Whatever Happened to the iPad Rivals of 2010?

Lenovo “LePad”

Availability: Late 2010, although it’s not clear it’ll be sold anywhere but China
OS: Android
Screen size: Unknown (at least to me–I’m not positive that the photo here is of this particular Lenovo device)
Price: Unknown
What else: VentureBeat’s story on LePad mentions another Lenovo device whose fate is unclear–the U1, which is one-half netbook, one-half tablet. It’s not in this list because it has a physical keyboard.
More info: Here’s a Reuters story.

Whatever happened to the LePad? I’m not sure if the LePad ever hit the market under that name anywhere but China, but Lenovo announced two Android tablets–the IdeaPad K1 and the ThinkPad Tablet–in the summer of 2011. Engadget’s Dana Wollman gives an unenthusiastic review to the K1 here and an equally middling one to the ThinkPad here.

MSI WindPad 100

Availability: This year
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium with a “Wind Touch” interface layer
Screen size: 10″
Price: Approximately $499
What else: A photo of the side of the device at Trusted Reviews makes it look terrifyingly thick.
More info: Joanna Stern of Engadget shares some first impressions (“incredibly sluggish”).

Whatever happened to the WindPad 100? It shipped in January, and was replaced by an improved version called the 110W in July. It’s $599.99.

MSI WindPad 110

Availability: This year, or possibly never, depending on which MSI employee you ask
OS: Android 2.1
Screen size: 10″
Price: $399?
What else: As you can see from the photos, the industrial design is different from MSI’s Windows-based WindPad 100.
More info: TweakTown has a video hands-on.

Whatever happened to the WindPad 110? I don’t think it ever shipped. Earlier this year, MSI showed a variant called the WindPad 100A; I’m not sure if it ever released that one, either.

Marvell “Moby” Tablet

Availability: This year
OS: Android
Screen size: I’m not sure (and it might vary)
Price: Starting at $99
What else: This isn’t a specific product–it’s Marvell’s reference design for extremely low-cost tablets which will be built by other companies using Marvell chips. The company hopes resulting products will be affordable enough for use by public schools.
More info: Hey, I was the first person to write about Moby (although at the time I didn’t know the code name or the $99 price point).

Whatever happened to the “Moby” tablet? Marvell is still working on the platform, but I don’t think any company has released products based on it, at $99 or any other price.

Motorola-Verizon TV tablet

Availability: Fall 2010 or next year, depending on who you believe; neither Motorola nor Verizon has acknowledged its existence
OS: Android (possibly version 3.0 “Gingerbread”)
Screen size: 10″
Price: Unknown
What else: The Financial Times has reported that it will be thinner and lighter than the iPad and will sport two cameras.
More info: BGR has also reported on the device.

Whatever happened to the Motorola-Verizon TV tablet? It’s presumably the product that shipped as the Xoom in February of 2011, although it was neither thinner nor lighter than the iPad, and didn’t particularly stress TV watching. The Xoom was one of the first plausible iPad rivals, but it was buggy and pricey and shipped as a 3G tablet with a promise of a 4G upgrade that Motorola and Verizon took forever to deliver on.

Neofonie WeTab

Availability: September?
OS: Linux (unless that’s really Windows 7 under there)
Screen size: 11.6″
Price: Apparently around $580
What else: This German iPadversary’s custom user interface places advertising widgets on the desktop which you can’t remove.
More info: It may not be for sale yet, but it already has its own Wikipedia entry, and that’s a start.

Whatever happened to the WeTab? It did indeed ship in September, and it turned out that it ran the Linux variant known as MeeGo. It’s still available in several European countries but doesn’t seem to have made its way to the States.

Notion Ink Adam

Availability: Possibly this year
OS: Android
Screen size: Unknown
Price: Unknown
What else: The Adam is from India, was demoed at CES back in January, boasts an individualistic industrial design, and will be available in a version with Pixel Qi’s innovative screen technology, which can work in backlit and non-backlit modes. But the Notion Ink site has few details and the whole project has a slightly vaporous feel at the moment.
More info: Slashgear went behind the scenes at Notion Ink.

Whatever happened to the Adam? It shipped in January of 2011, but when Engadget reviewed it in April it called it sad. And when I clicked on the BUY ADAM NOW link at Notion Ink’s site, I got a page which asked me to provide my e-mail address–and when I did, I got a message saying that the Adam store “is now closed for new orders.”

OLPC XO 3.0

Availability: 2012, in theory
OS: Linux with a next-generation version of the Sugar user interface, I’d imagine
Screen size: The device itself is 8.5″ by 11″ and all screen (and 1.4″ thick)
Price: They’re shooting for $75
What else: This isn’t an iPad rival–it’s a successor to the “$100 laptop” (which costs more than $100) for kids in developing nations. It’s also not a sure thing, considering that the OLPC Foundation showed off an OLPC 2.0 concept in 2008, then decided not to build it. Nicholas Negroponte describes the XO 3.0 as “aspirational,” which I assume is a code-word for “this is a cool concept which we hope we can build by the time 2012 rolls around.”
More info: XO 3.0 is years from intended production, but the OLPC press release already says it’s a breakthrough advance.

Whatever happened to the XO 3.0? One Laptop Per Child’s site still says it plans to ship the XO-3 in 2012. It supposedly might have solar charging and satellite Internet capabilities. I root for OLPC to do well, but I’m not going to bet any of my own money on this device shipping next year.

Onkyo Windows Slate

Availability: This year
OS: Windows 7
Screen size: Unknown
Price: Unknown
What else: Waitaminnit, I thought Onkyo made stereo equipment! Turns out it makes computing devices, too–and it was mentioned in Steve Ballmer’s slide about 2010 Windows 7 slate PCs.

Whatever happened to the Onkyo Windows slate? It shipped in Japan in 2010–and if you really want it, gadget importer Dynamism will sell you one starting at $749.

Panasonic Windows Slate

Availability: This year
OS: Windows 7
Screen size: Unknown
Price: Unknown
What else: Another Ballmer-slide slate. When it comes to traditional PCs, Panasonic specializes in extra-durable ToughBook laptops; maybe this will turn out to be the ToughPad.

Whatever happened to the Panasonic Windows Slate? The ToughBook H2 is a $3000+ Windows 7 slate aimed at industries that need super-sturdy devices. Neatest feature: It has a handle! Biggest question: Is the “H2” an explicit reference to the Hummer?

RIM “BlackPad”

Availability: Supposedly November
OS: Presumably BlackBerry OS
Screen size: Apparently similar to the iPad’s 9.7″
Price: Allegedly $499
What else: RIM isn’t talking, but Bloomberg seems pretty sure of a bunch of details.
More info: I said that the BlackPad will presumably run RIM’s own BlackBerry OS. But there’s scuttlebutt that it runs Android–which doesn’t seem like a completely nutty idea.

