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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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Apple iPad 2 vs The Droid Tablet Army
By struzzin20 on 3/5/2011 1:01:40 AM , Rating: 0
Just seen this and wanted to share !

After much speculation, the iPad 2 has been officially announced and will be released to a ravenous public on March 11, 2011. So now that the specifications have been unveiled, how does it stack up? Is it leaps and bounds more advanced than the original iPad? Does it blow the competition right out of the water?

The answer to the former is sort of. The iPad 2 does sport a dual-core Apple A5 processor, compared to the original iPad’s single-core A4, making the CPU twice as fast as its predecessor and giving it enhanced graphics capabilities. And while the original iPad was lacking any sort of camera, the iPad 2 features a VGA front camera and a 720p-capable camera on the back. Then there’s the 3-axis gyroscope. Other than it, the improvements are all aesthetic: lighter, thinner, and comes in white this time around.

So if you were to pick up an iPad, then sure, the iPad 2 would be the way to go. But how does it stack up to the Android tablet army?

Poorly, at least from a specification standpoint.

The Motorola Xoom, LG G-Slate (Optimus Pad), and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, three of Android’s heavy hitters, all contain a Tegra 2 dual-core processor, equivalent to the iPad 2's dual-core A5. The iPad is also slightly cheaper, weighs slightly less than the Xoom and the Optimus Pad, and offers access to 65,000 apps.

Now for the bad news. The iPad 2 supports up to 720p playback. The Xoom and the Galaxy Tab support 1080p. Nor does it support expandable memory. You can double the Xoom’s storage with a 32GB microSD card. Information is not yet available on the other tablets. The iPad 2 does not and will not support Adobe Flash. The other tablets will. The iPad 2 has a mono speaker (stereo headphone jack), whereas the Xoom has a stereo speaker. The Xoom has one million pixels, the iPad 2 has 786k. Finally, while the other tablets are cruising along at 4G speeds (or will be), the iPad 2 is stuck at 3G.

There are those who will argue that in the end, specs only mean so much, and it’s Apple’s iOS which makes their products superior. There’s no point in debating such a subjective thing. Going solely off of the hardware specifications, the iPad 2 is clearly the weakest of the bunch. Not only did Apple put out a product that can barely stand up to the competition, but it can barely best its predecessor. (Sound familiar?)

I’ve seen arguments that justify the lack of improved hardware by explaining that the original iPad was released just under a year ago. That’s not a justification. I know it’s standard practice to release an updated product every year, but if this is the update that we can expect, maybe that practice needs to change.

By Dylan Duarte
March 3, 2011

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?

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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