iPad alternative/rival list.

Bytor65

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 10, 2010
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Canada
It seems every day someone is posting the latest ipad rival/killer/alternative, so why not aggregate them.

IMO a real rival will need:
Quality parts/construction, especially interface hardware: So big (8"+) capacitive multi-touch, non TN screen
Lightweight OS designed for touch: Likely android at this point. But current verision is a bit behind.
Recognizable brand with some computing track record. I see a number of first timers, I expect them all to croak.
Extras to counter Apple HW/SW Polish: SD/USB ports/cameras
Price: Match Apple but include extras or undercut.

I can't spot a leading contender yet, but here is the emerging list.


Windows tablets:
---------------------------------------------------------------
Asus Eee PC convertible T91MT . See it in Action
Archos 9 tablet PC:. See it in Action
Tegra Tech PC Tablet.
HP Slate PC windows. Leading windows contender? 2010, but No Firm date
X9 PC Tablet. See it in Action. This seems to be the source for several would be tablet start ups. Unknown Ship date.

Android tablets:
---------------------------------------------------------------
HP Slate Android Version. Leading Android Contender? But unseen Vapor ATM.
Archos 8 Home tablet. Shipping May.
MSI 10" Android Tablet. 2010, but No Firm date

Tablet touting unique features to stand out from the crowd:
---------------------------------------------------------------
Notion INK Adam. Unique feature: LCD that can shut backlight and work in sun. 2010, but No Firm date
Entourage Edge. Unique feature: Dual screen LCD and E-Ink. Shipping March. Reviewed at wired
Lenovo U1 Hybrid. Unique feature: Sort of a laptop with a removable tablet section. Expensive. Shipping June.
Touch book. Unique feature: Sort of a laptop with a removable tablet section. Cheap. Shipping now, but two month lead time on orders.


Other (smaller screens, oddball OS, limited function).

---------------------------------------------------------------
Dell Mini 5 Tablet/phone. Slickest looking Android yet, but a bit small to be a rival, perhaps future larger version.
JooJoo Net tablet. Accepting preorders, ship date uknown.
Archos 7 MID. Shipping April.
Microsoft Courier. Unique feature: Dual LCD folding screen, Win7mobile OS. Vapor-Computer render.



So what is your leading contender/rival?? My bet is on HP with extensive convertible tablet experience and a quality brand backing. Of course there are no specs, so it can't be critiqued yet and it is still in the race to be number two behind the iPad IMO.
 

marksman

macrumors 603
Jun 4, 2007
5,763
5
I don't think there is a single device that has been announced yet that is/will be a serious contender for the iPad.

The announcements of the first real contenders will come up in the next 3-18 months.
 

bossxii

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2008
1,749
0
Kansas City
Nice list, but after you knock out the 1.6Ghz Atom "netbook" spec'd crowd and those with a desktop OS on them, the list gets pretty short. The Dell mini 5 looks promising if they make a 10" or 12" screen. I've used the Archos 5 and 7. They have their own set of issues why I'll never buy their products again.

The Touchbook looks ok, but still looks lagy and awkward trying to scroll with a stylus and having to deal with menu's to play, go full screen etc... To much work to do a very simple thing. Making things more complicated than they need to be seems counter productive to me. I'd have to pass on that UI, seems dated.

They can build all the hardware in the world, add all the ports they want, until someone refines Android or creates an OS that is as smooth and easy to use at the iPhone OS it's going to be very tough to match it's user experience. I'm sure I'm bias because I've used an iPhone for nearly 3 years but I simply haven't found anything that comes close to how easy it is to use. The Dell mini 5 video's I've seen and the recent one that Engadget purchased and have demo'd shows it has some potential for sure. I have no use for a 5" screen as a primary tablet, so i hope they make larger versions. So far the Dell is the one I'm watching.
 

