Time to Give Up My Android Tablet Dream?

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Steve Jobs took the stage at a scheduled Apple event and announced the iPad 2. We already have an iPad 1 in the house, so I’ve been holding out for an Android tablet to round out the gadget portfolio. Unfortunately, my purchase has been postponed a lot longer than expected thanks to several hardware delays and disappointments. Now Apple’s upping the ante further with a second-gen tablet model, and I may just be fed up with waiting for a decent competitor.

There’s an awful lot to like in the new iPad 2. The proven platform is getting two cameras, a dual-core CPU, and 1080p video output (albeit no 1080p decoding) . Plus, it’s keeping the same 9-10 hour battery life, and the cost is going nowhere. For $499, I can get a 16GB, Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 on March 11th. I want to wait for an Android tablet, but there’s no hardware on the horizon that comes even close to the iPad. What exactly am I waiting for?

Meanwhile, Dave is enamored of Apple’s new digital AV adapter (HDMI output for audio and video), and he mentioned that he’s on the hook to purchase an iPad 2 for his wife. Looks like Apple’s getting more hard-earned ZNF money soon.

18 thoughts on “Time to Give Up My Android Tablet Dream?”

  1. Yes, iPad2 is awesome and holds all features that its competitors are offering. Unfortunately, iPad2 don’t have tunderbolt or USB port. If this feature adds in Tablets then many laptop users will switch to Tablets too.

  2. Just curious Saleem, what thunderbolt peripherals would you use with the iPad? Serious question. I could see eventually being able to hook it up to a TV to mirror/show the iPad screen. Also, Apple’s camera connection kit allows for a USB port to be “added” to the iPad. Limited use yes, but it’s still an option.

  3. What’s wrong with the Xoom, other than it’s high price? It looks like it has similar, if not better, hardware than the iPad 2.

  4. Mari, I’m feeling just like you. Why am I waiting?

    The announced Android tablets are uninspiring. Many are months away. The Xoom doesn’t interest me—too heavy, too expensive. Maybe if Samsung dropped the price on the Galaxy Tab by $200 or more and upgraded to Gingerbread?

  5. @Tim P, sometimes it’s not about the hardware/specs, but more on how you interact with the device and how responsive it is to your needs. Some people prefer the iOS UI for it’s simplicity and ease of use. Some people prefer the Android UI for it’s ability to be customized. Not stating that one way is better than the other. You can have all the horsepower in the world, but if the device is not responsive to they way you use it, then what’s the point?

  6. Tim, Honeycomb is rough around the edges. And there’s really no getting around the Xoom’s price. However, I do expect it will drop to Galaxy Tab-like levels due to sluggish initial sales.

    Regarding the iPad 2, the lack of USB and Thunderbolt doesn’t bother me the way no SD slot does. And I am somehwat bummed there wasn’t an iOS 5 announcement that talked about things like wireless syncing… and maybe even user accounts.

  7. I was underwhelmed. Except the cameras, it’s more of the same: no usb; no expandability.

    My guess: the onslaught of android tablets — next is the new Galaxy Tab on March 22 — should at least match iPad2 sales this year. The Xoom already owns the high end with it’s hardware specs and Dell or the Eeepad will fill out the low end.

    After that, people will start to realize that Apple’s censorship practices in regards to apps and magazines will start to impact their choice of tablet.

  8. Yeah…lest we forget the control has over the App store and content. That’s the main reason I doubt I’ll ever get an iPad or iPhone. I don’t care how awesome the UI is. If I can’t get content (or there’s a good chance it will dry up), no thanks.

  9. On the HW level the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 are better than the iPad 2, IMHO. Given all of the things I dislike about Apple’s policies, and the fact I’m already an Android user, I’ll probably pick up one of those. Right now I’m content to wait and let things shake out a bit – with the iPad 2 coming out it may push prices down.