Whatever happened to the “BlackPad?” Sniff. It turned out to be the 7″, QNX-based BlackBerry PlayBook, which was announced in September 2010 but didn’t ship until February 2011. And when it did, it was disastrously buggy and somehow lacked the one feature any rational person would assume a RIM tablet would have: e-mail. RIM says it’s still committed to the PlayBook–despite rumors to the contrary–but its new strategy appears to focus on cutting the price. Maybe we’ll hear something more hopeful at next month’s BlackBerry developer conference.

Samsung Windows Slate

Availability: This year
OS: Windows 7
Screen size: Unknown
Price: Unknown
What else: Samsung is another company mentioned in Steve Ballmer’s slide on upcoming Windows tablets. With so many supposedly on the way, it’ll be fascinating to see how much room the manufacturers have to give any specific WinSlate much personality of its own. For what it’s worth, Samsung makes some nifty netbooks.

Whatever happened to the Samsung Windows Slate? I don’t think Samsung announced any Windows 7 tablets until 2011, when it unveiled the Sliding PC–which I wouldn’t have mentioned in this article, since it has a slide-out keyboard. (And I can’t quite tell if it ever really shipped, even though Amazon took preorders–anyone know?) But in August, it announced the Series 7 Slate PC, an 11.6″ Windows 7 computer which serves as the basis for the Windows 8 slate which Microsoft distributed to developers at its Build conference in September. (Of course, Samsung has released lots and lots of Android tablets in its Galaxy Tab line.)

Sony Windows Slate

Availability: This year
OS: Windows 7
Screen size: Unknown
Price: Unknown
What else: Another Ballmer-slide slate. All things being equal, shouldn’t Sony have as good or better a chance as any company of building a tablet that could compete with the iPad in terms of raw industrial-design polish?

Whatever happened to the Sony Windows slate? If Sony ever released it, it escaped my attention. But the company has recently released one Android tablet, with another on the way, and they are indeed slick from a design standpoint.

“The $35 Indian Tablet”

Availability: Mid-2011
OS: Linux. Or maybe Android.
Screen size: Unknown (at least to me)
Price: Um, $35? In theory, they might eventually cost ten bucks apiece.
What else: The device is the pet project of Indian Minister for HR Development Kapil Sibal and is meant for use in schools in that country. The host of a tech TV show there pronounced it “fairly impressive.”
More info: Our own Jared Newman is inexplicably skeptical about this product and the intended price point.

Whatever happened to “the $35 Indian tablet?” Our own Jared Newman has occasionally checked into its whereabouts. Latest word: It’ll be available next month! (I wonder if it will, and whether it’ll cost $35?)

Toshiba Libretto W100

Availability: This month
OS: Windows 7
Screen size: Like the eDGe, it’s a dualie–it has two 7″ color LCD touchscreens (the bottom one can display content or a keyboard)
Price: $1100
What else: Toshiba isn’t pitching this new model in its venerable Libretto line as an iPad killer. Instead, it says it’s a concept PC which shows off technologies that might become common in future machines.
More info: Here’s Toshiba’s own write-up of the W100.

Whatever happened to the Libretto W100? It came and went rather quickly, although you might be able to find one if you hunt a bit. Toshiba is in the Android tablet game these days, and its models have a stingy one screen apiece.

Toshiba Windows Slate

Availability: This year
OS: Windows 7
Screen size: Unknown
Price: Unknown
What else: Yes, another slate from Ballmer’s presentation. Toshiba is one of the few companies left that still offers a full complement of Windows-based Tablet PCs.

Whatever happened to the Toshiba Windows slate? Well, it didn’t come out in 2010. In February, Engadget said that it would ship in the second half of 2011. And the company did show an 11.6″ model at Computex in June. But it hasn’t formally announced or shipped it, as far as I know. Maybe it’ll be a Windows 8 slate by the time it shows up.

Okay, that’s enough of that–this is getting depressing.

Back in August of 2010, I don’t think any rational company thought it would be a cakewalk to trounce the iPad. But I’m sure many thought it would be possible to produce a reasonably successful alternative, and that iPad rivals in aggregate might soon outsell Apple’s tablet. Instead, the iPad 2 continues to utterly dominate the category, and most of the news about sales of other products involves them flopping.

Until Amazon announced the Kindle Fire this week, the situation for would-be iPad rivals was so unremittingly bleak that some folks had concluded that it was pointless to even try. Me, I think that the knee-jerk pessimism is as misguided as the reflexive optimism of a year ago. There will be other tablets that deserve to sell well. Maybe not in iPad-like numbers, but well enough that everyone knows they’re successful. These first-generation products failed so that their descendants could succeed–or so I continue to hope.


91 comments

  1. Pat September 30, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    Apple won't lose its unit sales dominance in the tablet market until the start of '13.

    • Luca October 3, 2011 at 9:24 am #

      If at all. At this point it isn't looking like anyone can come up with something to even ding the iPads sales in any noticeable way.

      • The_Heraclitus October 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

        No, the loss is guaranteed. Just like happened in the smart phone market.

        • Darrell October 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

          why do you think Apple lost in the phone market? they have the #1 and #2 best selling smartphones in the US.

    • jack December 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

      Apple won't lose its unit sales dominance in the tablet market until the start of '13. car accident lawyer

  2. Oomu September 30, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    "Apple won't lose its unit sales dominance in the tablet market until the start of '13."

    and then in 2013, Apple will not lose its unit sale dominance in the tablet and the NEW market apple will create until the start of '16

    and then in 2016….


    you seen, only ONE other company is now trying to be a global product with interesting value to people : AMAZON !

    it's not a fatality if Apple will dominate, it's because all others computers companies gave up to sell valued products to people.

    if in 2012 there are not others companies working as Apple, you now 2013 is toast , and then 2014 and so on.


    I'm still waiting the iPod killer and I still waiting the destruction of the iPhone and App Store.

    ho and I'm still waiting the selling of the Mac business to Dell.

    • Mike October 1, 2011 at 12:36 am #

      OS X, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, iCloud–they are all ideas and technologies Apple copied from others, implemented them better, and then marketed the hell out of them. Trouble is: they are running out of people to clone and copy.

      Most of the future is going to happen in the cloud, and that's where Apple's usual dirty tricks don't work, where their nice hardware designs don't matter, and where they have failed time and again.

      I think Apple is past their prime, and it's downhill from there. Also, Jobs has left and that they are building a humungous new corporate campus, both of which really smell of failure.

      • Matt October 1, 2011 at 6:49 am #

        Mike,

        OS X was not copied it was created by NeXT which was a company Steve Jobs created. It just has the Apple look now.

        iTunes was not copied it was bought

        iPod Touch wasn't copied just re-invented from the Newton which everyone else copied

        iPad is just a big version of the iPod touch.

        Apple doesn't use dirty tricks wtf does that even mean.