Bytor65

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 10, 2010
824
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Canada
They can build all the hardware in the world, add all the ports they want, until someone refines Android or creates an OS that is as smooth and easy to use at the iPhone OS it's going to be very tough to match it's user experience. .
I agree, the lists highlights the inadequacy of the alternatives. I don't ever expect any to match they user experience. Apple tends to build slicker hardware, use better screens, and have MUCH better software interface.

But I am a programmer and I would like the option to develop for my device (I don't have a Mac, required to develop iPad apps) that is why I would like to see an Android device emerge that is near the quality. But so far it is pretty disappointing.

I think it will have to come from a top tier player that will work to develop a decent HW package and spend some effort to customize Android. So Dell/HP are the leading contenders IMO. But the Dell is a phone and will probably be comparible in price to 3G versions and maybe even locked to a carrier and is 5". So hurry up HP!
 

4DThinker

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2008
2,033
1
3 lbs.. workman's comp my back is killing me!
3 lbs includes the keyboard. There is a battery in both parts. Take just the tablet/screen and leave the keyboard on your desk for what is likely a 1.5 lb. load. Buy two to get that workman's comp check. ;)
 

ccolaco

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2007
376
15
What about the future release of the Microsoft Courier? That will imo be the biggest competitor to the iPad.
 

Bytor65

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 10, 2010
824
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Canada
What about the future release of the Microsoft Courier? That will imo be the biggest competitor to the iPad.
I added it to the list, even though it seems to exist as renders at the moment.

Also, taking a small screen and putting a big hinge in the middle isn't an improvement. You end up with much less contiguous screen area where it is already precious.

You pretty much ruin it for video watching, and you get something more awkward even for normal e-book reading.

Anything you can do on a hinged dual screen you can do as well or better on software split of a bigger screen.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
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35,323
USA
Funny how weight wasn't an issue for the macbook or macbook pro until the iPad was announced. Now everyone complains how heavy it is.
 

greygray

macrumors 68000
Oct 22, 2009
1,848
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Just as the iPhone 2G created a massive number of copycats, the iPad is sure to start that in the Tablet market too.
 

4DThinker

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2008
2,033
1
As alternatives go the ones that intrigue me the most are those with Linux, Windows, or "maybe" the Android OS. It boils down to one thing:

On the iPad, Apple has "parental" control over what you can install. Only Apple-approved apps make it to the App store. There is no way (without jailbreaking) to install any-old-app YOU might want on your iPad. With Apple's recent removal of X-rated apps from the app store they are now forcing their moral and have always been inflicting their ethical values on what apps you can put on your iDevices. You are prevented from using any app that duplicates the functionality of native apps, even if it improves on the experience or simply allows choice.

Give me app liberty.
 

Bytor65

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 10, 2010
824
90
Canada
As alternatives go the ones that intrigue me the most are those with Linux, Windows, or "maybe" the Android OS. It boils
So all of the alternatives then? Good that you have it narrowed down. :rolleyes:

Apple's recent removal of X-rated apps from the app store they are now forcing their moral and have always been inflicting their ethical values on what apps you can put on your iDevices.
So you can't get enough porn apps on your other devices or just visit a web page? Don't you already have a couple of other tablets and some laptops.

This all seems to boil down to the same old whinge. iPad doesn't do everything. Well boo who. Enjoy doing everything with your Archos 9. I think it has been stated 1000 times. The iPad is a complementary device, not a complete desktop replacement in 1.5 lbs.
 

Nebrie

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2002
573
65
Can you distinguish the shipping products and ones with announced shipping dates/period with the prototypes and vaporware?
 