  10. The more you invest in the apple system the harder it is to leave if you have reason to later on. That’s how the whole scheme is rigged; attract developers, lock users in, hike prices for 3rd party vendors, make them focus on only using ios to lock in more users. That and the $100’s of dollar of apps you’ll accrue from years of use that are useless if you want another os option later. So you’ll drop another $500 every two years on hardware, again raising the barrier of escape.

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t let Apple use you as leverage, just that you should be aware it’s happening. Don’t get distracted by the shiny!

  11. wifi version of the Xoom is allegedly $539 at Sams Club which is pretty tempting. With all the choices coming soon for Android plenty of options for size, price, and specs.

    as for me my Archos 70 does pretty much everything but the dual core of the iPad 2 and was less than $275 for a first dip in the tablet pool.

  12. For $349, I picked up the original iPad (refurb). I’m sick of waiting for a reasonable Android. It’ll probably become my main web surfing device at home, but who knows?

    At that price it’s pretty easy to re-purpose. I think Apple would do well to keep the original around to keep the low end of the Android market at bay.

  13. Those asking why not the Xoom need to read some of the Xoom reviews. I’ve read a couple and right now it doesn’t seem pretty–SD card doesn’t work, no 4G, no way to sideload media onto the device given that, no sanctioned way to get video onto the device if it isn’t Youtube, only 30-odd apps that have been updated for the tablet form-factor, the 16:9 aspect ratio makes the thing ungainly in portrait mode, flash isn’t supported, the screen isn’t very good, the HTML 5 support isn’t very good, you can’t charge it via USB, most web sites still render the mobile version, the thing crashes a lot, the Wifi version isn’t available yet, etc.

    If you don’t want to buy an Apple device, it sounds like you really shouldn’t buy the Xoom right now. Wait at least 3 months and some of these things–the 4G, the Flash support, the SD card, some of the crashiness, the number of tablet-supporting apps, some video infrastructure… should be resolved. Of course by that point the HP TouchPad and the Rim PlayBook will probably both be out.

    I thought Android was going to put up more of a challenge to the iPad this year, now I’m not so sure.

  14. Glenn – Have you used a Xoom? Here’s my take on your issues as someone who owns a Xoom:
    1) SD card – True, not working right now, but will be shortly. And right now there is no need for it as 32g will hold me for a while. Does the iPad 2 have an SD slot – nope.
    2)4g – It was never promised to be 4g ready at launch. It will be upgraded to 4g. Although I will admit the process for doing so is poorly thought out. But will the iPad 2 even have this option – nope.
    3)sideload media onto the device – Will be resolved via SD card update
    4)Apps – well there are 100 tablet specific apps, not 30. But that still isn’t a lot. It’s the same when the iPad came out, only a few tablet specific apps while the others were scaled up. The scaled apps look fine on the Xoom. More tablet specific will come.
    5) No Flash – Big disappointment! But it will come in a few weeks. This one bothers me the most because it will affect some apps that use flash. I think this was a big mistake, but at least it’s coming. Again, does the iPad2 have flash – nope. Will it ever – nope!
    6)16:9 – not sure what you even mean here, the aspect ratio works great, even in portrait.
    7) Screen isn’t very good – Again, not sure what you mean. It has higher resolution then the iPad 2 and it’s gorgeous. Uses the same gorilla glass everyone loves.
    8) HTML 5 support – To be honest I’m not sure on this. Never think about it
    9) Can’t charge via USB – Yeah, that’s dumb
    10)Crashes – Not that I’ve seen, not even once
    11)Web site – Most Render is mobile version? Hmmm, Not that I’ve noticed but I will double check
    12)Wifi version – Yeah, I wanted a Wifi version, mostly for the lower price.
    13) Price – As I’m sure you’ve seen it is about $70 more then the high end Ipad, which seems fair. But they really should have provided a different version for less. If the WiFi version comes out at the rumored prices ($539-$550) that will beat the 16g Wifi Ipad – in my opinion.

    So in the end you should actually use the Xoom for more then 30 seconds before coming to a final conclusion. I see the only reason to hold off on buying one is to see if the price comes down or to wait for a WiFi only Version.

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