I must say, I am getting more and more intrigued by current tablet offerings. I do not own a tablet device, nor have I found the need to own one in the last year when iPad mayhem took the world by storm [sic]. I generally find them a bit awkward to use and have yet to see any truly brilliant apps take advantage of the unique tablet affordances.
I think it's odd that something like the HTC EVO 4G phone comes with a built-in kickstand but much larger tablets that actually need stands to use properly don't. I have taken at least 4 flights in the last year where I happened to be sitting right next to someone trying to prop up an iPad for 5 hours to watch a movie hands-free, but I digress.
Apple will unleash the iPad 2 on March 2nd while Motorola will release their Android 3.0 Honeycomb-powered 10.1-inch tablet tomorrow. While there are no locked-down details about the iPad 2, other than the typical lighter, slimmer, faster and more cameras rumors, the Xoom specs are out in the wild:
- Price: $600 subsidized via Verizon ($20/mon for 1GB over a 2 year contract), or $800 unsubsidized
- 1.6 lbs
- NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core 1GHz processor
- 1GB (DDR2?) RAM
- 1280 x 800 resolution 10.1-inch (160ppi) capacitive touch display
- 32GB internal storage, expandable via microSDHC card slot
- 2MP front camera, 5MP rear camera with dual LED flash
- Mic and stereo speakers
- 802.11n + Personal Hotspot feature (Verizon-only it appears)
- EVDO rev. A, HSDPA, HSUPA — CDMA 800/1900 with LTE700 4G upgradability later (requires hardware component to be installed, provided free by Verizon but with 4G data plan pricing)
- Bluetooth, GPS, Gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer, E-Compass, magnetometer, barometer, ambient light sensor
- Flash 10.2 support coming sometime after launch
But in the long run, hardware isn't the big issue for me. It's the software and development platform. After the recent ruckus over Apple's App Store updates regarding in-app purchases and subscriptions, I am getting more and more drawn to Android. Here's to the next 6 months and waiting to see some interesting Honeycomb, tablet-optimized apps emerge.