4DThinker

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2008
2,033
1
So all of the alternatives then? Good that you have it narrowed down. :rolleyes: ... Well boo who. ... The iPad is a complementary device, not a complete desktop replacement in 1.5 lbs .
Many thanks. Thanks for stating the obvious. Again. Yes, any of the alternatives would be better than an iPad. They all let you use whatever app you want, and can stand alone. Thanks for pointing out the other "Apple Tax" again, and that is the need for ANOTHER computer to sync your ipad with. Finally, thanks for not being afraid to cry in public. ;)
 

bossxii

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2008
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Kansas City
Many thanks. Thanks for stating the obvious. Again. Yes, any of the alternatives would be better than an iPad. They all let you use whatever app you want, and can stand alone. Thanks for pointing out the other "Apple Tax" again, and that is the need for ANOTHER computer to sync your ipad with. Finally, thanks for not being afraid to cry in public. ;)
Really? you can use all the Apple apps, Android apps and Windows based programs on any of the others? Try again :)

Hell the Android apps can't even run across ALL android devices as their as so many different versions out there. Android is a cluster @#$^ atm.

You might try doing a little bit of research before stating your opinion as fact. ;)
 

4DThinker

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2008
2,033
1
Really? ... You might try doing a little bit of research before stating your opinion as fact. ;)
Ok, for the slow: My archos 5 with android 1.6 can run any app made to support the hardware and OS it has. My Archos 9 with Windows 7 Home premium can run any Windows App I've found so far that is supported by the hardware and OS it has. It'll even run win XP apps, Win Vista Apps, Some DOS apps, and when I boot up Linux it can run all the linux apps that the hardware supports. It doesn't surprise me at all that the iSheep are content with only apps that Steve Jobs approves of. Your vapid reaction to my simple observation is also not surprising. Yes. Really. ;)
 

bossxii

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2008
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Kansas City
Scroll up and look at what I highlighted... then read my response. The only "slow" one here is you. You clearly missed my point. Enjoy your A9. Sounds like it suits you.
 

4DThinker

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2008
2,033
1
You clearly missed my point. Enjoy your A9. Sounds like it suits you.
No, I got your point. It was to belittle another member in an effort to pump up your own self-image. As for my Archos 9, yes it suits me. The upcoming Android-running Archos 7 Home may end up being the perfect solution for my needs though. Thanks for the good wishes. ;) Lastly, I'm sorry about your slowness, as only the slow would have thought my post was for them. :) Try a little caffeine. :D

JMHO.
 

bossxii

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2008
1,749
0
Kansas City
No, I got your point. It was to belittle another member in an effort to pump up your own self-image. As for my Archos 9, yes it suits me. The upcoming Android-running Archos 7 Home may end up being the perfect solution for my needs though. Thanks for the good wishes. ;) Lastly, I'm sorry about your slowness, as only the slow would have thought my post was for them. :) Try a little caffeine. :D

JMHO.
Clearly not, but I don't expect any less than babbling on and on about your Archos products anyhow. Continue as planned. ;)
 

4DThinker

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2008
2,033
1
It's nice how big the list of tablets is. What we will surely know by the end of the year (assuming they all ship this year) is:

A: is there really a market for ANY kind of personal tablet PC?
B: is Apple's iPad the best of the bunch?

I'm looking forward to the outcome.

4D
 

Gloor

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2007
657
0
Although I don't like to say it I have to admit that MS courier seems to be the best out of them all. The design is not so great but the usability looks great.

what is iPad missing in my eyes:

1) customisation - I would love to put Zbrush or a Maya and do some basic work on the road

2) stylus - using touch is great but its limited a lot. Drawing, sculpting, modelling etc. needs more precise way of doing so and that is why I would love to have an option to buy stylus that works 100% (if screen was touch sensitive then even better)

3) OS X - it goes with point number 1. although iPhone OS is great it is not the best. Its locked and you are only allowed to install apps from the apps store - I would much rather prefer full OS X 10.6. that would allow me to put whatever I want


I hope Apple will give us the option or find a solution that would increase the usage for people like me. As for now, iPad is a product that doesn't entice me and in my eyes is badly approached. It might be hit with public but I don't need another thing to carry around that is so limited.

If they do change the points I described above then I have a perfect reason to leave my laptop and tablet at home and carry a real portable device that will do the job as well and I won't have to look like a xmas tree :)))

Shame they didn't do it. I was so excited.

Lets hope for better future and better revised product