Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The iPad 2 and Why I Don't Want One

First off, let's get one thing straight. I am an Android fan[boi?].  I like the openness of the platform, I like customizing the hardware and software that I have paid for in full.  I feel like if I purchase a product from a company, I should be able to do anything I want with it.  I like the interface, look and feel of the Android UI's (all recent versions).  So of course I'm going to be focusing most of my thoughts on the Honeycomb vs iPad 2 debate.

TiPb posted this nice little chart comparing the iPad 2 to the other current tablet offerings.  I was impressed with the first iPad simply because it was the first major player in the tablet market.  I liked the novelty of the iPad's form factor.  But I still couldn't find myself to see beyond the fact that it was still constrained to the iOS platform, a closed platform.

Mmy thoughts on the iPad 2 after the break.

  • This thing is skinnier than the jeans on the hipsters that buy them. I haven't had a hands on with it yet (the iPad 2, not the hipster), but I can only imagine what it would be like to hold. 
  • The weight. 
  • The tapered edge.  I really liked the original design of iOS devices and I'm glad it's back (sure beats the hell out of the whole "Lets make a phone out of glass!" concept), but I do understand that the boxier shape would provide more room on the inside for nifty little circuit boards.
  • New A5 dual core proc is right on par with the competition. 
  • No Retna Display- pretty much expected this.
  • No micro SD card slot. 
  • Requires a PC to Activate - only one on the market that requires this. (absolutely absurd)
  • No Flash.  Ok, ok I know HTML 5 is the future ... I get it.  But Flash is now and the hardware can more than support it so why not? (Honeycomb supports both)
  • No 1080p Video
  • Its still a big ass iPod touch. (see UI rant below)
  • Battery size measured in watt-hours.  This one is kind of picky but what's going on here?  Battery size should not even be on this chart if you ask me.  The only time comparing battery sizes is actually useful is if its two batteries that are compatible with the same device. 
  • Low res VGA front camera
I had high expectations for the iPad 2 because Apple is known for going above and beyond the current technologies when launching a product.  If any tablet is going to be the first to have a 1080p video camera on it,  I'd expect it to be the iPad. With this one I really don't feel like they "Changed Everything Again".  Apple made such a big deal (rightfully so) about the Retna Display and its 326 ppi back in June.  I don't understand how they are producing a product in a similar market nine months later with a pixel density that is less than half that of the Retna Display.  

Why hasn't Apple developed the UI to take advantage of the tablets size?  For me the tablet experience is about information at your fingertips (widgets in Honeycomb) and intuitiveness.  Apple assumes all users are only focused on content (the apps).  For me it's the whole experience.  I feel like if I was an iPhone user and I bought an iPad, I'd be somewhat disappointed because nothing seemed different in the UI about the way I accessed content or content providers accessed me (notification system). The same interface that was originally designed to be navigated with one thumb in one hand has somehow made it all the way up to the 9.7" screen. 

I was also surprised that some type of support for the new Thunderbolt protocol wasn't included. 

Rumor has it that many of my cons will be satisfied with the next generation of the iPad but by that time Honeycomb tablets will be shooting and playing 3D videos (without glasses) and driving your car for you.  
The perfect tablet for me would include the following outstanding features:
  • Honeycomb
  • 1080p video camera.
  • 10" screen with at least 200ppi.
  • 3D gaming (not display) must be a point of emphasis. *cough* Tegra 2-3D or Tegra 3
  • HDMI port
  • USB port
  • Standardized dock connector (such as PDMI). I'll keep dreaming on this one.
  • Removable battery. I kind of feel entitled to this.
  • microSD card slot.

Other features that would be awesome, but not deal breakers:
  • SSD HDD around 100GB.
  • Dual boot Windows (8?) and Honeycomb
  • Blue-ray drive (how has this not come out yet? As long as there are old people, there will be physical media)
  • 3D Still and Video Camera, no glasses required. 
  • 1080p front facing camera with Skype onboard. (along with cross platform skype - whats taking so long?!?!)
  • Triple boot Windows, Honeycomb and Google TV. *gasp*

So I might be in for a long wait.

Source: TiPb

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