        Yes Apple has failed many times. How else do you learn to be better if you don't fail? Its the getting back up and trying to do better. Look at all the companies that fail and then fire their CEO, ie HP

        Also Apple has the habit of waiting to release something they don't feel is ready to be released.

        I think you are past your prime. Jobs did not leave he is still Chairman of the Board and an Apple Employee, He just step down from his CEO position.

      • zouba October 3, 2011 at 4:11 am #

        Lies :-).

    • The_Heraclitus October 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

      You don't follow markets well. Same thing will happen as did in smart phone market.

      • Synth November 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

        I am following and it's not happening.

  3. Guest September 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Reeks of fanboy in here

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 2:03 am #

      Then please leave so the stink is gone.

      • MacMan November 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

        Good reply, smells better already now he's gone 😉

    • Scott Lewis October 3, 2011 at 9:14 am #

      It does? Why, were some of those tablets secretly run away bestsellers?

  4. Jack B Nimble September 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    It only takes one company to step up and take the time to build an amazing product to dominate the tablet market. Unfortunately, thus far the only company in the world to do that has been Apple.

    Maybe the Kindle Fire has a future.

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 2:21 am #

      It looks like the best Kindle ever. It's a nice addition to the reader market.

    • Guest November 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      iPad I use as reader with the kindle apps

  5. Ryan September 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    This article is old, the HP slate has been out for about a year now.

  6. WTH September 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Ryan, that's the point. RTFA. He's looking back at an article he wrote last year, to follow up on what happened to those tablets.

  7. Pop September 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Nice that a couple of Asus tablets get mentioned but no sign of mentioning the Asus Transformer which has been flying off of shelves as fast as Asus can ship them

    • SirSpammenot September 30, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

      I am actually reading this on my Transformer, as happy as I can be with it! Great product, great support, and no bloody iTunes to crater my PC like before. 100% a winner.

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 2:02 am #

      You missed the point of the article. It is not a comprehensive review of all tablets that are available today, it is a follow-up to the ones that were detailed in the original article as coming soon.

  8. WTH September 30, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    >> Apple won't lose its unit sales dominance in the tablet market until the start of '13.

    Dream on. I suspect that the Android tablet folks will eventually resort to what they do with the iPhone. They will lump EVERY single Android tablet together, and collectively claim that they outsell the iPad, so that Apple is somehow in second place.

    The problem is that everyone else is so far behind the iPad that it may be years before even THAT trick will work.

    • WTH is right...?! September 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

      I guess if you want to look at it that way, you're right – Apple iOS dominates 100% of the share of the Apple hardware market, and Apple hardware dominates 100% of the iOS market.

      From an OS perspective, Windows dominates OSX, and Android dominates iOS.

      From a hardware perspective, Apple [probably] dominates any one vendor of hardware for a phone or tablet, but unless your point is that "Apple sells more smartphones than Nokia", your argument is irrelevant.

      As far as saying "everyone else is so far behind the iPad", I suggest giving an android tablet a fair chance, hands-on at your local electronics B&M – you might be surprised at what they can do.

      • Tom October 3, 2011 at 10:39 am #

        Cool story bro, except Android doesn't dominate iOS. iOS is on 53% more devices than Android.

        Android wins on smartphone marketshare. Which is an altogether useless metric

    • Mike October 1, 2011 at 12:38 am #

      "The problem is that everyone else is so far behind the iPad that it may be years before even THAT trick will work."

      That's a funny statement, given that almost all of the features Apple announced for iOS 5 have been out for Android for a while, years in some cases. Apple is behind on technology, they are just ahead on marketing.

      • Michael October 3, 2011 at 8:51 am #

        So with your logic… Since Android wasn't released until a full 18 months after the iPhone was unveiled… the entire Android OS is nothing more than a copy of iOS.

        Stop with "copying"argument. The fact of the matter is, iOS borrows more features from Mac OS X than any where else. Whether they appeared in Android first or not, chances are they were long a part of OS X before then.

      • Luca October 3, 2011 at 9:26 am #

        That Apple may have waited to release features that Android included, working or not, months ago doesn't really mean anything in regards to the issue of whether any single tablet has sales that come close to the iPad. Which is what the original comment was about. Not the features of the OS.

    • The_Heraclitus October 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      No need to dream. It is a forgone conclusion.

  9. Steve J September 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    tablets are for people who hate computers, and quite frankly, i love computers

    • vic September 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

      No… Tablets are for people who have better things to do than sit in front of their PC's all day and all night. I have both a laptop and an iPad. the iPad will never replace the laptop, though, I will never be without a tablet again… They are two completely separate devices and should NEVER be confused with each other.

      Let the flaming begin 😉

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 2:09 am #

      I hope you are using a DOS PC from the 1980’s, because graphical user interfaces are also “for people who hate computers.”

    • Luca October 3, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      Wow that is really an informed and ignorant comment. Tablets are not for those that hate computers. More like those that have used their computer enough to know that it can't do everything they need so they need a compliment.

      For example, when I need access to the shot log for a days work and I'm up in a tiny little crane with my camera rig I can't spare the room for a laptop. Especially since I can't mount it flush like I can a tablet. So guess what I use.

  10. Verbosity September 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Actually, the EP121 is not in this class – it is a full slate tablet PC running Window 7. As far as I know it was never meant to be $400 or $500. It is a fair priced full laptop. Tried one out, but went with HPs tablet because it had dedicated graphics for the software I am trying out (also, I tried the 32GB model and not the 64GB model – which is really the lowest I'd go for a content generating machine).

  11. Miles Reiter September 30, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    OK, one, there's a lot of tablets that were left off there, specifically the ones that sold very well (although I'll grant not as well as the iPad). It's also not updated with new (meaning pretty much anytime in 2011) information. The Notion Ink Adam shipped months ago and this list doesn't even have screen size or a picture of the real product.

    • Vendrazi October 3, 2011 at 7:44 am #

      RTFA. He specifically took the article he wrote last year about iPad competitors and is revisiting it to see what happened to all of those contenders.

      Conclusion: it wasn't pretty.

    • Luca October 3, 2011 at 9:31 am #

      you comment just shows that you didn't bother reading. The author makes it very clear at the top of the article that he is NOT reviewing the current market. But the stuff that was announced a year ago and what actually is still around or not

      • Miles Reiter October 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

        And to use an example the Notion Ink Adamo is still around, it came out pretty early this year.

        • Sigivald October 3, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

          "Early this year" is not "a year ago".

          The Adam wasn't more than an announcement or maybe a prototype that nobody'd seen in person last August.

          (And, well, the Adam (not Adamo, which was a Dell laptop) seems to be a miserable piece of crap, too, sadly.*

          Oh, and you can't buy one, at least anywhere I can find on the Internet.

          So it's not "still around".

          *I'll give them points for not slavishly copying the iPad, though. The "rump" bulge is interesting and makes a sort of sense… but can't be too handy for rotation.)

