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MSI Will Launch iPad Alternative 756

Posted by kdawson
from the breaking-down-the-walls dept.
itwbennett writes "Underwhelmed by the iPad? Don't give up on tablets just yet, says blogger Peter Smith. MSI has a tablet coming in the second half of 2010 that measures up on price and size and addresses a lot of the iPad's most noted shortcomings. 'The iPad runs iPhone OS while the MSI runs Android,' writes Smith. 'That means the MSI will multitask of course, and Flash support in Android should be a given by launch time (though that isn't certain). It has a camera. It's running on an Nvidia Tegra2 chip which Ars Technica suggests puts it on par with the iPad's A4 as far as computing horsepower. And of course Android doesn't live in a walled garden.'" The post notes that the MSI device does not support multitouch in its built-in apps. Still, would an Android-powered iPad-alike tempt you?

Update: 01/29 17:58 GMT by KD : Dave Altavilla suggests Hot Hardware's coverage of Asus's recently announced tablet, also based on the Tegra2 chip.
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MSI Will Launch iPad Alternative

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  • by sethstorm (512897) * on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:18AM (#30950576) Homepage

    While Apple may prove that it is indeed possible to put a better-than-TN LCD panel in a small (laptop-like) form factor, MSI would do well to follow the lead on quality.

    That might provoke Lenovo to bring something back to their laptops that has been missing for a while.

    • While Apple may prove that it is indeed possible to put a better-than-TN LCD panel in a small (laptop-like) form factor, MSI would do well to follow the lead on quality.

      Of course, if you really want your tablet to also offer better-than-eInk readability (readable in direct sunlight without a glacial refresh rate)- you can just wait until the Notion Ink Adam [slashgear.com] (the first device with a Pixel Qi display) comes out.

  • Not really (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:18AM (#30950584) Homepage Journal

    I've yet to see a compelling reason to pay more for a tablet. My Acer Aspire [amazon.com] cost less than any tablet I've seen yet but does quite a bit more. The only thing it is missing is the touch component but I have yet to find an app that makes me care.
     
    If someone comes out with a tablet that is prices competitively with notebooks and has the same level of features, I'd think about it more seriously.

    • by dreamchaser (49529) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:22AM (#30950636) Homepage Journal

      You're worried about price/performance ratios and overall utility rather than being cool and popular by jumping on yet another overpriced 'best thing since sliced bread' bandwagon?

      You must be new here...or you must actually have a functioning brain!

      • Re:Not really (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rotide (1015173) on Friday January 29, 2010 @12:18PM (#30951654)

        I'm excited about this announcement. I was also on the "iPad sucks" bandwagon but not necessarily because it's "cool" to hate on Apple.

        To explain.

        I'm in the market for a new portable computer. I've been looking at netbooks, etc. (Currently I do _not_ own a smartphone.)

        Requirements:
        Full web surfing capability. This means, even for all it's evils, Flash capability. Hulu, Netflix, Web TV, etc.

        I don't need gaming, or at least "real" gaming. I don't need it to run Crysis, or even Quake. Some fun puzzles, etc, would be nice.

        Bluetooth support and video camera abilities for video conferencing would be a plus, but not required.

        Basically, when I'm out on vacation, etc, I want to be able to read the news, slashdot, gaming sites, etc. I also want to be able to watch Hulu if I get bored and want to chill to a missed TV show at night. Being able to pay bills/access my bank account is very very handy.

        DVD playing functionality is a plus, but not required (especially since it would eat into battery life). The ability to connect an external drive would be very nice though (portable movie player).

        _No_ _vendor_ _lock_ _in_. No apple store only and no AT&T only.

        WiFi alone is fine by the way. A separate data plan just seems, redundant even if you can use it while outside of WiFi range.

        But again, I don't have a portable computer right now and I don't need a full blown laptop to do what I need. But I do want an open platform that does what I need it to.

        iPad does _not_ fit _my_ bill.
        This new device _might_.
        One of the other "iPad clones" may as well.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jeremy Erwin (2054)

          _No_ _vendor_ _lock_ _in_. No apple store only.

