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Steve Jobs shocked the electronics industry by delivering a 33 percent thinner iPad.  (Source: AFP)

Samsung will soon release its own Galaxy Tab-branded competitor in the approximately 10-inch form factor, but price, size, and battery life may be issues.
Company says it's hard at work trying to make the changes necessary to stay competitive

It looks like Apple bought itself a bit more time atop the market with the announcement of the iPad 2.  With Android tablets coming on strong and competitors like HP's webOS and Microsoft's Windows 7 waiting in the ranks, all eyes were on Apple March 2.  The company delivered an impressive device that shrunk the form factor, increased the processing power, maintained the battery life, and according to numerous unconfirmed reports, will double the amount of RAM to 512 MB.

The iterative hardware improvements weren't much of a surprise to the electronics industry.  What seemed to take them aback was the form factor.  Lee Don-Joo, executive vice president of mobile devices at South Korean device maker Samsung told South Korea's publicly funded Yonhap News Agency, "We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate [in our tablets]. Apple made it very thin."

The iPad 2 is an incredible .35 inches thin -- approximately a third of an inch.  That's approximately 33 percent thinner than the first-gen thickness of 0.5 inch and thinner even than the 0.472 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab was the first major Android tablet to be billed as a possible "iPad slayer".  However, the device was quite different from Apple's in its strengths and weaknesses.  While packing superior hardware, it featured a smaller 7.0-inch (diagonal) LCD screen and debuted at nearly $900 USD without contract.  Those factors caused many tablet buyers to stick with the iPad, which had an entry level Wi-Fi-only price of $499 and 9.7-inch screen.

Today Motorola has taken up the Mantle of "iPad killer" with its new Xoom dual-core Android "Honeycomb" tablet.  But Samsung is hungry for mores success of its own, and will soon release a new Honeycomb 10.1-inch tablet of its own, pricing on which hasn't been confirmed.

Mr. Lee comments, "The 10-inch (tablet) was to be priced higher than the seven-inch but we will have to think that over."

To put things in perspective, between October and December Samsung sold 2 million Galaxy Tab devices, while Apple sold 15 million iPads between April and December.  That gap becomes more noticeable when you consider how far behind Android devices have left the iPhone in the mobile market.

The iPad 2, like the first generation model, doesn't exactly pack the most incredible hardware in the world.  What it does do, however, is offer an impressive form factor and equally noteworthy battery life.  Both of those marks were complaints about the recent Xoom -- it was too bulky/heavy and the battery life fell short of promised figures.

Both metrics are even more critical to tablets than they are to some other mobile devices like laptops.  While you can always plug in a laptop, you seldom run a tablet plugged in, so battery life is essential.  And while your notebook computer rests comfortably on a table or your lap, you actually hold the tablet, so weight becomes a major issue.

And what is equally surprising is that price may be the key thing keeping the iPad as the top selling tablets.  Apple has a long-standing reputation of delivering high-end gadgets, which -- according to some -- are more than a bit overpriced.  But with the iPad it has delivered a more minimalistic hardware set and a remarkably low hardware price.

When it comes to tablets, it's still Apple's game to lose.  If it can maintain its mobility edge (battery life, form factor) and price edge it may be able to hold on to its lead even as Android brings out the big guns processing power-wise.



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By ChronoReverse on 3/4/2011 10:40:00 AM , Rating: 5
I don't remember where I read this but one of the manufacturers actually admitted to leaving battery life optimization for last.

I don't understand why they don't at least put that as a middle priority with the other being construction quality. Does it really matter that much that iPad2 isn't as fast and capable as the Xoom? It's not like it's crippling in comparison and you get a device that's more solidly built and doesn't compromise in battery life.




By invidious on 3/4/2011 10:50:49 AM , Rating: 1
At 10 hours the Ipad battery life borders on excessive. I would never use it 10 hours in a single day. And I would always plug it in at night. I would prefer a device that allocates a little less of its hardware budget to battery life and more to things like screen reloution, expandable storage, processing power.


By ChronoReverse on 3/4/2011 10:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
It's not like the iPad2 lacks any processing power so it's no compromise there. A higher resolution would be nice but I doubt it'd reduce the battery life below 8 hours from 10.

With that said, I feel that Xoom's battery life is just fine (between 8 to 12 hours depending what you're doing from reports).

It's the earlier Android tablet "efforts" that were craptastic. 6 hours? 4 hours?


By headbox on 3/4/2011 12:51:54 PM , Rating: 5
The tablet wars are a battle where tech specs are not as important. iOS and apps run smoothly, which is all that matters about RAM/CPU power. Build quality and battery life are far more important. If you say "I don't need 10 hours of battery life" -great, who cares, others do. They're not building this for you to tinker with in Mom's basement, this is meant to be a mobile device. Ever fly from Dubai to Atlanta? Feel like watching a movie every night while camping away from a power source? Like to leave it on the coffee table instead of plugged into a charger? The list goes on and on...

I had an iPad (sold for $450 just before iPad 2 came out) and you seriously do NOT look at it and think "oh I wish it had a better resolution." The quality of the screen is great, and the resolution appropriate for the size.


By name99 on 3/4/2011 1:28:41 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I had an iPad (sold for $450 just before iPad 2 came out) and you seriously do NOT look at it and think "oh I wish it had a better resolution." The quality of the screen is great, and the resolution appropriate for the size.


I love my iPad, but I think you are wrong on this, for a certain class of users. I use my iPad primarily for reading technical PDFs, and it is obvious to me that a higher resolution would make the reading that much more pleasant. It's not that the current resolution is bad, far from it, but it is a fact that the diagonal edges of text show a slight fuzziness, and small characters (think subscripts of subscripts) are less visible than they would be on, eg, iPhone4.
This is enough of an issue for me that I will not be upgrading to iPad 2 --- the new features are nice, but have little effect on my primary use of the device.

Having said this, I think the analysis of why Apple did what it did is for the most part very foolish. Specifically, as I see it, Apple put into this iPad what was necessary to remain competitive for the next six months or a year --- but no more than that.
I suspect that Apple could, TODAY, ship an iPad with a retina level display. People disagree with me on this, but, seriously --- in a world where you can buy a good quality 46" LCD TV for $600, manufacturing high quality displays is basically a solved problem. I think there are two things going on
- Apple has some sort of contracts with most/all of the relevant manufacturers that mean that better displays do not have an urgency to them, because it'll be a while before competitors have access to that quality of display, not to mention that they'll have to get the cost of their BOM down, which seems to be a real problem for them.
- Apple is maintaining that better quality display in reserve as the WOW factor they need for when iPad2 starts to look stale against the competition.
Just like with retina display on iPhone, I suspect people will not realize this was what they wanted until they see just how much sharper double-resolution iPad looks.

[And, of, course, it would be a mistake to believe that displays have reached their ultimate peak with retina. There is still scope there for switching to a LED rather than LCD display, giving higher brightness and contrast, to be followed by wider color gamut (vide TVs with RGB AND YELLOW LEDs). And of course who knows how lenticular lens 3D will ultimately play out over the scope of the next ten years?]


By Solandri on 3/4/2011 2:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
Completely agreed. The low resolution is what's keeping me away from an iPad. I have my sheet music collection on an old tablet with a 1400x1050 12" screen (146 ppi). The iPad's ppi isn't that much worse (132 ppi), but 1024x768 just isn't enough to cleanly display a sheet of music.

The new GPU they put on the iPad 2 makes it pretty obvious they could've put in a higher res screen. Pushing the additional pixels would not have been a problem. They are just holding it back for the iPad 3 (my hunch is their supplier can't produce enough of them yet to meet Apple's demand).

Essentially, they're adopting the upgrade model Canon used in the early years of its DSLRs. Odd-numbered refreshes they would upgrade the hardware. Even-numbered refrehses they would upgrade the sensor. While it's annoying not to get a complete upgrade every release, it does mean you don't feel compelled to upgrade your device with every new release.


By mcnabney on 3/4/2011 5:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think a retina-quality IPS screen even exists in a 9.7" size.

Remember, the Retina display is 326dpi versus the iPad's current dpi of 132.

Getting Retina-sharpness on an iPad size display would require a resolution of about 2560x1600. Apple already sells displays at that resolution - they are 30" diagonal and cost at least a grand. I would be amazed if they could even get 1600x1200 on an iPad.


By name99 on 3/4/2011 5:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
This is very short-sighted thinking.
What's the difficulty in creating a larger retina display?
As I said, the technology for handling huge floats of glass, and growing very large (and flawless) arrays on them, whether LED or LCD, is now commonplace. It's not like fifteen years ago, when one just had to accept that LCD screens came with a few flawed pixels.

What is better to say is that no-one has publicly demoed a retina-class display in that form factor, not that they don't exist. As I've said, I suspect that they exist today --- at companies where Apple has bought up all the supply and current production. I know this sounds conspiracy theory, but that's not my point, I'm just making obvious extrapolations.

I mean, it's not like we were all aware that retina displays were possible before iPhone4, were we?


By kmmatney on 3/4/2011 7:23:13 PM , Rating: 4
I generally agree with you, but it makes sense for Apple to go with the existing display a while longer. Developing the current 9.7" IPS display took time and money, and only keeping it for a year would not make financial sense. In general, they are OK with their current display for now, and will get the best return on investment that way. I'm sure they have a higher resolution display in the works.


By tim851 on 3/5/2011 11:11:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What's the difficulty in creating a larger retina display?


Price, most likely.

It's like asking why not every laptop has an aluminum unibody or carbon-fibre enclosure, a quad-core CPU, 8 gb of memory, 2 tb of ssd space and an OLED-display. The technologies are there, but the price would be off.

