I keep hearing how Android tablets suck rocks, and how Apple owns the tablet market, and that this platform and that platform are D.O.A. and various other bits of breathless hyperbole.
That Apple is currently dominant in tablet computing is true. That tablet computing is eating up netbook sales is true (despite all the denials).
But what I do not get is all this stuff about how everything other than iPad is doomed. But then, I don't get the iPad2 as a device. More on that in a sec...
I currently have a Motorola Xoom, and I love it. When my first one was stolen out of my car (so I guess a Xoom is worth stealing in broad daylight), I went from Walmart to Walmart to Costco (Verizon ones only in stock: No thanks) to Walmart till I found another. Eight stores in all. The Xoom is about the same weight and thickness as my iPad1 was. It is fast, and has a different aspect ratio, but it more or less feels like the iPad1 in the hand.
I have held an iPad2, and I did not like it as well. It felt.. thin. I know from the teardown reports that the glass in thinner... and glued in. The screen resolution is the same as the iPad1. Yes, it was faster than the 1, and it had a front facing camera and all that, but I would take an iPad1 over an iPad2. Or, in my case, a Xoom.
If they can make them thinner with the same battery life and thinner glass, then how about the same thickness, the same serviceability, and longer battery life instead? 10 hours is not magical. If you can make it thinner and still run 10 hours, then keep it the same, and make it run for 12 or 15 hours instead. My preference anyway.
Motorola has apparently moved about 250,000 Xooms in the first three months, and that has been classified by the media as abject failure. Maybe it is: I have no idea if it is profitable at that volume or not, though I would think that it is.
It is being measured by the insanely profitable iPad I suppose, and that of course is where all the hype comes in. Anyone remember when Apple said it was introducing this phone thing and they would be happy with just 1% of the market?
I lived with my iPad1 for a year, and I handed off to its next owner in perfect working order. It was a nice unit, and did exactly what I wanted it to do for the most part. The Xoom does everything it did, only faster and in 16:9 instead of 4:3.
Drag and drop to load files. No iTunes involvement. I like the Xoom better in every possible way. It even has some of the same gripes. I did not like that the iPad did not use MicroUSB for data and power, and the Xoom uses a proprietary power cord too, though it does have MicroUSB for data. The Xoom charges way faster than the iPad did, so that is a plus for the special power connector. And having had a Xoom stolen, I have a spare now, which is handy.
There are not as many Xoom accessories, but all the ones that I had for the iPad I have for the Xoom, and then some. I always meant to get some sort of music base station for the iPad, and I did get one of the Xoom, and now it is the perfect alarm clock.
I have not rooted it yet, but I will eventually, if for no other reason than to get Titanium Backup running. But unlike the iPad, there is less of a feel of urgency because it feels like it is putting less restrictions on me.
I don't know what the tech media is smoking: They are only sharing with each other. The Xoom, the Acer A500, The Samsung 10.1, et al (and yes, I like the 10.1 inch screen size) are all fine units, and if they are not tearing Apples market share up, they are all pretty good units in their own right. Here is hoping that hype does not become reality, as it seems that what most of these folks would like to see at this point is a failure, so that they can trot out an "I told you so" rather than looking at whether the devices work, and are worthy.