  12. ROC September 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    My Archos 5 is the only tablet I have hung onto after going through about half a dozen 7-inchers, most of them much more advanced: Archos 7o, Huawei Ideos S7, Viewsonic Viewpad 7, Wintec Filemate light, Cruz Reader, and Pandigital Novel – cut my Android hacking teeth on it, but it started literally disintegrating.

    The deal-breaker was that they were too big to be anywhere near as convenient for what little advantages they had over the 5. It is the right form factor for me (YMMV), and I am looking forward to the few new ones coming out in that size for an overdue upgrade.

    10-inch "honkers"? If I am going to tote around something that does not ride easily on my belt (or even fitting in a shirt pocket pocket "hidden" inside a DayMinder cover as with the Archos 5), then I find my Fujitsu P1610 Lifebook is far more capable and flexible overall for a lot less money (used on eBay) since I can run Linux on it.

    To each their own.

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 2:25 am #

      A 10-inch screen is a PC screen. If the device does not run PC apps like iPad, then no, it is not worth toting around. But if you do need PC apps, iPad is half the size and weight of anything else and has double the battery life. I used to carry a MacBook Air everywhere, now I carry an iPad everywhere. That is less size and weight.

      For media players, a 7 inch screen is very large. And that is as big as you want to stretch a phone app anyway.

  13. leighton September 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Personally, I agree with Steve J. Tablets are weak replacements for people for dislike computers. Tablets are a blend of generalized display (books – websites) and generalized communication (websites – internet social comms.). To call tablets 'technology' is a bit of a hoax, very important for people who want an updated version of existing approaches, but hardly a replacement for for a creative environment.

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 2:51 am #

      How do you explain that iPad is a fixture in the music studios I work in? Are we not creative?

      I've written hundreds of songs on iOS. iPad can morph into a portable mutitracker, the tool that songwriters use to write songs. Is songwriting not creative?

      I use an iPad in the studio to emulate a Logic Control so I can run the mixer and have transport controls when I'm at a piano or in a vocal booth. The iPad sends MIDI over Wi-Fi to a Mac. I also have custom interfaces on the iPad for all the synthesizers on the Mac, so I can call up sounds from out in the studio. And I have about 20 MIDI instruments on iPad, like a MIDI guitar, and a freaky one that is like air hockey, but generates a MIDI performance. Not creative, though, right?

      Photoshop CS5 has an iPad app that acts as a drawing surface, and there are all kinds of painting tools, photography tools on iPad. Painting with 10 fingers is much easier than painting with a mouse. I have a graphics workstation with Wacom tablet and have for years, but still paint on iPad just like I still paint with pastels. It is common to draw on paper before using Photoshop or Illustrator anyway. iPad has a great app that is like an infinite sketchbook but with auto backup and easy sharing.

      Not creative?

      I mean it's not Excel or anything like that.

    • Luca October 3, 2011 at 9:35 am #

      Few to no one has ever claimed they are building tablets to replace computers for those that actually need a computer. For grandma that just wants to look up recipes on the web and email the grandkids, sure. She doesn't need a computer. If the WebTV was still around that would also suit her needs.

      Hell Apple showed their cards the best when you couldn't even start up an iPad without access to a computer. If that wasn't telling folks it is a compliment to the computer not a replacement, I don't know what it.

      As for the creative environment crack, I wonder if you actually work in one. Because there are a lot of ways that a tablet or even a smartphone actually works better than a computer. It's all in being open and creatively thinking about your tools and what works best for your needs.

  14. Logan September 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    I picked up the Asus EP121 here and its fantastic for the mobile professional that wants a Cintiq level drawing tablet and a computer capable of doing something relevent to work. So yes it is far more expensive than an iOS or Droid based offering, but its usability and excellent features make it a clear cut winner for people that want something more than a netbook style tablet.

    Also shockingly enough Windows 7 is actually really awesome to use on this thing. I was shocked to see how well designed the OS was for using nothing but your fingers or the stylus that ships with the Slate device. As such I think Microsoft actually has a strong chance at coming onto the market (if it can get manufactureres to make capable devices and not Atom powered products) and absolutely dominating the mid to high end tablet market.

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 3:27 am #

      Yeah, but less than 10% of high-end ($999 and up) PC purchases run Windows for many years now, so a device like that is not going to appeal to many users. Most artists do not have the I-T skills to get the Windows color management working right, if the particular Windows PC is even capable of a color safe workflow. They don't have the programming skills to write VBScript to automate Windows and JavaScript to automate Photoshop, whereas on the Mac, AppleScript reads like plain English and automates everything — Photoshop, Illustrator, Finder, BBEdit, whatever — and Automator writes AppleScript for you. Plus there are other I-T challenges on Windows. None of the artists I have trained is using Windows any time soon. Especially because they are typically young people who have never used Windows at all.

      So you may be a rare bird.

      A key feature of iPad is it is a low-end PC. It finally gives someone with a $500 ceiling on a PC purchase a choice of PC instead of just a choice of Microsoft OEM logos. The touch is just an easier mouse, not the point of the whole thing. And $30 of iPad drawing, painting, photography apps is more what they are looking for, not $599 worth of Photoshop.

  15. Dave Barnes September 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    "and says it’ll give a free one to every JooJoo owner."
    Harry, that is a misquote I am sure as it should be "…one to THE JooJoo owner."

  16. Nope September 30, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    The people that say that an android tablet has future is the people that never touched an ipad.

  17. drew September 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    I never fully understood the thinking that there can be only one "winner" in each category. iPhone has about 30% of the market, and all Android phones about 56%, and the rest among "others". iPhones don't dominate the smart phone market, but Apple is running out of places to store all the cash they are making.

    I remember when people said the iPad would kill off netbooks. Apple has sold a lot of iPads, but tens of millions of netbooks were sold too. The reality is they are different markets, serving different needs.

    The iPad will likely dominate, but I suspect Amazon will make a fortune selling Fires. The reality is that Apple and Amazon offer something that no one else could-a product with media stream (books, movies, music, etc) ready for consumption.

    If Apple sells 50 million iPads and Amazon sells 15 million Fires, does that mean Amazon is a failure?

    • redfood October 2, 2011 at 10:38 am #

      "I suspect Amazon will make a fortune selling Fires"

      No, They are loosing money selling Fires but they will make a fortune selling content for the Fires.

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 4:05 am #

      There is not just one phone market or one PC market, they are segmented by price.

      There are $600, $300, and $100 phones. That is what carriers pay handset makers, then subsidies and contracts make those phones, free through $199 or so. Carriers need all 3 kinds of phones, because most users know what they want to pay. iPhone is the only $600 phone left. It utterly dominates that price point. There are no $600 Android phones. This will surprise you, but Android and iPhone do not compete. Apple does not yet make a $300 or $100 phone (yet) and that is where all the Android phones are. That is why Android never hurt Apple sales, but it did murder Windows phones wholesale.