          So how do you write apps for the iPad? Do you have to get your builds approved by the Apple Store before you can test them?

    • Re:Not really (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:27AM (#30950736) Homepage

      For about $79.00 and a couple of hours of work you can make your Acer Aspire one touchscreen. I found a kit on ebay and made it fit.

      it's not hard. give you touch which is actually really nice considering how crappy trackpad pointing is.

    • Re:Not really (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AnotherShep (599837) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:30AM (#30950788)
      Y'know, I love my netbook, but there are some times that it really just doesn't do it for me. Like in a yaris, at night, while someone else is driving down a gravel road. The position you're in is uncomfortable. The keyboard is awkward. The trackpad is tiny and useless when you're bouncing around.

      It's not always how much something does, it's how easy it is to use. I'm going to be watching this very closely.
      • That's when I'd be using my phone and annoyed with anything larger - though for me personally even that would have to be kept very brief as I get sick in an automobile if I don't look out the windows.

      • by Alinabi (464689) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:56AM (#30951240)

        Like in a yaris, at night, while someone else is driving down a gravel road.

        Then buy a Hummer.

      • Re:Not really (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kozz (7764) on Friday January 29, 2010 @03:31PM (#30954438)

        Y'know, I love my netbook, but there are some times that it really just doesn't do it for me. Like in a yaris, at night, while someone else is driving down a gravel road. The position you're in is uncomfortable. The keyboard is awkward. The trackpad is tiny and useless when you're bouncing around.

        That seems like a pretty high bar. Tiny uncomfortable vehicle, at night, on a bumpy gravel road? It could be that this is one of those times that a person puts the computing devices away. Under those conditions, it may also be difficult to even read a paperback.

    • Touch is just nice (Score:4, Informative)

      by slim (1652) <john@hartnup3.14.net minus pi> on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:30AM (#30950792) Homepage

      Touch interfaces are nice. And multi touch is nicer.

      I had to go back from a touchscreen TomTom satnav to a non-touchscreen Garmin -- it just felt unwieldy.

      Once I'd used an iPod Touch for a while, I kept wanting to pinch-zoom the map on the TomTom.

      There are certain things that just feel nice with mult-touch, and it also saves space by doing away with a trackpad.

      As a frivolous example - a game like Crayon Physics will be tremendously more satisfying on a touch tablet, than when played with a mouse. But things like photo browsers, drawing apps, etc. will also benefit.

      They need to solve the problem of so many things needing text entry, though. Decent handwriting recognition is surely the answer.

      • Android seems to be moving along nicely solving the text entry problem with voice recognition. I think that is the way to go in the long run.

    • by Locutus (9039) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:33AM (#30950854)
      tablets build muscles by requiring you to hold the tablet out in front of you and to hold your arms up to the screen when doing any interacting with the device. So it burns calories and is good for you. Something a laptop or netbook won't do because they sit on your lap, desk, or coffee table and you rest your hands on them when using them.

      LoB
    • by poetmatt (793785)

      you have a good point, and I hope MSI covers it: AKA, let's see this thing be priced well under the apple price (say $300-$400 range). I could definitely see that happening.

      Really, it'd be nice to listen to pandora while doing other things. However, it's still all going to be down to the implementation and/or is anything new/significant for it. If it has flash and firefox mobile, that would actually be significant for a tablet.

    • by sribe (304414)

      The only thing it is missing is the touch component but I have yet to find an app that makes me care.

      Gosh, could it possibly that you've never yet found an app that's designed for touch on a device that doesn't support touch???

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by geekoid (135745)

      It's fucking differnt then a tablet with a different purpose.

      You don't ahve a need for a flat computer with a big screen? fine, but don't compare it to a device in a different market space.

      It's like looking at a boat and bitching it doesn't have wheels like your car.

      For the Eskimos out there, note I said wheels, not tires.

      Your device costs 461, the iPad costs 500 dollars. It has abilities and features the Acer doesn't have, but like I said, thats a stupid comparison.

