I have watched with keen interest the activities in the tablet market. My interest in this form factor sector was particularly pricked by the kindle, way back 2009. As I type this write up on my Apple iPad, my interest has been further deepened and i now “see” the reasons for the fanatical followership for devices of this form factor.
I must confess I was not very impressed with the iPad, especially as I was coming from a background of owning an iPod touch. I belonged to the school of those who viewed the iPad as a blown up iPod touch with limited “everyday use” capabilities. However, I still wanted to own one of these devices, though not necessarily an iPad, more because I wanted to “feel among” than anything else.
Then I started the search for what I will term my “ideal tablet”, a device that would contain, at least, most of the following features;
- Screen with E-Ink Technology (Easy on the eyes)
- 3G Modem (For enhanced mobility)
- 9.7 inch screen (To have a good view of my tons of PDFs)
- Good Browser.
All the 7 inch readers and tablets did not fit the bill as either their PDF handling was poor or the screen estate of the device was not big enough to view PDF files without having to scroll or zoom the screen. So also were the “Chinese” or grey tablets, like the ones being peddled my the Telco company, Starcomms
My first consideration was for the Amazon Kindle DX. But at $379, I felt the device was overpriced for the features it possessed. Also, it lacked adequate support from Amazon who seem to have relegated the device in favor of the Kindle 3. Lastly, it’s limited browser and 3G modem were not adequate to suit my purpose.
Grudgingly, I had to admit that the iPad was still top of the pack and in all fairness, the only thing I had against the device was its screen which, in my own opinion, was not very easy on the eyes.
The release of the Motorola Xoom brought some hope but its high price tag, buggy Android “honeycomb” OS and limited apps made it an unworthy pretender to the throne as the flagship tablet, a position still being held by the Apple iPad. Rumors of the iPad 2 was also rife at this point with different unconfirmed specs being touted for the device, no thanks to the secrecy surrounding its development.
By the time the iPad 2 was released, the only differences it had with the earlier iteration was;
- Front facing and rear cameras for still pictures and video calling.
- Faster processor chip
- Slimmer form factor.
It is a fact that the camera was meant to be included in the first generation iPad, but for reasons known to Apple, it was left out. Unfortunately, the cameras are not of very good quality.Worst still, video calling is only between apple products like the Mac, iPhone and the iPad. How relevant will that be to us folks in Nigeria?
While I expect the iPad 3 to be revolutionary, the iPad 2 was a bit of a disappointment. Personally, i think the iPad 2 is all the first generation iPad should have been in the first instance and it offers nothing revolutionary.
This informed my decision to place an order for the first generation iPad and not the iPad 2. Of course, the $100 price reduction was also a big influence on my decision. The 16GB, 3G variant cost me about $600, including $40 tax charged by apple plus shipping and handling fees via hayzees.
Like most “toys”, it can be addictive but i am not complaining. All i can say is, “I am absolutely loving it”.