Wednesday, February 16, 2011

HARDWARE: Patience Might Be Coming To An End

But not because my native lack of patience is rising to the fore. In fact, I WILL wait patiently for a little while longer. But not much longer. Cuz the tablet of my dreams will soon be coming to the Castle of Confusion to join my merry little band of computers.

The tablet wars reached another level with the Mobile World Congress over in Barcelona the past week. I'm starting to think that there is a winner and it's name is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The folks at and seem to be the go-to guys on tablets these days and I was amused at one review of the 10.1 earlier this week. The things the reviewer loved about the pad, I'm pretty sure I'll love too. Things like light weight, great screen, grippy back surface, pure Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). The things the reviewer was dubious about, are things that'll make me almost as happy. Cheap plasticy back? Did I mention light weight and easy to grip? Plain Honeycomb, making it hard to differentiate between it and the other tablets running plain unadorned Honeycomb? Means less trashing of the crapware that comes with some devices, then doesn't it? No stand like some of the 7in tablets have? Well, I have a stand that will fit it. Less than nine hours of battery life? Other than March Madness, I won't be staring it for anything like that long. And while watching the college hoops extravaganza, I will be tethered to a wall socket. So, not so much of a problem. In fact, I couldn't find a thing in either their pro OR con list that had me debating the merits of the 10.1. IT IS THE TABLET I WANT TO BUY.

Heck, even the well known issues with Samsung not updating their android versions on their phones promptly (or at all) isn't an issue. I want the WiFi version. Plus, I'm betting Google's iron hand on having unadulterated Honeycomb out of the box means updates won't be an issue at all. Actually, I'm pretty happy Google's taking away some of the artsy-fartsy interface issues. I trust Google about as much as anybody in the computer business these days. Which is, not much, but more than most.

Now, having said that, I still don't know when it will be available for me to purchase. March is barely possible, but I'm not holding my breath. Though, I am heartened by the fact that Samsung got the Galaxy Tab 7in tablet out last year, it being the only realistic Apple iPad contender that saw the light over here in 2010. Too small for my needs, but it existed, whereas just about everybody else was producing promises of 'Next Year,' to anybody who wanted a tablet but didn't want Apple's interference in their lives. Like me. And Apple's understandable, but still odious, cash grab of a 30 per cent vig on just about everything under their purview makes my decision to go ABA (Anything But Apple) is a long-term smart decision.

I'm not going to lie about the fact that the Viewsonic Viewpad has a lot of interest because of it's ability to run Windows PLUS Android. Might be a bit heavy for the familiarity. And I've watched the development of the Adam from NotionInk almost from conception. If it's supply wasn't already bought up until Spring, I might already own one. Motorola was first out of the gate with Honeycomb, but that weight might be a killer. Still, in a desert of choices, the water bringer's flaws get overlooked. And everybody raved about the User Experience with the initial Xoom demos.

Right now, if push came to shove, I'd rate the chances of owning any particular tablet like this:
[51%] Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
[18%] NotionInk Adam 
[14%] Viewsonic Viewpad 10 Pro         
[09%] Motorola Xoom           
[08%] Other               
[00%] Apple iPad II

The best thing about Patience? Some times it pays off.

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