Apple doesn't manufacture displays. It buys them from somebody. Smartphones have been the riot for a couple of years now, so somebody just developed a retina 4" display, being quite certain that some smartphone manufacturer is gonna take it off their hands.
The Tablet boom (dare I say 'bubble') started 9 months ago. I'd say no sooner than 9 months ago did some display manufacturer think: "Maybe we should develop a 10" retina display."

Maybe it's production ready now, but Apple had to finalize the iPad 2 specs some months ago and after the fiasko with the white iPhone (and previous fiaskos like mobile G5 processors from IBM), they could have very reasonably though: nah, demonstrate the ability to produce 10" retina displays in large volume first.

Of course, it's entirely possible that Apple just keeps them back to have something of noteworthyness in 7 months, when the iPad 3 is rumored.


By cheinonen on 3/7/2011 12:30:21 AM , Rating: 2
The difficulty for a larger retina display comes from yield. Apple probably sets a limit of 1 or 0 bad pixel for a display on an iPhone, and would need something similar for an iPad. The iPhone has a 3.5" display, and getting to an iPad size display means around 8-9 times as much screen area. Say when they produce these retina displays for an iPhone you have 10% flawed, and then you pay $50 to make each. So, a group of 90 screens will have 9 bad ones, and will cost $4,500 to make, with a net cost of $55.55 per screen.

Now move up to a screen much larger, and keep that same defect rate. Suddenly if you make 10 screens (since they need 9 times the area), and get bad pixels at the same rate, because of the larger size you're going to wind up with 80% or so of those screens having a flaw. So, same $4,500 to make, but you get two good screens out so they're only $2,250 each.

Larger size screens have much larger defect rates typically, and so the much larger prices associated with them. It's why going from 42" to 50" on a TV might be $200, but going from 50 to 65" can be a couple thousand of dollars, because the yields are so much worse. I imagine once Apple can get good yields and costs, they'll put the screen into an iPad.


By KoolAidMan1 on 3/4/2011 11:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
Higher pixel density displays are already in iPhones and iPod touches. Apple buys IPS and custom IPS displays in such high volume that they have tremendous power in negotiating lower component prices, which means that it won't increase the prices of a higher res iPad when it finally does come out.

If the iPad increases its pixel density, it will likely double on the x and y axis in order to ease application compatibility. That is what they did going from the older iPhone display to the iPhone 4.

The main thing holding the iPad back from doubling its pixel density to 2048x1536 (wow) is the SoC. Once they can drive a display of that resolution without compromising performance, heat, or battery life, you'll see that display in an iPad.

Based on how quickly SoCs are improving, I reckon we'll see it in a year.


By snakeInTheGrass on 3/5/2011 11:22:02 AM , Rating: 2
Yep. Retina display will be a potential game-changer for reading, particularly if they get some of the new LCD tech that apparently handles visibility in sunlight better. A lot of people think the current screen is really nice - and it is in terms of color, viewing angle, brightness... but NOT if you are using and iPhone 4 as well and then move over to the iPad. iPad is way more comfortable for surfing / games / whatever, but it's definitely low-res looking after coming from the phone.

Presumably panel prices / manufacturing volumes just aren't there yet. Too bad, but figure it's probably just a year off, and the iPad 2 hardware is already fast enough to drive the higher res panel, so by the time they ship, it should be really snappy even with all those extra pixels.


By KoolAidMan1 on 3/5/2011 12:19:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's not that the current resolution is bad, far from it, but it is a fact that the diagonal edges of text show a slight fuzziness, and small characters (think subscripts of subscripts) are less visible than they would be on, eg, iPhone4.


Absolutely. Having very high DPI displays makes sense for handheld devices. Having 90-110 PPI is fine for a desktop monitor since those sit 2-3 feet away from you. Something like a smartphone or tablet benefits from 200-350 PPI since you hold the display closer to your eyes. You can see the grid pattern much more easily, aliasing in text, etc etc.

The iPhone 4 display renders text smoother and cleaner than print can. No bleeding or aliasing or anything like that. Pixel density so high that you don't even need to anti-alias text, that's nice.

Having something along those lines in a tablet is the next step. It doesn't necessarily have to be >300 PPI like with the iPhone since you don't hold a tablet as close (and if it's doubling resolution to 2048x1536 then I don't think it will be), but it does need to be of a higher pixel density than it is now.


By BZDTemp on 3/5/2011 12:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's not like the iPad2 lacks any processing power so it's no compromise there. A higher resolution would be nice but I doubt it'd reduce the battery life below 8 hours from 10.


Handling more pixels could very well be the difference. More pixels means a more complex display, more display memory and more CPU+GPU operations to handle it.

Also it seems to me the iPad2 is surely lacking in processing power as is simply not able to handle Flash :-)


By nafhan on 3/4/2011 3:19:29 PM , Rating: 4
10 hours is "typical" usage (web surfing, movies, lightweight games). You can run down the battery in less time with "heavy" usage. In fact, I'd bet you could kill it in less than 5 if you play certain games.