    • Re:Not really (Score:4, Insightful)

      by molarmass192 (608071) on Friday January 29, 2010 @12:25PM (#30951770) Homepage Journal
      Ignoring the fact that a netbook isn't a tablet, there's still a great deal of difference between the two beyond the similar price point:

      Acer:
      $420
      3 lbs
      6 hour battery life
      8 in x 11.2 in x 1.18 in
      No touchscreen
      Plastic case with lower coefficient of friction

      iPad:
      $499
      1.6 lbs
      10 hour battery life
      7.5 x 9.5 in x 0.5 in
      Touchscreen
      Aluminum case with higher coefficient of friction

      The fact that the iPad is half the weight, half the thickness, and has almost 2x the battery life is not something you can easily ignore in a device who's primary goal is to be portable. To setup a litmus test, try to argue that using a netbook to reply to an email while walking through an airport is less awkward than using a touchscreen tablet in the same situation.
    • Re:Not really (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rindeee (530084) on Friday January 29, 2010 @12:31PM (#30951858)
      I was waiting with baited breath to see what Apple was going to deliver. What a letdown. I typically love what Apple puts out there. I was fully expecting something I could load up with whatever open source software I wanted. Something I could do video iChat on. Etc. After the big release thing I ordered an ASUS Eee PC T91MT. 9" multi-touch screen (yeah, Windows 7, but hey...), 3-5hr. battery life, load whatever software I want, built-in web cam for VTC, not one, but TWO SDHC slots, blah blah blah. Oh, and a real keyboard. I dunno...for my money, the ASUS seems like a much better buy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mosb1000 (710161)

        One thing to keep in mind with these ultra-portable devices is that it's bad to pass judgment on them before you've held one in you hands and used it for a while. Remember the initial response to the iPod (no wireless, less space than Nomad, lame.).

        People who were expecting something other than an enlarged iPhone miss the point of the device. The point is that an iPhone's functionality can be significantly improved for many applications simply by making it larger. Apple's been watching people do things

  • Hope they can get it to have multi-touch, at least in the "euro" version we could all purchase via the internet. And I would not mind one running WinMo7 if that think ever comes out (maybe they're waiting for Duke Nukem Forever).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Why would you choose Windows Mobile over Android ?

      Not to sound like a OSS or Google fanboy, I really am serious, what does WinMo provide that Android lacks ?

      • Not to sound like a OSS or Google fanboy, I really am serious, what does WinMo provide that Android lacks ?

        As WinMo is a fairly old platform, and had decent backwards compatibility all along (not as good as desktop Windows, but better than many others in the same niche), it had a few, by now very mature, pieces of software developed for it. Sometimes, those aren't available for any other platform (or they're only also available for S60, another old-timer). It's possible to get hooked onto one such thing, and stick to the platform just because only it lets you run your favorite app.

  • On Par? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheKidWho (705796) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:25AM (#30950680)

    Highly doubt the Tegra 2 is on par with the A4, unless the A4 has a dual-core Cortex A9... Info suggests the A4 is only a single core Cortex A9 which would make the Tegra2 at least 2x more powerful. Not to mention Nvidia vs ARM based graphics core.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968)

      Highly doubt the Tegra 2 is on par with the A4, unless the A4 has a dual-core Cortex A9... Info suggests the A4 is only a single core Cortex A9 which would make the Tegra2 at least 2x more powerful. Not to mention Nvidia vs ARM based graphics core.

      Absolutely. Ars is a bit of an Apple fansite. Check out Anand's discussion for more reasonable analysis (Anand uses a Mac for his main personal PC, too, but he's not affected by the RTD), suggesting as you say that the iPad most likely has less than half the CPU power of Tegra 2. Among other things, Tegra 2 also enables 1080p decoding of h.264 content, while Apple's A4 can only handle 720p and is locked to some annoying containers, meaning you'll have to transcode. GPU performance on the Tegra 2 is most

      • Re:On Par? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:47AM (#30951092)

        "most likely has", "is most likely several times that", "power consumption is also claimed to be several times lower than"

        Oh! the facts!

