps / rooting / jailbreaking then there is most likely no reason to consider leaving the iPad fold. The 2 will have more accessories. You'll be able to buy your 2 all sorts of little gifts over the next year. It is going to be the most portable / lightest for a while.

I have Flash on the Captivate now, and I have to say that Apple is not totally wrong about it. Its nice to be able to have the choice of flash or not, but so far the upside has not been all that great. More ads play now for sure. Forgot how annoying those were.

I am sure the 2 will do well without me. And I may even get a 3 or 4 or 7 someday. If Android tablets eat at enough share, maybe Apple will add in the missing features to try and compete a bit. Right up until now, they did not have to. For the last year they were running well ahead of the pack.

Funny: A year ago it was a one company show. It took only a year before the field was full of valid competitors. Not just Android, but the new WebOS unit from HP looks pretty nice too. With HP's announcement that all of its PC's will have WebOS built in, that OS might have a rebirth as well.

Its iPad release day. Time to fire up Pulse on the Captivate and see what is going on outside the Apple world.


tablet pc said...

I liked the new Samsung galaxy tab which is 10.1 inch wider and very nice features, however the cost at the moment is little high for me.

Steve Carl said...

Yes: the Samsung looks nice. Pretty sure the prices will come down. I will consider one if they are rooted, but the Xoom is not locked from the start, and that is pretty compelling.