By kmmatney on 3/4/2011 7:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
Don't travel much?

I don't have an iPad yet, but am traveling to the UK on Monday, and then to Moscow in April. I should have an iPad2 by the time I'm heading to Russia (if they are not sold out), and will fully appreciate the the long battery life. I see more iPads at the airport and on planes more than anywhere else - battery life is a huge feature.


By KoolAidMan1 on 3/5/2011 12:12:24 AM , Rating: 2
I've done multiple LAX to JFK roundtrips using in-flight wifi with the iPad. Using it in-flight for as long as they allow electronics turned on, doing email/web/IM, watching movies, playing games, and going both ways without recharging, I still have power left to spare when I get home. That crazy battery life is incredibly practical.

Oh, and it fits way better on the seat tray than a laptop does. :)

And as you said, it is crazy seeing how many iPads have replaced laptops in airport terminals and business class lounges. Now my laptop lives in the overheard bin when I fly.


By snakeInTheGrass on 3/5/2011 11:16:33 AM , Rating: 2
I actually love the 10 hour life - great for flights, road trips, web surfing / reading / games... you just aren't always looking up to figure out if you're dead in the water yet. When you get the 10% warning, you still have about an hour left, can finish up what you're doing and plug it in. And you may not need to plug it in for several days of 'average' daily use, which is also much nicer - battery life end up being something you just don't normally have to deal with.

In terms of processing power, there hasn't been anything on the current model that leaves me really wishing it was just faster - I'm sure it will seem 'slow' after using the iPad2, but Apple did a good job optimizing the platform, and as a result it's not like you feel even the iPad(1) isn't up to the job. With the iTunes streaming in the house in 4.3, I'm actually more inclined to go with lower storage now - why load it up with all of my music & a bunch of movies at that point? I can fit a lot of music / apps on in 16GB and pick a few movies for the road when I need to. Nice.

But definitely do count me in for a retina display once those can be reasonably manufactured...


By nafhan on 3/4/2011 10:53:56 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think that manufacturer was Moto. Anandtech had the Xoom doing in the range of slightly worse to a lot better than the iPad 1.

I do agree that battery life can really make or break a device in this class.


By ChronoReverse on 3/4/2011 10:58:35 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I made a mistake. I was thinking of the Galaxy Tab in terms of bad battery life.

For the record, the Xoom appears to have great battery life.


Oh god, please
By piroroadkill on 3/4/2011 10:32:26 AM , Rating: 5
Because tablets have been priced far, far too highly for such a limited device. I never thought I'd be pleased about an Apple product.. being competitive on price!




RE: Oh god, please
By Da W on 3/4/2011 10:38:19 AM , Rating: 1
And what's the point with thickness? Do you absolutely HAVE TO have the slimmest device ever? I have a HTC surround phone, it's bulky as hell, but i like it that way.


RE: Oh god, please
By ChronoReverse on 3/4/2011 10:44:26 AM , Rating: 2
Thickness isn't that important but weight somewhat is. If you have hold it up for a period of time, might as well make it as light as possible as long as you don't compromise performance. With that said, being thinner isn't much of a selling point. It's only if you're significantly thicker that it becomes a detriment.

With that said, I've used both the n1 and the g2 phones so I'm used to both thin and bulky.


RE: Oh god, please
By chalupa on 3/4/11, Rating: 0
RE: Oh god, please
By nafhan on 3/4/2011 10:49:37 AM , Rating: 3
I like thin devices, but you have limited return as things continue getting thinner.
1" to .5" makes a huge difference. However, I'm not certain I would notice the change from .5" to .33" on a device as large as the iPad. Still nice, it just doesn't matter as much once you reach a certain point.


RE: Oh god, please
By mead drinker on 3/4/2011 11:20:06 AM , Rating: 2
Thinness as a form factor does have diminishing returns but as an indicator of the electronics powering the devices shrinking it is quite extraordinary. Think about when "extended" batteries used in laptops used to be about 50% larger than the standard battery with only marginal improvement. Pretty soon we will be walking around with panes of glass with the slightest bit of a black edge serving as a masque for the electronics and batteries powering the device. Beyond that, imagine flexible polycarbonate sheets as displays that wind back into pen sized devices that are carried as scrolls(iScroll anyone?). Thinness if you recall exists on one plane, imagine if you eliminate that plane entirely. Thats were the smaller form factor is headed, and I can't wait till we get there.


RE: Oh god, please
By Solandri on 3/4/2011 2:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
A couple points on this.

First, thin is less structurally sound. You can take the exact same amount of material, and if you combine it in a thinner structure, it'll be weaker. It's why I-beams are the shape they are. Separating the two flat pieces of metal (top and bottom of the I) by the largest amount of space reasonable in between (making it thick) makes for a stronger structure when it comes to loading normal to the top and bottom.

