Sunday, March 13, 2011

WiFi Only Motorola Xoom

The WiFi only version of the Motorola Xoom, which is currently only available only in 3G/4G form with form Verizon is headed to retailers finally! Sources are saying the tablet may launch as soon as March 27th and I for one can't wait.  I will likely be picking one of these up launch day! Hopefully other manufacturers will get their WiFi only options to market soon. The WiFi only flavored versions of these tablets will be critical if manufacturers want to move units and gain market share.  There is a large segment of customers who want tablets but have no need for an additional data plan and contract with ANY carrier who will be glad to snatch these tablets up.  I really don't know what they were thinking launching the VZW only model first. Staples and Best Buy have both had ads leaked listing the WiFi Xoom at $599.99 while Sam's Club has had ads leaked listing it at $549.99.... good thing I have a Sam's Club card


iPad 2 Sold Out.... Weeks Until Next Batch

I know I just posted about the iPad 2 and it's tablet-goodness but it looks like it won't be an available option for those in search of a tablet for a few more weeks either; that is assuming you didn't wait in line and get one launch day.... Online orders are saying it may take as much as 3 to 4 weeks before the devices ship, though some have received reports saying their devices will ship sooner. Either way I'm sure the wait is unbearable for early adopters. I'm sure competitors appreciate the chance to readjust their launch strategies over the next few weeks before the iPad 2 flood gates reopen.


Year Of The Tablet

This past Friday the iPad2 dropped upping the ante once again in the tablet game. Just as Google's tablet version of Android, Honeycomb (Android 3.0) gets out the door with its first tablet the Motorola Xoom Apple unleashes the iPad that is everything the original should have been.

  The iPad 2 has cranked up the specs in almost every area over the original.  It has an A5 dual-core 1Ghz processor, front and back cameras is 33% thinner (and thinner than the iPhone 4!) while maintaining the same (industry leading) 10hr battery life and all of this at the same price as the original iPad! It's not the complete overhaul I'd have like to have seen in a second generation iPad, more like an iPad 1.5, but thats standard Apple procedure.  Complaints aside it is an undeniable beast of a tablet! Reviews state that it is blazing fast and super smooth just like most other Apple products.  There's nothing exceptionally new or exclusive here but it does say a lot for the tablet market as a  whole.  I played with the iPad 2 and I was very impressed, it has great build quality and instantly grabs you with it's Apple ascetic perfection. This is definitely a quality tablet and it puts more pressure on the competition to catch up.... Again!

This is sure to be a huge year for tablets. Last year saw the launch of the first tablet with mass commercial success (iPad) and this year we will see an onslaught of many more tablets.  With Apple raising the bar and at very least matching most of the perceived technical advantages that other tablets where boasting and doing so at a very competitive price it will force other manufactures to price their tablets more competitively. So despite the fact that I don't feel the iPad (1 or 2) is for me I am glad that Apple is applying the heat.  I'm sure that after watching how quickly Android closed the gap in the smart phone market Apple wasn't going to sit back and let the same happen with Tablets.  Samsung has already announced that due to the competitive pricing of the iPad 2, they will be reconsidering their own pricing strategy.

 I'm sure other manufactures are feeling that same heat, and will be adjusting pricing where possible as well as their release schedules... at least they better be if they are smart. Otherwise they may stand to lose many customers, who like me, are waiting to purchase a quality tablet at a competitive price. Tablets running Android from Mototola, LG, Samsung, HTC, Asus and many more, as well as Tablets from Blackberry, and HP/Palm are all on the way, but can they hit the market soon enough an priced competitively enough to survive in a world where iPad is becoming synonymous with tablet?

At the end of the day I really hope that other manufacturers get it together and get their tablets on the market. I really like the iPad 2, but want to stay in the Android family since I've already invested in their app system and personally prefer Android so I am waiting on a competitively spec'd and priced Android 3.0 Honeycomb (WIFI ONLY!!!!!!!) tablet. I'm also looking forward to the offerings from Blackberry and HP/Palm.  I hope they understand that now that we want tablets it'd be wise to get their devices out before Apple snatches up the entire market.  I WILL be getting a tablet soon; don't lose just because you delay or price yourself out of consideration....... WiFi-only Xoom - cough - cough.....

More on Tablets:

More in depth iPad 2 review via Mashable
More detailed review of Motorola Xoom via BGR
More on Blackberry Playbook via Crackberry
More on LG's 3D Tablet the G-Slate via Android Tapp
More on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 via Android Tapp
More on HP TouchPad via Cnet Reviews
More on HTC Flyer (may be branded as an  Evo Tablet) via Mobile World Congress