Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Returned tablets: Motorola XOOM v. Apple iPad1. And the $600 Dell 17" laptop.

Yesterday I returned my Apple iPad1 to Apple.  A couple of weeks ago I returned my Motorola XOOM to Verizon Wireless.  It didn't help that Apple just reduced the cost of the iPad1 3G by $100 making it only $30 more than I paid for the WiFi only version.

Both the XOOM and iPad1 were fairly slow compared with my five year old Dell laptop running WindowsXP.  I found the tablets very limited when used for common PC type activities like bouncing among multiple browser tabs.  The iPad created cute images of recent web pages.  However, to get to the them as a group, not individually, I had to click a small icon in the Apple browser, Safari, and then click the individual  image.  Worse was that, the page had to be fetched again.  It was not stored in memory and that activity was unacceptably slow.  This quickly became tedious.

I never got the iPad to create e-mail accounts, even with extensive phone support from Apple.  Do mainstream reviewers like Pogue and Mossberg try this?  Do they try using multiple browser pages?

A basic common sense problem with a tablet is what do you do with your hands?  I found myself holding the tablet with my left and using my right to tap, scroll, etc.  This got old fast.  I never found a comfortable position.  I thought I was clever, especially during my longs phone conversations with Apple tech support, to prop up the iPad using an old metal book support.  Then the obvious occurred to me: a laptop has this built in.  It's called a keyboard, a nice physical keyboard, which also serves as a base.  The tablet makers did not even have the common sense to include a fold out kickstand as did HTC with it's new Thunderbolt smartphone.  Neither Pogue and Mossberg thought about this either.

I don't like tablets.  I'm now interested in a new 17 inch Dell laptop for $600.  OK, it's 7.14 pounds but compare that to the XOOM 3G at $600 and the original WiFi only iPad at $400 or the new WiFi only iPad2  at $500 or the new iPad2 3G at $600.  What the heck?  Are we nuts?  I'm going to use a WiFi only computer almost exclusively around my home, so what's the difference how much it weighs?  I'd much prefer a nice BIG 17 inch screen, including a keyboard base.  And that base also serves as a screen cover.  How clever.

That new line of Dell 17 inch laptops (17R) range from $600 for a more than acceptable e-mail/browser PC to $800 for a little more oomph.  Yes, Dell has more expensive multimedia type 17 inch laptops but I do everything on the web with free google products so I don't need that.  Juxtapose the Dell prices with the starting price of a 17 inch laptop from Apple: $2,500.

How does Apple have the nerve to over price by so much?  Apple charges what the market will bare.  Apple customers are suckers and there's one born every minute.

No comments: