Showing posts with label tablet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tablet. Show all posts

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why I'm returning my new iPad and buying a Kindle Fire

amazon's kindle fire tablet pc
Kindle Fire @ $199.00
By Rick Broida

My new iPad is going back to the store.

I paid $600 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model, and although I like it well enough, I don't think it's worth the money.

Before the Apple faithful take my head off, allow me to explain -- and to note that I'm keeping my original iPad. Also, I have such mad love for my iPhone 4S, I want to cook it breakfast every morning. You get my meaning; this isn't just wayward iPad-bashing.

When Apple announced the new tablet, I was underwhelmed but intrigued. I'd skipped the iPad 2, so I figured I "owed" myself this upgrade. Plus, it would be a business expense; I do write for a blog called iPad Atlas, after all.

Mostly, though, I got caught up in the hype. After reading gushing praise for the new iPad's Retina Display and blazing processor, I had to see what the fuss was about.

The fuss, it turns out, was more overblown than a Kardashian wedding. The screen? Yep, it's nice. Does it make my eyes leap from my skull and dance a marimba cha-cha? No. Neither does it cure cancer or introduce me to supermodels, despite what some drooling bloggers intimated.

The new iPad is admirably peppy, though I never found my original iPad to be slow. My kids enjoy messing with the built-in cameras, but that's a luxury I certainly don't need. Using an iPad to snap photos or video is like driving a monster truck to the grocery store: uncomfortable and impractical (to say nothing of showy). The only thing that I'll actually miss is big-screen FaceTime -- but for those moments I can always Skype on my laptop.

4G LTE? Again, nice, but I have no need for it. And that leaves...what? The new iPad is a little slimmer, a little faster, and little easier on the eyes than the original. Not enough, Apple. I want my $600 back.

As fate would have it, a Kindle Fire arrived shortly after the new iPad. (It's a loaner, due back to Amazon in about a week.) As you're no doubt aware, it's a hair less expensive: $199.

Yes, it has a smaller screen, less storage, no cameras, no 3G/4G, no Bluetooth, and so on. But you know what? I love the little guy, because it better suits my needs.

For one thing, it's way more comfortable for reading. I consume a lot of e-books, but I find the iPad too big and cumbersome -- especially for reading in bed. The Fire is small enough and light enough that I can lie on my side and grip it one-handed. (Shut up.)

I also like magazines, most notably Entertainment Weekly, Time, and Wired. The app versions of all three work nicely on the iPad, but I like the Kindle Fire (Android) versions even better. Maybe it's because I was expecting a shrunken, ill-fitting stab at accommodating the smaller screen, but the formatting is just beautiful. Reading these mags on the Fire is a pleasure.

Music, movies, TV shows, games, apps -- the Kindle Fire excels at all this stuff, just like the iPad. I'm streaming "This Is Spinal Tap" (courtesy of Amazon Prime, an uneven but compelling service) as I type this, and it looks exquisite. Granted, the paltry 8GB of storage limits how much media I can take with me, but I'm mostly an around-the-house user anyway. (That's why I get by just fine with Wi-Fi.)

I also like the Kindle's modern, media-centric, dare-I-say-sexy interface, which actually makes Apple's UI seem rather dated.

So here's the upshot: for one-third of what I paid for the new iPad, I can accomplish 95 percent of what I want to do with a tablet, and with a smaller form factor I find more appealing. Different strokes for different folks, of course, but for me this is a no-brainer: I'm returning the new iPad and jumping into the Kindle Fire.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nokia exec: Windows 8 tablet due in June

nokia lumio 800
The Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone-powered device
Nokia will add a Windows 8 tablet to its product line in June 2012, a French newspaper reported in an interview with the head of Nokia in France.

"In June 2012, we will have a tablet running Windows 8," Paul Amsellem told Les Echos in a story published yesterday.

Such a move would make some sense. Where Android and iOS span phones and tablets, Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system doesn't. But ignoring the tablet market would shut Nokia out of a major growth industry, and Microsoft is the obvious partner, even if it means Nokia must wrestle with the complexities of having two major operating systems.

Reached for comment today, Nokia spokesman wouldn't confirm or deny Amsellem's statement, but did say, "We have not announced any plans relating to tablets."

Last month, Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop wouldn't comment on Windows 8 tablet plans, but he left the door wide open when discussing earnings results with analysts.

"From an ecosystem perspective, there are beneftis and synergies that exist between Windows and Windows Phone," Elop said. "We see that opportunity. We'll certainly consider those opportunities going forward."

And in a later interview with the Financial Times, he pointed more specifically to the similarities in user interface between Nokia's newly launched Lumia line of Windows Phone products and the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Nokia has services it could bring to a Windows tablet, of course. But the synergies aren't always easy: Programs written for one operating system don't run on the other, so spanning the two devices means a lot of work for app developers.

Amsellem likened the new Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone to a BMW, saying that higher-end and lower-end models will arrive soon. Nokia already showed off the lower-end Lumia 710, and at Nokia World said higher-end models would arrive as well, but it's not shared details so far.

News by CNET

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