So while thin may look good and is fashionable, it makes for a weaker structure. The tapered back (instead of a traditional boxy structure) Apple uses helps mitigate this somewhat, but the iPad 2 is going to be structurally weaker than the iPad 1. Unless they strengthened it internally to compensate, which I doubt since they made it lighter. Just reading the specs on the iPad 2 and seeing the pictures of it, I really suspect the artist in Jobs overrode his engineers and they're going to get a lot of complaints about bent and deformed iPad 2s. Just my gut feeling based on my structural engineering background. Even a solid 10" block of aluminum 1/3" thick is going to have a noticeable amount of flex to it.

Second, if you're going to go thinner, you have to give up on rigidity and move to flexible components. My laptop has an extremely thin LCD, and just bending it you can tell they went with a plastic face instead of glass. Without the structural support offered by thickness to protect the glass, your choices are it being easier to shatter the glass, or to switch from glass to something flexible that won't shatter.

This is why all that research into flexible OLED and e-ink displays, and flexible PCBs is important. Electronics are getting so small that simply enclosing them in a rigid box to protect them isn't going to be enough anymore. The rigidity of that box is going to be compromised by the thinness. So we must move towards flexible components which can survive the occasional bend without becoming non-functional.


RE: Oh god, please
By name99 on 3/4/2011 2:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unless they strengthened it internally to compensate, which I doubt since they made it lighter. Just reading the specs on the iPad 2 and seeing the pictures of it,


I ask, without being snide, if you are a mech eng and qualified to make these calls.
Let's consider two issues
(a) Apple made a big deal (in the iPad2 video, not the live event) about new manufacturing techniques that delivered a new and DIFFERENT unibody shell for iPad2. It's not like they just took the current one and shrank the sides by 30%
(b) The "interior" of the unibody shell is not just empty space easily flexed; it is occupied by a bunch of stuff but primarily the battery. And there's no reason the battery can't be shaped to specifically distribute stress as desired.


RE: Oh god, please
By RedemptionAD on 3/4/2011 2:59:25 PM , Rating: 3
He's thinking about the future beyond the iPad 2 and in more devices. More of a generalized principle.


RE: Oh god, please
By Solandri on 3/4/2011 3:13:33 PM , Rating: 4
(a) I'm making the assumption that the original iPad's aluminum was already sufficiently hardened to provide near-maximum rigidity. Any new process to improve on that developed in the last year would only provide a few percent more strength, if that. This is not a field which leaps ahead year-to-year like computing. Aerospace has been working on improving aluminum since the early 1900s, and the rate of progress is very slow.

(b) When you bend things, there are two things that matter:

- The resistance of the material to tension/compression. Oobviously the more it can resist, the more rigid it is.

- The distance away from the center. The further the structural member is from the center, the more resistance it provides to torsion (flexing). This factor scales with distance from center. In particular, any material along the centerline provides zero torsional strength.

So assuming the aluminum is much stronger in compression/tension than the PCB, display, and battery; and taking into account that the aluminum exterior is what's furthest from the centerline, I think it's reasonable to pretty much ignore those internal components for purposes of rigidity.

In a past job I worked at, we used foam in the center, sandwiched between two fiberglass laminate sheets to improve fiberglass' rigidity. The interior was so irrelevant to rigidity you could just fill it with a weak material like foam that I could literally crush with my fingers. What really mattered was the strength of the laminate sheets, and maximizing their distance from the centerline. The sheets would protect the soft foam inside from point loading like crushing fingers.


RE: Oh god, please
By snakeInTheGrass on 3/5/2011 11:31:37 AM , Rating: 2
Uh... wow, so why are you being rated down? It's a fair question whether there will be structural issues - it's not like the iPhone 4 antenna / glass back didn't demonstrate that art sometimes wins over science. (!!!)

But anyway, I have a KindleDX which is probably about the thickness of the iPad2 (it's thinner than my iPad) and doesn't seem to have any issues with bending/breaking, so I don't think they're at a place where it's going to cause problems on the iPad2 personally...

But I still don't get why that means you're getting rated down for talking a bit of engineering - it's not like anything you've said is flame-bait like 'Android will be able to be thinner because it's reinforced by Trojans'. ;) All of the manufacturers are going to hit some point where thinner is a problem.


RE: Oh god, please
By Solandri on 3/5/2011 8:41:03 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
But anyway, I have a KindleDX which is probably about the thickness of the iPad2 (it's thinner than my iPad) and doesn't seem to have any issues with bending/breaking, so I don't think they're at a place where it's going to cause problems on the iPad2 personally...

That's a fair comparison. The Kindle DX uses e-ink though, which is an inherently flexible display. The IPS panel on the iPad is much less flexible, so there's less tolerance in the margins for deflection. Long-term, computing technology should become more flexible, making this less of an issue. That's why the stuff you see in the news about flexible displays and PCBs is important. It's not just so you can make neat electronics which you can twist and bend, it's so our toys can continue to function without damage as they become smaller.

quote:
But I still don't get why that means you're getting rated down for talking a bit of engineering - it's not like anything you've said is flame-bait like 'Android will be able to be thinner because it's reinforced by Trojans'. ;)

It's hit and miss on these topics with fanboys. Whether they rate you up or down has little to do with facts, and mostly to do with whether they see you as "on their side" or "against them".