        Fact is: no official info has been given about the internals of the A4, only rumors. And yet you come to the conclussion that the Tegra 2 is faster both GPU and CPU wise, and yet
        consumes less power. And you criticize sites of being affected by a RTD -did you mean RDF-? maybe you are also in some kind of RDF yourself, of another kind.

        When a Tegra 2 tablet is released you will be able to compare the systems. Until them saying one is better than the other is just speculation. Well, in fact it is quite easy to compare
        them right now: they have the same performance and the same power consumption: 0, as you can not get either one.

      • by sribe (304414)

        Hmm, perhaps the iPad is said to only display 720p video because that's how big its display is???

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hazydave (96747)

        The Tegra2 is pretty hot stuff... and cool... average power draw of 500mW. Seriously...

        nVidia has done a very nice job on this. Consider that it can play back H.264 in 1080p without using much CPU.. the decoding engine was designed not only to offload the CPUs, but to do the decode using far, far less power than a CPU decode would. There's also a 1080p encoding engine on-chip, so any Tegra2 device with a video camera should be capable of realtime H.264 HD video capture.

        The Cortex A9s are like the A8s, but w

  • Maybe.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mark19960 (539856) <Mark@freequ[ ].net ['est' in gap]> on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:25AM (#30950684) Homepage Journal

    I think it has more promise than the iWidgets do.
    It's a more open platform which IMHO gives it more potential.

  • by aussersterne (212916) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:25AM (#30950700) Homepage

    It's not about "do more things," it's about "do very few things better."

    That's why Apple wins.

    My wife asked about the iPad last night (she owns a netbook right now) and now she's drooling over one. Why? It doesn't have "files." It doesn't have "windows." She won't have to worry about "flash drives." And so on. She was so excited about all the things it didn't have (and that she therefore didn't have to worry about) that she was disappointed when I told her they weren't in the Apple Store in Manhattan yet.

    Meanwhile, the geeks are running around blasting Apple products for all the things they "don't have" and recommending complex alternatives.

    That's why Apple is making $$$ these days. Because they're removing 60 percent of the features and making the remaining 40 percent configuration free and so polished they make your eyes hurt.

    • Obligatory Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] comic.
    • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:33AM (#30950858)
      I'd mod you up if I could.

      I have an MSI Wind (a hackintosh) that I love but it is not the same thing as a tablet. Too many people view a tablet as "a computer that is just the screen." Apple has gambled (and I am increasingly thinking they're right on target) that a tablet is not a computer - it's a computing device. If you want a computer, you'll use a laptop or desktop. Those already exist and there are hundreds of choices available. A tablet, however, is an ultra-mobile device capable of very specific computing tasks.

      In short, I agree - it's about doing few things better. That's why I think the iPad (hate that name) is going to do pretty well as it differentiates itself from the deluge of "computer in tablet form" offerings from other companies. It's not a computer in tablet form - it's a tablet.
    • by eepok (545733) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:36AM (#30950912) Homepage

      While I agree with your analysis as to why the Apple iDevices sell so well, I have to state that "the geeks" aren't interested simply in buying from the company that has the best business model... we just want something that works the way we want. We couldn't care less if our purchase includes us in part of a smug team of iTards or anti-Mac... we just want to know if this tablet has the features we require. Example:

      I don't need a camera.
      I need multi-tasking.
      I prefer to have a modable interface to save CPU/Battery power (less is more)
      I want an SD or USB port
      I need 3G
      I need a text and email program.
      I need it to be less than $600.
      I don't care what anyone else wants nor how successful the company will be (or if it "wins" in the tablet arena)
      etc...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by adisakp (705706)
        A couple points.

        I don't need a camera.

        Skype/VOIP etc is going to be enabled over 3G as well as WIFI. A simple front-mounted camera for video chat support would have been nice.

        I need multi-tasking.