      In PC's, the Intel Mac chased almost all Windows PC's down from the $1000 market to the $500 market where they did not have to compete with Apple. Now, Apple has a $500 PC for the first time and that is why Windows PC makers are running around with their hair on fire. Apple keeps $200 from a $500 iPad sale, but HP only keeps about $40 from a $799 notebook PC sale. iPad will outsell all of HP this quarter, it is a bloodbath.

      Amazon Kindle Fire is a media player, akin to an iPod. iPod touch is its equivalent in Apple's line, not iPad. Amazon has book heritage and iPod has music heritage, but they are both devices for music, movies, books, and phone apps (mostly games.) You can see Fire's top menu is music, movies, books, games. So Fire basically cannot fail because it just needs more music, movies, books, and (phone) games to be useful, and Amazon has a selection of all 4 that is already good enough, because they are leveraging Android phones apps the way iPod touch leverages iPhone apps. Neither device needs to attract any developers to succeed. As long as Amazon did their math right, they should be very successful. Especially as Apple is rumored to be killing the iPod this week.

      With a PC like iPad or Mac or Windows, the sole purpose of the device is it runs general purpose full-size native C/C++ apps and full-size HTML5 Web apps. That is all it does. iPad needs 3rd party developers to make apps or iPad cannot fulfill its purpose. So the fact that iPad shipped with 500 full-size apps at launch and had 1000 within a week and over 100,000 now is the main thing that made it successful. Everything else would be a technology demo without native iPad apps. Users buy iPad to run apps. For some, it is only a music app, movie app, book app, and games, like a Kindle Fire, but they expect to be able to choose from hundreds of music apps, not just Amazon's, and hundreds of movie apps, and hundreds of readers, and so on. Notice Amazon's reader app is on iPad and Mac, but Apple or anyone else's reader is not coming to Fire. Fire is just one app called "Fire," it is not a general purpose PC. It's screen is only 46% the size of a PC screen, it cannot run native C/C++, it cannot run full-size apps, just phone apps.

      XOOM launched as a low-end tablet PC like iPad, but it had no native C/C++ apps, it required developers of iPad/Mac/Windows C/C++ apps to laboriously rewrite their apps in Java. If there was no iPad, maybe they would do it. But otherwise, no. There is already a low-end tablet that can run 90% of their unmodified app, they just have to create a touch interface. So XOOM's only chance was to kill iPad dead, to obsolete it. To make people so fall in love with 16:9 screens or SD slots that an iPad will no longer do. That is why the "iPad Killer" thing. They want iPad's nest, like a Blue Jay, because they did not build their own.

      Another aspect is that Apple goes their own way in tech and is seen by others as too artsy and so some want any new Apple product to be cloned by Black And Decker so there is a version they feel is butch enough for them. And again, they want iPad dead so its developers will jump through hoops to serve their tablet PC choice. The funny thing is, these people don't realize that almost all of Silicon Valley is Macs. Google is 75% Macs. It's actually a very butch computer if you know Unix or make digital content.

  18. Demigrog September 30, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    I'm typing this on my Windows 8 developer preview tablet, and I can assure you that Apple has real competition coming. This thing isn't even Beta software yet and it is already the best tablet I have ever used. One of the best things about Win8 is that many of the tablets in this review will be able to upgrade to it. To me, the only question is when will Microsoft ship it.

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 5:10 am #

      Yes, Windows 8 is the first thing that anyone has shown that is even comparable to iPad, because it is at least a PC operating system with PC apps. Kudos to Microsoft for getting that right. I'm running it in a virtualizer and I was very impressed that "Internet Explorer 10 for Metro Style" ran my HTML5 apps exactly the same as iPad did, except with absolutely inexcusably bad typography. But Web developers have been asking Microsoft literally for 10 years to make an actual Web browser instead of a Microsoft browser, and I give them more kudos for finally doing that. It is great that every Windows system has open standard vendor neutral W3C HTML5 and open standard vendor neutral ISO MPEG4 out of the box.

      But the Windows 8 Developer Preview tablet is a high-end Intel tablet PC that is equivalent to a $999 MacBook Air and will sell for that kind of price, not a low-end tablet PC like iPad. So the competition for that tablet is for the Mac. Maybe a touch Mac, a MacPad, which may ship before Windows 8. It's too early to say how that will go. But Apple has 90% of high-end PC's, that is their wheelhouse. High end computing has gone Unix just like servers. Windows systems for $999 are a tough sell.

      The low-end Windows 8 ARM tablet PC's that will compete with iPad are further behind what you have there, and they face a much bigger challenge than the device you have, because they need all-new apps, whereas iPad has a ton of apps already.

      And the biggest problem for Windows 8 ARM tablets will be how to win a price war with Apple. The iPad that sells for $499 only costs Apple $300 to make. Nobody really knows how to copy that, because Apple is sort of designed to do that. For example, they use the same flash storage chips in all iOS devices and possibly in MacBook Air also, so they order unimaginable numbers of them and pay almost nothing for them. And they reuse the OS X core on everything, too. They are like the Inuit, using all of a whale or caribou, wasting absolutely nothing. If somebody competes well with them at $399, they can drop iPad to $349 and still make more unit profit than most PC makers. The Windows 8 ARM tablet maker is also going to have to pay Microsoft $40, which is more than Apple pays themselves for iOS, and Windows 8 ARM tablet makers may need more memory and more battery to get the same performance because they have things like the old Desktop to run, if that makes it into most Windows 8 ARM tablets. It depends what users demand and what is technically possible.

      Another issue is this:

      – 2007 Windows 6 and iOS 1 and Leopard
      – 2008 iOS 2
      – 2009 Windows 7 and iOS 3 and Snow Leopard
      – 2010 iOS 4
      – 2011 iOS 5 and Lion
      – 2012 iOS 6
      – 2013 Windows 8 and iOS 7 and Mountain Lion (?)
      – 2014 iOS 8
      – 2015 iOS 9 and Cougar (?)
      – 2016 Windows 9 and iOS 10

      How is Microsoft going to speed up to that pace? That is a huge competitive advantage for Apple. There are only going to be 2 more major versions of Windows over the next 5 years (even that is fast by Microsoft terms,) but there will likely be 7 major releases of OS X (5 iOS, 2 Mac OS.) Each release brings a big sales boost. And iOS has free upgrades, Mac OS is $29, and Windows is $99, $199, $299, $399. And OS X systems can upgrade over the air, and they self-update continuously, replacing their own kernels every few months.

      Microsoft is built more for the leisurely pace of the CIO, who still thinks Aero is "cutting-edge." It took Microsoft 4 years to go from Windows Mobile 6 to Windows Phone 7, and a year more to go to 7.5 with only adds a couple of features and a couple of major bug fixes.

