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back to article Apple iPad vs... the rest

2010: it's a wrap There's no doubt about it, Apple's iPad was the defining product of 2010. No other offering came out of nowhere not only to establish a new category of kit, but to kick an existing one - the netbook - up the proverbial and, into the bargain, scupper another - the smartbook - before it had even established …

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Silver badge

Bad headline

iPad vs...the rest.

Well, you talked about three other tablets. There are quite a few more than that on the market - Advent, Archos to name but two. Both of which would I am more interested in hearing about that the Samsung because they are similar spec but half the price.

So, 'the rest' doesn't really cut it. Unless this was just an iPad ad. (Not an iPad hater btw -nice piece of kit that is sadly overpriced and overly locked down)

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Bronze badge
Grenade

I have a tablet. It's called an EVO 4G

I paid $200 for my EVO 4G and I can do more with that than I can do with either an iPad or a Galaxy Tab. The Galaxy Tab doesn't look that much bigger than my EVO. Flash works great and I can actual download and view Mpeg 4 and WMV video clips. Oh, and since I have unlimited voice and data, I'm not paying for an extra data plan unlike others who have a cell and a 3G Tablet.

Tabs are toys for the idle rich. I can do more with a large screen smart phone that costs less than half of these tablets. Less money/more value.

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Gold badge

Alternative tablets

The problem with alternative tablets is they just can't do everything as well.

Thanks to the recent OS upgrade I can now plug in a USB MIDI keyboard into the iPad (via USB camera kit) and play/enter music using a real keyboard with apps that support it. Korg iMS20 is an application that has been updated to support it.

With Android tablets this probably won't happen, too many variations in hardware and I doubt Android has a MIDI API like CoreMIDI.

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FAIL

why not?

If it has happened on the iPad, why wouldn't it happen on other platforms? Once the market is big enough to make money from it, someone will do it.

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Silver badge
Linux

The 80s is calling.

MIDI? Who cares really? You sound like some Atari fanboy posting from an 80s time warp.

Besides. It's USB. This is something that is DESIGNED to be standardized. It's the key thing that gives Linux or even a Mac any hope of being able to deal with a number of devices that would be otherwise Windows only.

"hardware variations" have nothing to do with this sort of thing.

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Stop

Typewriters

I find it strange that people classify the ipad as a toy because they don't have a use for it. I don't have a use for baby monitors, not having kids, so does that make them a toy? What about MRI scanners? I don't need one of those right now either, so are they toys too.

I find my ipad to be an excellent portable typewriter; it's light, easy to use, doesn't get hot, is completely silent (even whilst typing), turns on and off instantly so I don't forget something whilst booting up, can be used in bed, lasts all day, lets me check my emails, surf the net, listen to music, read books (although it's not great at that), and even play games. All for £429, plus £6 for Pages, using my WinMo phone as a hotspot. I have a two hour bus commute several days a week and it's perfect for that. Pages even has a word count function now PcPro publicly berated its absence.

I have an Eee netbook too, which I used for several weeks until I got fed up with the noise, the heat, the bulkiness (when carried alongside my work laptop), the minute or more it took to boot up and shut down with AV software running, and the old fashioned ergonomics. Granted the netbook could use Truecrypt and MS Office, which has some compatability advantages with my PC, but it doesn't outweigh the negatives. Not even close.

I wouldn't use the ipad for serious document editing or page layout, just content creation, but that's the job I need it to do and it's therefore far from being a toy. The fart apps are just a bonus.

There is of course the godawful abomination that is itunes. I just email my documents back and forth and avoid using it. If Motion Computing made their tablets for half the price, then that would see the ipad in trouble, if only because of itunes.

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how much do you type?

I cant believe your serious. I think the reality distortion field has set in. Touchsceens in whatever form are no good for text entry of more than a hundred words.

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Usage

My colleague bought an iPad recently. He already had an iphone, but no other Apple stuff. On the 2nd day he said he wasn't yet convinced about the ipad, as he still wasn't sure what he was going to use it for. (God only knows how he justified the purchase in his own head) Fast forward a couple of weeks, and it goes everywhere with him. Document review sessions, meetings, notetaking, referring to standards/policy documentation; you name it, if he's away from his desk, the iPad does it quite nicely. He forgot it one day last week and was lost without it.