        Most people are not going to do serious multitasking on a tablet - but they will occasionally switch from one app to check something else out and then switch back. If you can suspend your app *AND* return to your previous state in it easily, that should be good enough. It's the lack of consistent "return to previous state" for iPhone apps that make t

    • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:39AM (#30950952) Homepage

      Meanwhile, the geeks are running around blasting Apple products for all the things they "don't have" and recommending complex alternatives.

      Wait, so multitasking is a "complex alternative"? Please.

      Yes, Apple's tablet is meant to be a computing appliance. But ffs, no fucking user-level multitasking? Christ, people bitched and complained about PalmOS and it's lack of multitasking, and now you're cheering it on like it's some kind of feature. It's fucking baffling.

      That and the fact that the iPad is a completely closed off system puts it off my list. No, I don't believe a tablet must be a general purpose computer. But I do believe that I should at least be able to install what I want on it from whatever source I like, and I should be able to run more than one fucking application at the same damn time.

      • with my wife hating multitasking. She never closes a thing (tab, application, etc.) and invariably runs out of memory. Often, there are dozens of background processes. Her hard drive starts to thrash. Things grind to a halt. I get called.

        I've tried to explain about things taking up memory, the problem of lots of background applications, the problem of never closing applications. She doesn't want to know what memory even IS. "Why is the computer so stupid," she wants to know, "that it can't figure out that I

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          d) Apple's gonna continue to make bank selling devices to people just like her.

          Agreed. However, this is a geek community. We like things like multi-tasking and open platforms. This article isn't about whether Apple will continue to make a ton of money selling intentionally simplified/restricted devices to the masses. It's about an alternative for us. Geeks don't "miss the point" about certain Apple products. Some of us just don't like them because they don't have what we want (or they cost more than their equivalents) in that kind of device.

        • by Shivetya (243324) on Friday January 29, 2010 @12:30PM (#30951840) Homepage Journal

          Of course I would not expect you tell your wife that.

          Really, your wife is really really ignorant or just really good at selling you on her buying a new toy.

          I know lots of people who are bad with computers, I certainly do my best to make sure they don't touch one

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Does your wife get into a car and complain that it doesn't drive itself? Or that back a few miles ago it didn't even bother steering around that poor pedestrian, just plowed right through?

          Congratulations on b). Picking beauty over intelligence probably was a mistake. Which is why /. doesn't care about your wife.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by torkus (1133985)

          Funny you should mention that...OSX is actually worse at leaving things running unintentionally :)

          However with the iPad when she wants to go check that website while she's writing something...oh...wait, your document closed? Your browser isn't on the page you spent 15 minutes drilling down to?

          No offense to you or your wife, but if she wants to use a computer she needs to learn how. If she refuses, she perpetuates her frustration when things don't work as she things they should. If she really never *ever*

          • by aussersterne (212916) on Friday January 29, 2010 @12:48PM (#30952162) Homepage

            Every iPhone app I have (yes, that's the iPhone famous for "not multitasking") stores complete state information when it exits.

            Safari comes back with all the same tabs and windows open. It doesn't have to reload them. It is scrolled to exactly the same place I was at. Partially filled out forms are still partially filled out.

            The document I was working on in DocsToGo is exactly the way it looked (with the cursor in exactly the same place).

            It's COMPLETELY state-stable and FAST, there's no "saving state" when you switch applications, because they store their state continuously as it evolves.

            I am a power Linux user. I HAVE a home-built hardware RAID sitting here on my desktop, along with a triple-head display.

            I run from the updates-testing repos on Fedora. I have patched my own radeon_drv.so Xorg module to fix the infamous compositing corruption bug (for those who care, when doing copy-from-screen, first do a test to see if the bitmap being copied is smaller than 32 pixels; if it is, don't copy-from, because the bitmap hasn't made it into the buffer yet to be copied back from).

            I'm the sort you'd think would be bugged as hell with "no multitasking."

            Only I'm totally not. As far as I'm concerned, for an interface on a tiny screen (where you're unlikely to have multiple windows onscreen at once), perfect stateful information is damn close to multitasking.