      So there are lots of unanswered questions, and we won't even really see this race begin for 18 months or so. By then, if current trends hold, OS X may be leading NT in sales. NT is selling only in the low-end PC market, but OS X is selling in the low-end PC market, high-end PC market, high-end phone market, high-end media player market, and low-end phones are coming. Plus, the OS X device is the best-selling device in all cases in every market at every price point. iPad has been the best-selling low-end PC for well over a year now. So we are really watching the tech industry transform before our eyes. Great time to be a Technologizer.

    • Michael Scrip October 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      My only concern is….

      People already have a Windows laptop or desktop in the house… likely 2 or more.

      One reason people like the iPad is because it -isn't- Windows. The iPad is easy to use and it's sorta fun. It's thin, light, etc.

      Of course there's another side to this too… some people want a tablet that runs Photoshop and Microsoft Office too. And upcoming ARM powered Windows tablets should be thin and light with great battery life.

      So… it's a little early to say that Apple will sell fewer iPads and PC makers will pick up the bulk of tablets.

  19. Stuart October 1, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    Guess my Acer Iconia Tab A500 never made it to the party. Neither did the Asus eeePad … hmm … looks like a so-so list of 30.

    No raving fanboy, mind you, but my Tab A500 does everything I ask it, which is to run Flash, and be cheaper than an iPad with a more useful (1280 x 800) Screen. Free RDP client actually works well. Editing Office documents works well. The Viewsonic Bluetooth keyboard I additionally got, is pretty good, as well. All-in-all, does what I want for now, cheaper & faster than iPad.

    In 2 years is when I really care, though … now is just food for thought.

    It's all immature form-factor, so no sense wasting iPad-type money now, anyway. nVidia's Kalel 4/5-way processor should give a boost to Win8 and Android 4.

    In the end, Apple looks out for it's own ends first, not mine (seen BluRay on any Apple device?), so I'm careful about what I give 'em (typing this on a latest-gen MacBook Pro 15", with both Lion & Win7 Pro via Bootcamp) …

    The old saying applies: Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer …

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 6:01 am #

      It is great if you like your Iconia, but it is not faster than an iPad. The Apple software is just much, much faster than Android. Part of the reason iPad gets such good battery life is its SoC runs at half speed all the time and the device still feels ridiculously fast. When iPad gets a quad-core SoC this year, that will run half speed most of the time, too, unless the user is running iMovie or GarageBand and needs the power.

      Also, if you are into NVIDIA SoC's, you should know that they only have the second-biggest mobile GPU's in the world. Apple's A5 is both the biggest SoC and has the biggest GPU in a mobile. A5 is a "PC SoC" not a "phone SoC" like all the generic parts. That is why Apple made their own SoC's. Partly to leave out things they don't need like Java accelerators, and partly to make giant SoC's for ARM PC's. They are the only phone maker who makes PC's also. Just because Apple doesn't advertise this does not mean you should assume the generic parts are more butch.

      > Apple looks out for it's own ends first, not mine

      How is it that they have like 91% user satisfaction then? They are like a bespoke tailor. There is no point at all to an Apple product that does not satisfy the user. It would not sell. We saw that with Power Mac G4 Cube. We saw it with Newton. Apple users absolutely will not buy an Apple device because it is a new gadget, it has to have a use in their lives.

      And Apple is not even a little bit suspicious. They say straight out that their mission is to make the best product they can make. You either buy it, or you don't. They don't even have vendor lock-in. Every audio video file they sold out of iTunes is ISO MPEG4 (they could have been QuickTime files just as easily, it is the same file format, MPEG4 is just an open standard vendor neutral version,) and their Web browser has been W3C standard since 2003. Their native apps (which by nature have to be unique to them) are standardized C/C++, so 90% of an iOS or Mac OS app is portable to other platforms. If you write a perfect iOS app, you can port it to Windows basically just by building a Windows interface for the same core logic of your app. Further, all the ports are standardized, everything is even Unix compatible.

      I disagree that tablet PC's are immature. They are 25 years old. It is only your tablet that is immature, going back to only late 2008 with T-Mobile G1. Three quarters of iOS is just OS X, which is 27 years old if you don't count Unix, and goes back to 1969 if you do. You are assuming that people are doing the kinds of things you are doing with your Iconia with their iPads, but they are not. They're doing all the things they used to do on a Windows or Mac PC. They nave native C/C++ PC apps like iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and many more. Not baby apps, but full PC apps. Keynote for iPad is essentially Keynote for Mac with the mouse interface chopped off and touch interface put on. It is still the best presentation client in the world, with something like 10 years of history, including starring in "An Inconvenient Truth" and every Steve Jobs keynote and all of Tony Robbins' talks. People aren't using iPads just as accessories to other PC's, they are buying them as PC's and using them as PC's and are very satisfied.

      On the Mac, you author your Blu-Ray or DVD to a disk image file, and then burn as a second step and keep the disk image as a master to burn future copies. You can plug in a USB Blu-Ray, or you can put a Blu-Ray into the second bay in a Mac Pro.

      This will really get you: the reason Apple does not ship Blu-Ray inside Macs is to protect their users. To serve the tiny number of users who want a preinstalled Blu-Ray, Apple would have had to significantly modify OS X so that it meets Blu-Ray consortium requirements for "protected media pathways" and other crazy stuff they came up with to try and lock down a PC so that it can't be used to bootleg Blu-Ray (never mind that the encryption has been cracked!) Macs are creative authoring systems, but Blu-Ray consortium assumes all HD content on there must be stolen Blu-Ray. There is a philosophical chasm there that Steve Jobs called a "bag of hurt."

      But the same movie off of Blu-Ray (ISO MPEG 4, again, a QuickTime movie) is what you get in iTunes or from Amazon or from Netflix and even FlashPlayer and so on. Apple is responsible more than anyone for the modern digital video revolution, it all goes back to QuickTime, which Apple created in 1992.

      Enjoy your Iconia. Stop worrying about your Mac.

  20. harry krishna October 1, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    tanks for the heads up. i was hoping to see more fire sales for the xmas season. gonna be some cash shy corps in feb.

  21. Jake October 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    @Stuart, I am also suprised that the Iconia wasn't mentioned. Nor was the Toshiba Thrive. Both have gotten decent reviews, I was actually pulling this article up to see what the author had to say about those two…

  22. blah October 1, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    When you said, it’s not a happy ending, I thought that there would be a better thing than the iPad. My interpretation luckily was wrong 🙂

    iPad is one of the best things around. I don’t like closed source stuff but they (Apple) make great products.

    If some of the open-source camp could actually get into making some progress on usability and user interface there would be real competition for them.

    Otherwise forget about it.

