Part of my hesitancy in general has to do with the monthly charges that come with tablets when not using Wi-Fi. It appears to range from $ 15 – $ 25/month depending on usage. I am well aware of iPad’s Wi-Fi connectivity. I am also aware of the geographic limitations of that same connectivity. Having used an iPad a few times it is an impressive piece of technology.
There are alternatives. The most recent effort is from RIM (maker of Blackberry) called ‘Playbook’. The website ‘Digital trends’ has listed a number of them and reviews have been lukewarm. And the cost for a supplemental data plan from Sprint can be $ 30 per month. PC magazine recently did a review of iPad alternatives – http://bit.ly/l2R0yB, There are indeed a number of options but none really that have been deemed a worthy competitor to the iPad as yet.
At Computex in Taipei Tuesday, some new models were introduced. A company called Asustek offered the ‘Padfone’ to be released in time for Christmas. Already there are countless tablets currently on the market – Dell has a ‘Mini 5’, HP the ‘Slate’, Lenovo the ‘U1’, Archos (I had not heard of this) the ‘Archos 9’, Asustek the ‘Eee Pad Transformer’, Acer the ‘Iconia Tab A500’, Gateway has the ‘EC18T’, HTC the ‘Flyer’, Motorola the ‘Xoom’, Samsung has the ‘Galaxy Tab’, and of course Barnes and Noble has been making noise with the ‘Nook’ which is not really a tablet as it only has WiFi connectivity Many of the newer tablets are running on Google’s Android platform. As for other tablets there are more and I could go on but won’t.
Since I still read newspapers (3 of them daily) the idea that I could get them delivered on my tablet is interesting but then I remember that my wife and I both like to share and read the newspaper in the morning (at least when I am not traveling) and tablets are not really ‘sharable’. And subscriptions to iPad content while less expensive than print content are not all that less expensive.
I don’t see myself watching many movies on a tablet – I simply do not have the time nor interest. It could be useful when traveling and a downloaded movie could be played on the hotel television but I am guessing that hotels are on to that idea and will disallow Fire Wire or connection to the television so as not to cannibalize their usurious charges for in-room movies (really – $ 14.99 for a movie in a small hotel room?).
I’ve seen my associates use the iPad to deliver PowerPoint and other presentations and that’s kind of cool as tablets are much lighter and more portable. But I remain on the fence. Will I really use a tablet? Will it be a replacement for a laptop (you can purchase a foldout keyboard for a tablet so there is a way to not have to type on the screen which seems like a big pain in the neck to me)? Or will a tablet purchase add to the technology I lug around – mobile phone, laptop, extra batteries, cords and such?
I think I am getting closer to purchasing a tablet and at this point the iPad still is the clear front runner. It still bugs me that Apple does not support Flash and HTML5 is still not ready for prime time. But until a clear alternative emerges I am likely to watch the tablet game from the sidelines.
Ok all you iPad and other tablet owners – let me know what I am missing.