Here's a brief description of what I'm talking about, with a diagram, and avoiding the hairy math in the entry under Bending. The greatest stresses are furthest from the center, so it's the strength of the material there which matters the most. And the further you can put your stiffener from the center, the easier time it has resisting the stresses (due to increased moment of inertia).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-beam#Design_for_ben...


RE: Oh god, please
By Aloonatic on 3/4/11, Rating: 0
RE: Oh god, please
By TheDoc9 on 3/4/11, Rating: -1
RE: Oh god, please
By smartalco on 3/4/2011 1:37:08 PM , Rating: 2
Ahahaha, what? You think sir Mick here is an Apple fan? Read the rest of his articles about Apple, he is anything but. Even if you don't like the company, occasionally everyone gets something right.


RE: Oh god, please
By Taft12 on 3/4/2011 10:42:38 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't call an iPad competitive on price compared to a netbook, but Samsung was planning on charging MORE than $900 for the 10" Galaxy?? WTF!


RE: Oh god, please
By ChronoReverse on 3/4/2011 10:53:31 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I thought the same too.

It's really as if all these manufacturers wanting to jump on the tablet bandwagon don't get it at all. Did they really think they could jump into the market with less than half-baked efforts like this?

What kind of incentive is there to buy their products, even as superior as they are, if they cost more and in the end don't really add more critical tablet functions that the iPad lacks?

The Xoom actually added things but the iPad2, despite being slower, leveled the playing field in terms of what's necessary. Apple also gained a low-end model in the iPad1.

Honestly, it might only be HP that could possibly do this right but they have the weakness in releasing in the summer.


RE: Oh god, please
By Adonlude on 3/4/2011 11:21:11 AM , Rating: 3
From the beginning Apple has strived to stretch a phone into a tablet while all its competitors try to squeeze a laptop into a tablet. Apple is doing it right.


RE: Oh god, please
By Nutzo on 3/4/2011 2:03:18 PM , Rating: 2
I don't need a phone that doesn't fit in my pocket, and an ipad is to slow (including the limits of a touch screen compared to a keyboard) to be useful when I need a real computer.


RE: Oh god, please
By Solandri on 3/4/2011 2:20:31 PM , Rating: 5
My friend didn't need pokemon cards when they first came out, but he made a fortune importing and selling them to retailers.

Whether something is marketable is based on what people in general want, not what you specifically want.


Ummm, what?
By Alexstarfire on 3/4/2011 10:51:27 AM , Rating: 1
The Xoom weighs as much as the original iPad and has better battery life (except for the video playback for one person which even they admitted no settings were given) in more than 1 situation. Perhaps I'm failing to see how battery life and weight are actual problems when they meet or exceed the original iPad. I would like to see some battery life tests on the iPad 2 to see if it's really the same as the original too.

Funny how the original iPad wasn't considered bulky with bad battery life but something equal to better is. How does that make sense?




RE: Ummm, what?
By mead drinker on 3/4/2011 11:30:31 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Funny how the original iPad wasn't considered bulky with bad battery life but something equal to better is. How does that make sense?


Because it was released some 9 months ago, meaning it existed well beyond that through R&D stages and the same manufacturer has bested itself one year later. As a result of their efforts, they have raised the standard. And while I agree with the notion that "the original iPad wasn't considered bulky with bad battery life" as these adjectives are pretty drastic, I do believe that Apple has reason to improve of them regardless. These "marginal" improvements over the years have an incredibly profound cumulative effect.


RE: Ummm, what?
By Alexstarfire on 3/4/2011 4:41:34 PM , Rating: 2
I think you missed my point a little bit. I'm not saying it's not good to improve upon weight or battery life, but making something lighter doesn't automatically make the previous iteration bulky which is pretty much what they are saying here.


RE: Ummm, what?
By MDGeek on 3/4/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ummm, what?
By Alexstarfire on 3/4/2011 4:34:25 PM , Rating: 3
I went with the numbers on the Anandtech article in which only the battery life for video playback was in question. In that article, link provided in this article, they say the Xoom gets 2 hours more battery life while browsing on 3G. I can't say much about the video playback seeing as how every mention of it only references what 1 guy got. Though, same could be said for the battery life times that I'm referencing.

I find it odd that an iPad could get better battery life out of video playback than browsing the web. Not saying it's not happening, but it seems to me that it'd be using up more power on 3G than it should.


RE: Ummm, what?
By omnicronx on 3/4/2011 4:48:37 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I find it odd that an iPad could get better battery life out of video playback than browsing the web.
Not really that odd, web browsing is quite CPU intensive.. Most devices these days have dedicated video processing on die.. (i.e I'm guessing video requires far less CPU resources)
Not to mention web browsing requires constant use either the wireless or cell antennas to access content.