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 6:22 am #

      The "open-source camp" includes Apple. They are one of the biggest open source developers, and likely the most commercially successful.
      http://opensource.apple.com/

      The HTML5 decoder in OS X is an Apple open source project called "WebKit," and it is probably the second most popular open source project after GNU Linux. WebKit is definitely the most popular mobile open source project, with a much larger installed base than Android. It is used by Android, actually, and Chrome, and BlackBerry, Nokia, HP/Palm. It's in Adobe AIR. It's in Adobe Creative Suite. It's in many Linux distributions. It's responsible for 25% of PC browser usage and 75% of mobile browser usage.

      Apple also does "Bonjour" (formerly Rendezvous) which is zero configuration networking, it self-configures local area networks and resources. It's in every network printer and I believe in all routers, and of course in all Apple products, and they make a Windows version you can install to enable iTunes Home Sharing to self-configure.

      The kernel from your iPad is an Apple open source project called "xnu" and it is open source.

      The Unix subsystem from your iPad is an Apple open source project called "Darwin" and it is open source.

      The compiler that is used to make OS X apps is an Apple open source project called "LLVM". So is the C front end with is called "Clang" and has probably the coolest logo of any software project in the world, which is a fierce metal dragon.

      Plus, Mac OS X ships with over 200 open source projects, the only name-brand PC to do so, including such staples as Apache, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, X11, bash, vi, emacs. They are all there and configured and ready to run when you get a Mac.

      And even what is not open source is open standard: HTML5, PNG, SVG, standard PDF, OpenGL, OpenCL, MPEG4, JPEG. There is nothing that locks anyone in.

      > If some of the open-source camp could actually get into making
      > some progress on usability and user interface

      That is Apple. You bought exactly the right brand of computer system.

  23. zato October 2, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    "Spoiler: If you like happy endings, you should stop reading now."

    Because on the gamer/hater driven TECH internet, any story where Apple wins is a bad day.

  24. ken1w October 3, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    My prediction last year was that Apple's iPad competitors would soon give up and stop trying to go head-to-head with Apple. This prediction is coming true.

    Going forward, I think the competition will focus on "niches" that Apple intentionally avoids. For example, really large tablets that are too big to hold comfortably in one hand. 5 to 7 -inch tablets. Tablets with built-in slide-out keyboards. Cheap tablets costing under $200.

    That last one is the Kindle Fire. Amazon saw how trying to match iPad in specs, features, and price tag was pure disaster, every time. They only sold off the existing inventory when the desperation fire sale price eventually dropped below $200. So Amazon is going where Apple will not go… a low-end $199 tablet that is sold for "negative" profit, with the hope of making some profit by selling content. It might work, but Amazon should have just put more effort into catering to their iPad and iPhone customers (including me) who already buy a lot of Amazon's e-content. They would sell more content without losing money on every Kindle Fire sold.

    I don't see any DIRECT iPad challengers coming any time soon.

    • Hamranhansenhansen October 3, 2011 at 6:28 am #

      Windows 8 is the only one. Nobody else is doing the necessary work.

      Kindle Fire does avoid competing with iPad, but Kindle Fire is also just a reader and media player, equivalent to an iPod, so even if iPad did not exist, a $199 Kindle Fire makes sense. And they are apparently losing only $10 per unit, so in the new year the components will have dropped to where they are making $10 per unit, then $20 per unit, then $30 per unit, etc. Ultimately, they may make money on the hardware. They will likely sell that exact same device for YEARS. They have zero incentive to upgrade it, and a million incentives to just keep reusing it again and agin.

  25. Steven Sherman October 3, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    The funny thing here us you hint at the Galaxy Tab series from Samsung but fail to truly acknowledge it. There is a reason Apple wants the 10.1 version blocked in across the world. It is lighter, has a better processor and better cameras than the iPad2. The device is just beautiful. I think comparing the junk of tablets is not fair put the best with the same 600.00 price tag as the iPad and you will get a comparable product.

    The HP Touchpad is a great device but HP should have never released it without a rear camera and such a heafty price tag. It maybe could have competed with the original iPad but was just sad against the iPad 2. HP blew that all on their own.

  26. Charbax October 3, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    Slight mix-ups on those Archos that you list, the Archos 5 you show screenshot of is Linux version released in 2008, the Android version released in 2009. Then they released 5 sizes in 2010 called Archos 28, 32, 43, 70 and 101, all of them sold huge amounts, the Archos 70 Internet Tablet is still available now for $199 http://store.archos.com/10072_BFC70IT100_landing…. but is being replaced these days with Archos new Dual-core generation starting at $299 with the Archos 80 G9 and Archos 101 G9, those are 50% faster than iPad2/transformer/acer/xoom and 40% cheaper and with many more advanced features including better video playback, hdmi output, 2x usb hosts, 3x higher memory bandwidth than Tegra2, etc. Archos also released the new Arnova G2 series, capacitive Ice Cream Sandwich compatible, starting at $99 at phillytablet.com

    • Scott Lewis October 3, 2011 at 9:29 am #

      That tablet is not $99. It's $99 with a subscription to a Philly paper at $9.99 a month for 24 months or $129 with a payment of $12.99 a month for 12 months. So at least $285, and while I LOVE Philly and grew up in South Jersey just outside the city… I'm not sure I need that paper. Also, the battery life is "TBC" which I assume means to be calculated according to their spec sheet, and it's a single core CPU, with 4 or 8 gb of memory, and a screen resolution slightly lower than that of the iPad. The hardware may be "Ice Cream Sandwich" compatible, but there's no guarantee that will happen. Ask any number of Android phone users stuck on 1.5 or 1.6 if upgrades come through. I pre ordered a Kindle Fire, but that doesn't mean that every cheap tablet is worthy.

      The Archos 70 is a low resolution, single core, small flash ram device. I could go on, but the reason Archos doesn't sell 15 million PMPs a year is because their products aren't as good as an iPad or even a Galaxy Tab. It's not bad marketing or low name recognition.

      • Charbax October 3, 2011 at 9:50 am #

        Archos tablets are better value than all other on the market. The Archos 70 is last year's device. For $199 you get the Arnova 10 G2, that means you get a 10" tablet for the same price as the 7" Amazon Fire. And what you are paying on the Amazon Fire is a locked down, proprietary device where Amazon wants you to buy all your content through them. Archos is an opened unsubsidized device, if you want it subsidized for example with the Philly newspaper it can be sold at just $99. Archos battery runtime is just like any other tablet. Archos sells over a million Android tablets per year, actually Archos sells more Android tablets than Samsung in several European countries and could easily overtake Samsung if they had a bit more cash to invest in more mass production, cause it's a known fact for Archos that they can easily sell every single tablet that they can afford to manufacture. The only reason Archos doesn't sell more than Apple today is because they haven't got Billions of dollars that they can invest in manufacturing more.

  27. Stijn October 3, 2011 at 4:14 am #

    The ASUS EeePad I had in my hands this weekend. Slick thing. The external keyboard you can connect to wasn't convincing though.