            The only thing that can't be approximated is background processes (i.e. start it and let it compute while I work on something else), but it's not like I'm going to do a 20-day render on my iPhone, is it? Nor on my iPad.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Abcd1234 (188840)

              Only I'm totally not. As far as I'm concerned, for an interface on a tiny screen (where you're unlikely to have multiple windows onscreen at once), perfect stateful information is damn close to multitasking.

              1990 called and wants it's Palm Pilot back.

              If people were happy about this mode of operation, they wouldn't have bitched about PalmOS for the last two decades.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Abcd1234 (188840)

          Say what you want, but a) she's my wife, b) she's rather beautiful, c) it's absolutely impossible to even try to say "okay, let me explain to you why..." and d) Apple's gonna continue to make bank selling devices to people just like her.

          And then when she says "Why can't my stupid email program stay open while I'm browsing the web on this thing", your answer will be "well, you said you hated multitasking... now lie in the bed you made".

          The simple fact is, everyone multitasks *every day* with their computer.

          • by TheNumberless (650099) on Friday January 29, 2010 @02:34PM (#30953666)

            And then when she says "Why can't my stupid email program stay open while I'm browsing the web on this thing", your answer will be "well, you said you hated multitasking... now lie in the bed you made".

            I can tell you've never used an iPhone. If I'm composing a message in the Mail app, and move to something else, when I return to Mail, the application state is preserved perfectly. The partially composed message is still there with all of its text, the cursor is in the same place, and the keyboard is still up. The same is true of every Apple app and every good third party app I've ever used. And start-up time on these apps is close enough to instant that I don't notice them starting up. From a usability standpoint, this approach is identical to multitasking. From a technical standpoint, I would argue that it's *superior* to multitasking, because the Mail app (and everything else you're using) isn't perpetually running in the background, using memory and precious mobile battery life to do nothing but preserve its state.

            The only really compelling reason I've ever seen anyone give for exposing the multitasking capabilities of the OS to third party applications is that it would make it possible to listen to music from a source other than the iPod app (which can already run in the background) while doing something else. That would be cool. But you have to recognize that there's a design trade off here that goes beyond "Apple is evil". If background process abilities were exposed to third party apps, than for every one that used it to accomplish something desirable that couldn't be accomplished any other way, there would be a thousand written by lazy developers that would sit in the background for no reason, killing memory and battery life. And many people who don't know any better (people who are, let's face it, the majority of the market for any mobile device that's had a non-trivial amount of sales) would blame Apple for the iPhone's cruddy performance.

            I honestly prefer Apple's approach as an end-user. Luckily android and probably Palm aren't going anywhere, so luckily there is a reasonably healthy market for different approaches to be evaluated. Get a Nexus (or whatever) and let me know if battery life/memory consumption with a large number of third party apps isn't as bad as I suspect.

    • by langelgjm (860756) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:43AM (#30951012) Journal

      You make a valid point - Slashdot is not the market segment Apple is aiming at with the iPad. Rather, it's the woman in my class whom I overhead saying "I was thinking about getting a Kindle, but now I might get the iPad - it looks cooler and can do more stuff" or my buddy whom I saw last night saying "The iPad looks so cool, and it's CHEAP! [for an Apple product]"

      Problem is, I pointed out to my friend that since the iPad lacks flash, he won't be able to watch Hulu on it. He was very disappointed to hear this. Unless, of course, Hulu releases an iPhone/iPad app. There was a rumor about that last year, but nothing solid so far. ATT complains that the iPhone is already killing their network, think they will really want to let Hulu on the iPhone? How will Apple feel about Hulu as a potential competitor to iTunes? Yeah, there are other streaming apps, but still.

    • by tzhuge (1031302)

      I get the feeling that people are put off by the fact that the iPad is not what they expected. It's kind of funny that prior to Apple's announcement there was commentary about how no one has been able to make tablet computers successful, and now after the announcement, when it's clear that Apple made the 'big iPod' instead, there's all kinds of complaints that they didn't build a tablet computer.