I'm pretty sure their video power benchmarks are for local content only too, the battery life is not as long if you are streaming content in my experience.


RE: Ummm, what?
By Alexstarfire on 3/4/2011 6:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree if it weren't for the fact that it's the only device with better battery life playing video than web browsing. Not that others aren't close, but still.


If only people weren't so vapid...
By Motoman on 3/4/2011 2:00:59 PM , Rating: 1
...as to place such form concerns over function.

Apple's ridiculous focus on form over function has been a massive source of their poor quality...forever. Devices that overheat, casings that discolor, etc.

The original iPad already couldn't be used in normal outdoor summer conditions...which is probably a key reason why many people would want such a device. This is just going to make things worse.

Technology is not magic, people. The reason that a laptop, tablet, phone, whatever isn't paper-thin is because physics has certain laws that govern the way the universe works. There are enormous problems trying to squeeze such devices to ever-smaller form factors...there is always a price to be paid. And frequently, particularly with Apple products, the price is paid by the consumer...not so much in the $ amount, but in the quality and fitness-for-purpose of the device itself.

Although it is certainly valid to be utterly disappointed in anyone who purchases an Apple product in the first place - to make a big deal about saving minuscule, irrelevant amounts of thickness for such a device only further demonstrates the utter lack of appreciation for reality such people have.




RE: If only people weren't so vapid...
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/5/2011 12:05:32 AM , Rating: 2
In many cases, form is function. I buy Corsair PC cases because they are well thought out and logically designed. Same with Steelseries keyboards and mice, great material quality and physical design. Macbook Pros are incredibly well designed, and their combination of thin/light chassis, compact power adapters, long battery life, horsepower, and high quality displays have real practical value to them.

I obviously don't own an iPad 2, but I do have a Kindle 3. I love the device, it is excellent. It is also about as thick as the iPad 2, which is great. The Kindle 3 is fantastic to hold in one's hand, fits perfectly and you can read for hours. An iPad at the same thickness serves a practical purpose: it is easy to hold. That is the point of the tablet form factor. Something thick and heavy like the HP tm2 or the Asus EP121, not so practical in terms of the tablets from an ergonomic point of view.

Believe it or not, physical design goals, material quality, and the way that we physically interact with devices has real practical value and is actually important to most people.


RE: If only people weren't so vapid...
By Motoman on 3/5/2011 9:58:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I buy Corsair PC cases because they are well thought out and logically designed.


That's it right there - that's what you should be doing. However, when the form of a device negatively impacts it's function...such as not being able to use an iPad outdoors during the summer...then the design is neither well thought-out or logically designed.

I get that a tablet isn't useful if it's 4" thick. I also get that it is absolutely counter-productive if losing that last couple of millimeters results in a device that no longer functions appropriately.

Of course form is important - it's why people don't all dress exactly the same, for example. You've missed my point though, which isn't that form has no importance...the point is that form is not so important that you are justified in sacrificing the function of the item to achieve some particular form.


RE: If only people weren't so vapid...
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/6/2011 2:27:27 AM , Rating: 2
I haven't run into the problem of iPads overheating in the sun, and I've had one for almost a year.

To me the biggest issue in that scenario actually isn't heat, it is the LCD display itself. No LCD is going to look good in broad daylight. This is why I have a Kindle, looks spectacular in that situation, and IMHO is a better surface to read on. That said, it has its own technical limitations, which is why I have two devices for very different purposes. I have no issues with the engineering of any of the products I've mentioned.


By Motoman on 3/6/2011 10:43:28 AM , Rating: 2
Poor quality and engineering problems of Apple devices are exhaustively documented and plastered all over the internet. Just because you personally haven't experienced them doesn't mean they don't exist.


Have to agree for once Mickster
By bill4 on 3/4/2011 10:54:32 AM , Rating: 5
When I saw the tablet war coming I assumed Android would be able to eventually deliver quality $299 tablets that would slay the iPad. What has surprised me is the Android tablets so far havent seemed to be able to get the price down, even to compete with Apple let alone best them.

I did see the wi fi only Xoom was spotted in spy photos at a Sam's recently for $539 (which may hint at a 599 price given Sams wholesale nature). But that's still at the point of just struggling to get to iPad's price.

However as iPad one's are now available at least while supplies last for as little as $349 refurbished, Apple has an even bigger price edge.




By Tony Swash on 3/4/2011 12:11:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
When I saw the tablet war coming I assumed Android would be able to eventually deliver quality $299 tablets that would slay the iPad. What has surprised me is the Android tablets so far havent seemed to be able to get the price down, even to compete with Apple let alone best them.

I did see the wi fi only Xoom was spotted in spy photos at a Sam's recently for $539 (which may hint at a 599 price given Sams wholesale nature). But that's still at the point of just struggling to get to iPad's price.