  28. Charbax October 3, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    If you look at the daily tablet sales, Android tablets worldwide are above 40% of daily tablet sales, and will be above 50% before the end of the year.

    • Steve Setzer October 3, 2011 at 10:07 am #

      The best data I can find on Android sales (to end users, that is, not "shipments" to the channel) suggests that for the third quarter of 2011, Android tablet sales are currently running at about 41% of iPad sales — which means more like 31% of the total.
      http://www.digitimes.com/Reports/Report.asp?datep

      I like this report because it's based on actual activations to the Google Marketplace, so it's a fairly reliable source of end user purchase data. I think the rise of Kindle Fire will skew things, however, since KF is an Android tablet that doesn't use Google Marketplace but is likely to sell very well.

      • Charbax October 3, 2011 at 10:12 am #

        Possibly more than half of the daily sold Android tablets do not have the official Google Marketplace pre-installed when they are sold because they still don't run Honeycomb, so those might not be counted in those official Google Marketplace numbers mentioned here. This will change with Ice Cream Sandwich next month when all Android tablets, even the cheapest $60 Android tablets, all can officially legally have the Google Marketplace installed when they are sold.

  29. progosk October 3, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    You forgot the Olivetti Olipad! http://www.olivetti.com/site/public/product.asp?c
    I tried one – ah, tristezza…

  30. Ductwork October 3, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    Disappointed to see that the Velocity Micro Cruz Tablet is not on either list. I saw one in a Barnes & Noble in the Richmond, Va. area once, and the company even released a video: http://video.timesdispatch.com/v/37981314/ipad-al

  31. robynsc October 3, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    i still don't understand why "they" keep trying to compare the kindle fire to the iPad. they are apples and oranges. the kindle fire has neither a camera nor a microphone. discuss.

    but it IS a direct competitor of the barnes & noble color nook and $50 cheaper.

    i've even seen articles comparing the kindle fire and an iPod touch. but, imho, it would have to be a comparison to a pre 4G ipod touch, with no camera. then the screen size becomes the issue.

    the iPad is the iPad. that's all. there is no iPad killer unless you create an iPad, make it open source, sell it for less with more apps and make it lighter. until then…pony up the 500 bucks and breathe a sigh of relief that you got exactly what you expected.

  32. marv08 October 3, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    OK, you made 32 in one article (thumbs up!). Now awaiting the equally sad story about the 100 additional killers that were announced around CES 2011 (I have been offered a Galaxy Tab for free with a Samsung washing machine today, I then went for a Miele).

  33. Jim H October 3, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Isn't it clear that Apple spent years honing the iPad into a compelling product that works? That the app store and the iPhone were there already, and continue to offer multi-thousands of apps of a very high quality, which developers rush to because… they can make money? That all the rest refuse to put the research and development and fit and finish work? But still the Fandroids continue to be the very definition of "fanboy" while accusing others of that irrational zombie state? I guess the hatred of Apple ruins a lot of people's lives.

  34. mex4eric October 3, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    In France, the major tech retailer, FNAC, had lots of different tablets, more than I see at Best Buy in North America, Asus models, Motorola, etc., they even had a store brand, fnac tablet. No idea who makes it but quite a variety of stuff.

  35. Sigivald October 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    iPad has the full OS X under the touch interface

    No – iOS is not "the full OSX" under a different interface.

    They share much kernel code and much API, but they're not the same thing.

    (I understand the confusion, given that Apple advertised it as "running OSX", and that's technically true at the kernel level (a "variant" of the OSX kernel, as Apple calls it) – but it's not full OSX.

    Frameworks are also different or entirely absent in iOS vs. OSX. [The biggest difference being lack of garbage collection in iOS, apart from the obvious differences in UI toolkits.]

    The operating systems are closely related, but not identical.)

  36. Warren October 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    Of the mall, the most infuriating failure, to me, was the TouchPad. Had HP kept with it, and had they actually released a PC with WebOS on it as well (that was a rumor), they might have had something really decent, something capable of parity with iOS and desktop Macs.

    Saddest part is that HP recently released – and keeps selling out of – a special limited edition of their 15c RPN scientific calculator. I got one and am the envy of nerds everywhere. HP's ability to generate nostalgia on that level for calculators is something they've never managed to port to their other industries, and that's a shame.

    If they were to take over every aspect of manufacture and insist on top build quality, and if they committed themselves entirely to WebOS, they'd really have something. As it is, their leadership is failing, and it's just a sad thing to watch them spiral down like this.

  37. Me October 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Android tablets will take over ONLY when they go on Buy One Get One Free and $0 on contract, like they did with smartphones.

  38. jppirie October 4, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    Brilliant article, thanks for the round up

  39. Lee October 5, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    I bought an EXOPC slate last Christmas for my wife. She used it for 3 months to check email, read Kindle books, and surf the web. It wasn't until last month that she finally figured out how to use the EXOPC tablet interface. The apps are nice but all flash based and not very mature. The cool thing is that EXO is still sending out updates to the UI (up to 1.3 as of 1 Oct 2011) and adding more apps, even if they are rather simplistic. My kids love the flash-based kids games. Is it an iPad competitor? No, not quite yet. The entire implementation seems a little overkill on top of Win7. I checked out the Developer Preview of Win8 and it seems promising. Now if I can only get my wife to let me install it on her ExoPC slate, that would be cool.

    • Ducky November 27, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

      You bought your wife a what? A non iPad tablet from no name company? Cut corners much? You may as well have bought her socks for your wedding anniversary. What a failure as a husband.

  40. Toshiba Thrive October 9, 2011 at 1:25 am #

    Very good comparison for tablet here. I think Android tablet is the next. Today, I try Acer Iconia and I really like it. It's not as smooth as iPad but the price is excellent. I might consider buying android tablet in 1-2 months.

  41. Deendid December 1, 2011 at 3:28 am #

    My prediction last year was that Apple's iPad competitors would soon give up and stop trying to go head-to-head with Apple. This prediction is coming true.

    Going forward, I think the competition will focus on "niches" that Apple intentionally avoids. For example, really large tablets that are too big to hold comfortably in one hand. 5 to 7 -inch tablets. Tablets with built-in slide-out keyboards. Cheap tablets costing under $200.

    That last one is the Kindle Fire. Amazon saw how trying to match iPad in specs, features, and price tag was pure disaster, every time. They only sold off the existing inventory when the desperation fire sale price eventually dropped below $200. So Amazon is going where Apple will not go… a low-end $199 tablet that is sold for "negative" profit, with the hope of making some profit by selling content. It might work, but Amazon should have just put more effort into catering to their iPad and iPhone customers (including me) who already buy a lot of Amazon's e-content. They would sell more content without losing money on every Kindle Fire sold.
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  42. chess openings January 17, 2012 at 11:08 am #

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  44. Jeff Thomson January 18, 2012 at 2:15 am #

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Must University | Must University