      So I'm agreeing with you and taking it further. I don't think (many, or at least the vocal ones) geeks have even

    • by timster (32400)

      Yeah, I see a lot of people going on with the "can't replace my laptop because" sort of theme, and I'm surprised that it's so unclear to people what this is for. The iPad is a coffee table computer, mostly something that will sit in a living room/conference room for when someone wants to check their email or the news or whatever for a couple minutes.

    • I'd bet you the iPad won't be a huge commercial success. It's not just geeks that are missing the point here. Most people other then Steve Jobs and your wife seem to be missing the point. That's a lot of money to fork over for a device that won't find a lot of use.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      ... now she's drooling over one. Why? It doesn't have "files." It doesn't have "windows." She won't have to worry about "flash drives." And so on. She was so excited about all the things it didn't have (and that she therefore didn't have to worry about) that she was disappointed when I told her they weren't in the Apple Store in Manhattan yet.

      You just wait till she actually uses one for an extended period of time. I strongly suspect that she'll suddenly find out that all those "complicated things" such as files and multitasking were actually very handy to have.

  • Nobody needs to pay for a camera in what is suppose to be a display/input unit. Keep it simple and cheap. Heck, if they really want to be inventive, make it work with the Cameras in any other android phone. That way you attach your phone to a stand, plug it into your apad, and then have the camera stream to the apad.
    • The primary reason stated for not putting a camera was the viewing angle from a device located beneath your chin, that is on your lap or in your cradling arm. IMHO, double-chin is platform independent.

      The only way around that is to hold the device up in front of your face (NOT!), or having a cool War of the Worlds micro gooseneck. But, then again, if I had one of those, I could thing of far more interesting uses. ;-)
  • by odin84gk (1162545) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:32AM (#30950832)

    Check out 1:12.

    He is scrolling through the pics, he exits out, then tries to open the photos again. Instead of seeing the picture, he sees an error box stating
    "There is not enough memory to load the photo".

    Seems a bit... sad.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:34AM (#30950886)

    Or, actually, the post asks the right question in the wrong place.

    The question is not what'd be popular on Slashdot - we're not representative of the wider population by almost any stretch of the imagination. Of course Slashdotters want multitasking, want to be able to install ssh, want the option to run their own web server on the thing. Slashdotters will want the darn tablet to support FLAC and Ogg Vorbis/Theora.

    But the things that'd make this really popular with Slashdotters are not the same things that'll make a tablet a commercial success. It's pretty obvious the majority of people don't care about multitasking (as long as they can listen to their tunes while they do other things - which is true of the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, and most any other device), nor about Apple's "walled garden". What they do care about is the availability of the apps they want and that the features the tablet offers are easy to use and work well.

    • by eepok (545733)

      The majority of people don't want multi-tasking? Do they have the option to use it and choose not to? Because I was under the impression that the "majority of people" don't even have such an option on their smart phones.

  • by zmollusc (763634)

    A tablet might be nifty. I will get one when they have either an sd card slot or a little compartment to put an USB stick in. I want to be able to work with the music/video/text/whatever files that are on the removable media, no 'importing' crap.
    And if i have wifi and a browser, i need enough flash support to watch Weebl and Bob.

    And for blimey's sake, make the screen scratch resistant.

  • No multitouch like the droid doesn't have multitouch (the droid certainly does support multitouch)? The default browser doesn't (other browers and apps on the device do) and it's up to each app to support it.

    Or, in this case, is there really no multitouch?
  • I love the idea of these kinds of devices. I could definitely see myself having breakfast and reading the newspaper on one of these things. It'd also be nice for taking freeform notes. However, at the end of the day I really need even a basic computing device running something that will let me get my job done. Namely: * I need to be able to read my corporate email. From an Exchange server. Preferably using Outlook. * That probably means I need a VPN client. Even if I don't need a VPN client for Out
  • Are there good Word Processors/Spreadsheets/Presentation apps on android yet? Seriously asking. I'm a big Pages fan and am really happy to see they were able to put together an iPad version; and the single-record entry views in Numbers are one of those "duh" ideas that would probably be really useful.

    Please don't post to tell me about google docs -- at the very least a "real" word processor should allow more than web core fonts, and should let you set line spacing, tab stops per paragraph, and use named s

  • "It has a camera. It's running on an Nvidia Tegra2 chip which Ars Technica suggests puts it on par with the iPad's A4 as far as computing horsepower"

    What a stupid measurement. A4 is superior for this environment. 300 mw 1GHz. 45nm. I will be might surprise if the Tegra2 can be put into a similiar sized device and still get 10 hours.

  • I'm content with my own personal technology, but I am invested in some of these companies, so I look at it from that standpoint.

    I see the big problem with both the MSI tablet and the iPad is that both are trying to be everything to everyone. Instead of showing how great the games or "Brushes" or the eBook reader are on the iPad for 30%+ of the launch event, I would have liked to have seen how Apple plans to expand into markets that have been relatively closed to them in the past.

    Medicine: the iPad is uni
  • iPad vs $300 Netbook (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Friday January 29, 2010 @12:03PM (#30951344) Homepage Journal

    1.0 Ghz processor versus 1.66 Ghz processor
    128 MB of RAM (assumed like iPhone, not explicitly stated in specs) versus 1024 MB of RAM
    16 GB of storage versus 160 GB of storage
    No webcam versus a webcam
    No keyboard versus a keyboard
    No Flash veruss Flash
    No multi-tasking versus multi-tasking
    No Windows or Linux apps versus install whatever you want
    $500 versus $300.

    The iPad does have a touchscreen. Does that offset the $200 and all other disadvantages?

  • Target Market (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday January 29, 2010 @03:25PM (#30954358)

    One thing that geeks here on slashdot don't seem to understand is the concept of "target market". Often times they assume that just because a product doesn't have some geek feature that they would like, they think the product cannot possibly succeed in the larger population in general. Geeks here on slashdot want certain features. Some of them want more control and configurability. These are not bad things; but geeks here have to understand that they are not everyone. General consumers want different things.

    Where Apple has succeeded in the past, contrary to the dire predictions of geeks, is that Apple does not design their products for geeks. They design their products for a target audience. Most of their products are designed for average consumers.

    MP3 players existed before Apple. When Apple entered the market, there were two distinct categories: large HD players with GB capacities that were the size of portable CD players and smaller pocket-sized flash RAM players that could hold at most 128MB. While the iPod didn't have all the technical features that geeks here wanted (some of which were not included in other players for years), Apple focused on other aspects which appealed to average consumers. First it was only slightly larger than the flash RAM players but could nearly as much as the larger players. Second, to get music onto a player back then was a pain which required the patience and know-how of a geek. You had to find a ripper and then an encoder which was separate of the program that managed loading the music onto the player. Apple worked on making the music transfer as simple as possible. iTunes did all three.

    Years ago, Apple released the MacBook Air. This product was different from other Apple products as it was designed for a different target audience than the average consumer. The MacBook is designed for average consumers; the Air is designed for road warriors who need a lighter computer and some computing needs. But for most slashdot geeks, since it wasn't powerful to decode the human genome instanteously and at the same time, weighed more than a feather, they deemed it a failure.

    In 2007, Apple released the iPhone. It was a smartphone designed for average consumers. Unlike the Blackberry, the iPhone was not intended for business or corporate users. Again, the exlusion of a long list of technical features slashdot geeks wanted meant it was doomed to fail.

    Some of the same criticisms are being repeated again with the iPad:

    • "I can't modify anyway I want therefore it is doomed to fail.
    • "I can't use it to play Crysis therefore it is doomed to fail.
    • "I can't use it like a general purpose computer therefore it is doomed to fail.

    Here's where I see this product's market: Those who want more capabilities than a Kindle but not as much as a laptop. Some examples that come of the top of my head: School lessons, digital magazines, personal media players. Basically, the iPad is an appliance not a computer.

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