Ok, I did my usual thing the other day where I started penning a feature and ran out of time/space/<insert excuse> and now find myself writing “part 2”. If I really wanted to cover my bum, I’d suggest that I’ve intentionally split the feature into two easily digestible chunks. Yes, let’s go with that.
So, yeah, these are tablets we’d like to see do well in the interest of competition. It remains to be seen if anyone can touch the iPad. Apple has freakin’ nailed it, and as far as Joe Average is concerned, the iPad is the tablet. Ask your non-technical friends; I guarantee they’ll struggle to name a single tablet other than the iPad.
It’s a sad state of affairs, really. The weighty 730g Motorola Xoom isn’t quite the “iPad Killer” many predicted in January, HTC appears to have mis-fired with the over-priced 7in Gingerbread-running Flyer and is already queuing up the 10in Honeycomb-rocking Puccini, and then there’s the BlackBerry PlayBook. Ahem.
I’m not saying there aren’t any decent tablets out there, but in terms of commercial success, this was supposed to be the year the iPad got an absolute kicking. Alas…
Anyway, let’s crack on with this list thingy. Here are another couple of tablets we hope – against hope – will set the tablet world alight.
When the Folio 100 was pulled from shelves weeks after release, the last thing anyone expected was a swaggering return from Tosh, complete with a teaser video that boldly implied: “This tablet is better than the iPad.”
It was all very exciting. A 10.1in display, front and rear cameras (2MP/5MP), a replaceable battery, three ports (HDMI, USB and mini-USB), Honeycomb, “the full web – even Flash” (ouch), and a choice of six colours. Brilliant.
That was back in January, so the Toshiba Thrive is already out, right? Wrong. Ok, it’s now out in the States (just), but we’re still waiting for a UK release date. Bah.
The Toshiba Thrive comes with 8GB, 16GB or 32GB storage. According to Amazon.com, the 16GB model is $479, a tad cheaper than the 16GB iPad 2, however the 32GB variant is $619.99, slightly more expensive than the iPad 2 equivalent. Hmm. We won’t be surprised if Tosh goes for same-as-the-iPad-2 pricing over here, whenever it decides to show up.
In the meantime, check out the trailer at thetoshibatablet.com. It’s much the same as it was back in January, though they’ve now discarded the name Toshiba Tablet (as well as the Toshiba ANT and Toshiba Regza) and settled on Thrive.
Have we ever written so much about a device we know nothing about officially? The iPad 3 and iPhone 5, I guess. But while internet speculation is often focused on specs and such like, Amazon’s tablets are somewhat unique in that there’s muchos talk about the book giant’s potential as a brand.
Back in March, Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps suggested that the iPad’s rivals had “fatally flawed product strategies”, and that Amazon “could create a compelling Android- or Linux-based tablet offering easy access to Amazon’s storefront (including its forthcoming Android app store) and unique Amazon features like one-click purchasing, Amazon Prime service, and its recommendations engine.”
Amazon has already struck gold with its Kindle, and a tablet is now seemingly inevitable. However, don’t expect to get 30 hours of use on one charge with your Amazon tablet.
There are two models rumoured to be in the works, namely the 10in quad-core Hollywood, and 7in dual-core Coyote.
Can Amazon punch Apple in the privates? Fingers crossed.