Thursday, February 10, 2011

iPads and Tablets and Rumors, Oh My!

Recent rumors claim the iPad 2 is currently in production and most of the posts I've seen estimate that the device will hit the market sometime in the second quarter of this year, possibly as early as April. I saw more rumors this afternoon of an iPad 3 in the Fall, crazy.

The iPad 2 will supposedly sport a 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex A9 processor, 512MB memory, a dual-mode GSM/CDMA chipset, a built-in SD card slot, a front-facing camera and a rear-facing camera. The metal backing will be similar to the iPod Touch design, offering a smooth, rounded design. It will be thinner and lighter, but have the same screen size of 9.7 inches with 1024x768 resolution and the same price points as the original iPad, between $499 and $829.

In addition to the buzz surrounding the iPad, the Xoom Android based tablet from Motorola got a good amount of press from the CES show also. There is a bit more info out there about the Xoom, since it will be released soon. It has a 2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB memory, 10.1-inch widescreen HD (1280×800) display, is 4G LTE upgradeable, 32GB storage, SD card slot, 1080p HD video support, HDMI output, Adobe Flash Player support, front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chats over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G LTE and rear-facing 5-megapixel camera that captures video in 720p HD. So it's definitely larger and has more horsepower, but that also comes at a price. The Xoom is targeting the high end, with a price point of $800 with a rumored release date of Feb 24th.

Both are cool little devices, but the question is will you buy one? My initial answer was definitely not, but it's not as solid of a no after gathering the data. I find it hard to shell out that much money for a tablet, when a good laptop costs about the same. Tablets are more portable, have the cool factor and I would probably enjoy using one, but since I work from home 2 days a week and my laptop is my primary PC, replacing it with a tablet would be tough. As a secondary device I can't really justify it either. With our new Droid X phones, they are more than capable secondary devices. They can do just about anything a tablet can do, it's just a bit more difficult to type on due to the smaller screen size.

Tablets are real close to being capable of replacing a laptop, but it wouldn't quite cut it for me as a laptop replacement without having to have/transport some sort of dock or cables to hook up an external monitor, keyboard, additional cost to add a large amount of storage via SD card, etc. But I could see a time probably even this year or next, where purchasing one instead of a laptop could be a reality. Once the price of the first generation devices drops to around 299, I think it would make more sense as a secondary device.

What are your thoughts? Any plans to replace an existing device with one or add it to your collection of gadgets? I'd be very interested to hear if anyone has one and has already replaced an existing PC/laptop and found that it works real well. What do you think?


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