However as iPad one's are now available at least while supplies last for as little as $349 refurbished, Apple has an even bigger price edge


One of the things that is easy to overlook is that Apple is one of the best managed companies in the world with a superb supply side system. This was largely the work of Tim Cook, the current CEO.

As the iPod sales exploded Apple was able to secure long term supplies of items like flash memory at very, very good prices. This was an important factor in preventing any iPod compeititor coming into a the market with a similarly specced and much cheaper competing device. This experience was not a lesson Apple missed.

Now it has much vaster cash resources and with it's commitment to a (by industry standards) small number of SKUs Apple can secure components at very cheap prices and force their competitors to experience both supple price inflation and shortages.

In the post-PC era Apple can compete on price as well as all the other factors favouring it's products.

Catching Apple is going to be very difficult.


By Strunf on 3/7/2011 7:30:01 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is that Apple could even sell the Ipad at loss and then make the money with books and others that will be sold on Apple app store to Ipad users, with Android and it's openness it's much harder to get money back with software.

Seems to me there's very little chances the picture will change, not until the Apple users realize they "live in a prison" ...


Economies of scale
By vision33r on 3/4/2011 11:23:49 AM , Rating: 2
The reason Android phones are cheap because of the carrie subsidies, they are about the same price as an iPhone when they are without contract.

That's why Android tablets cost so much, without any subsidies you can't get a quality Android tablet under $500.

Apple is able to get the iPad so cheap because they have a huge vertical market. They can even sell the iPad for $99 and still make a small profit when you look at sales of iTunes media and apps. They also get cuts of all official accessories sold.

Then you start to realize why Android's openess won't have early successes but once the hardware cost goes down alot then they will be about to compete.




RE: Economies of scale
By ScotterQX6700 on 3/5/2011 3:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
If you compare apples to apples, har har, you will find the iPad2 is priced very close to equal to the SIMILARLY SPEC'D Moto Xoom and Galaxy Tab 10. I'm saying, the cheapest 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad2 doesn't really count.


Rate of sale?
By acer905 on 3/4/2011 12:24:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
To put things in perspective, between October and December Samsung sold 2 million Galaxy Tab devices, while Apple sold 15 million iPads between April and December.


So, April to December is 8/9 months
October to December is 2/3 months
(Depending on how you count)

15 million over 8/9 months is 1.875/1.667 million a month
2 million over 2/3 months is 1/.6667 million a month.

Still better sales, but not as drastic sounding to me as 15 million sold vs 2 million.




RE: Rate of sale?
By vision33r on 3/4/11, Rating: 0
RE: Rate of sale?
By omnicronx on 3/4/2011 4:40:16 PM , Rating: 2
Just go sit in a corner.

There is no such thing as a loser as long as you are making money, and you are achieving steady growth, and I assure you Samsung is perfectly happy with their current market position.

What I find funny is that your analogy implies that even if I have 49% share in the market and my competitor has 51%, I am somehow irrelevent because 'their can only be one winner'..

Let alone the fact your last sentence makes the claim that there was no competition and that was why the Tab has so far been a success, yet this was the exact reason iPad had dominated previously (In which they pretty much had 100% of the market before the tab was released). Your post is so contradicting its not even funny.

Clearly you need to grow up, go outside and learn how the real world works.


RE: Rate of sale?
By MDGeek on 3/7/11, Rating: -1
Oh yeah
By MeesterNid on 3/4/2011 10:22:28 AM , Rating: 2
Sweet competition == consumer WIN!




By BernardP on 3/4/2011 11:04:59 AM , Rating: 2
... a transition to some sort of fast reacting e-paper type display. I want to use the iPad to read an e-book or e-magazine outdoors. LCD screens can't do this.

But this could:

http://www.mirasoldisplays.com/




I'll buy one.
By jleemc44 on 3/4/11, Rating: 0
RE: I'll buy one.
By StevoLincolnite on 3/4/2011 9:45:04 PM , Rating: 2
Why upgrade from an iPad to an iPad 2? That would be like me upgrading from a Radeon 6950 to a Radeon 6970... In other-words, essentially throwing money away for little benefit.


LOL so true
By Lanister on 3/4/2011 3:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
Samsung is that stupid?
By mrdeez on 3/6/2011 2:15:29 AM , Rating: 2
Are they trying to say that they were actually gonna price thier tablet higher than the ipad? This is the mistake Moto is making. Are these companies trying to fail? You must have a tablet at ten inch for every market...low=wifi only=mid=3g and high=3g/4g. It amazes me how out of touch these large companies are to what the consumers want. I will never own an ipad because I dislike apple but I will say they at least know thier customers.




Apple iPad 2 vs The Droid Tablet Army
By struzzin20 on 3/5/11, Rating: 0
By hexxthalion on 3/7/2011 8:43:25 AM , Rating: 2
you missed the most important point though:

i can't see any valid point which would make to buy xoom over ipad.

can you?


Zombies
By struzzin20 on 3/4/11, Rating: 0
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton














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