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Silver badge

It's a toy.

It's a toy because it only does what Stevey Boy allows it to do.

It's a toy because it's locked down like a games console.

It's a toy because it's pretty but massively overpriced.

It's a toy because it doesn't do half the things that a netbook costing half as much does. Like, oh, plugging an SD card into it?

It's a toy, just like a PSP, Nintendo Wii or to be honest, most "smart" phones on the market.

I can't believe you mention ergonomics, when you're holding a flat slate on your lap, neck craned downward, and pretending you can type properly with it. Do you know that for significantly less than an iWotsit, you can buy a netbook with an Office suite on it? You can even install Photoshop AND get half decent performance out of those tiny little Atoms. Productivity? Try using a keyboard, and not having to guess whether you're hitting the right bit of glass.

It's not that I don't have use for one. If I won the lottery, I'd probably have an iPad specifically for flinging birds at pigs. I'm just under no illusions as to the nature of the device.

It is a locked down, nannying, restricted and expensive toy that's less yours and more Apple's. Don't believe me? Try using one without an iTunes account, or without installing that kitchen-sink travesty of bloatware to start with. Or even better, try registering for an iTunes account without giving Apple access to your bank account in one way or another. That one took me all night, and it wouldn't surprise me if Apple soon close the hackish loophole I managed to google and find! Try getting one as a gift for a child without lying about their age when Apple asks how old you are. Try getting one without subjecting yourself to every present and potential future diktat from the Cult of Jobs.

It. Is. A. Toy.

Now please, downvote me some more, iTards. I relish your disapproval.

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I do not concurr

The fact the iPad has a full keyboard, not just a cramped virtualized system of hard to hit keys, makes typing actually quite comfortable. I don't own an iPad, but a good friend does, and I proved to myself the keyboard was easy enough to use by borrowing it and typing a days worth of NaNoWrimo content on it (about 4500 words). It was a tad slower than a physical keyboard, but once I got over habits like trying to manually capitalize the first letters of words and just let the iPad do it for me, it was fine.

it also does support an array of keyboards, and dragon is an amazingly accurate speech recognition system.

That said, you completely miss the point of the device. It's not for composing lengthily business replies to dozens of e-mails, its for quickly sorting through the email clutter and getting to important emails. If something is critical, you'll boot up the lappy or go find a desk, but sitting on the couch, reading a book or watching a video or perusing some sites, or using instant on to quickly check something on the front of your mind you'll forget by the time the lappy boots.

Is it as nice as a real keyboard? hell no. If you frequently find need for one, BT keyboards can be found for $30 and fit in your pocket easy enough.

No, the power of a companion computing device like this is you can do all the little things that would otherwise require a laptop for comfort without having to pull one out (and deal with it). My wife has a laptop, i don't (one from work only, and I don't use it for casual access). I have a gaming PC at the house. When we're traveling, I'd LOVE to have this in place of getting a full fledged laptop (and the hundreds in software licenses and hours of trouble it costs) just so i could "play" online in comfort when she's otherwise using her machine.

Single most killer feature: instant on. Runner up, ultra-portable with a 10 hour battery. It does things netbooks and most laptops can't as well (including pretty decent quality 3DF gaming)

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What a load of old tosh ...

You are of course entitled to your own opinion but get your facts right if you want anyone to give credence to your rantings.

"Or even better, try registering for an iTunes account without giving Apple access to your bank account in one way or another. That one took me all night, ...."

Just because you couldn't work it out easily doesn't mean it can't be done by legitimate means. Just buy an iTunes card and redeem it.

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Silver badge

@M Gale

I suggest you obtain a dictionary. I looked up 'toy' in mine and it seemed not to mention anything about your arguments re: (i) Steve Jobs; (ii) whether a device is locked down, (iii) its price or (iv) a repeat of its price. It seemed to go with a toy being "an object, esp. a gadget or machine, regarded as providing amusement for an adult". Has a netbook ever amused someone? If so then it's a toy.

Maybe you could argue that it's merely a toy? Then the presence of VNC and office productivity applications would appear to prove you wrong. E.g. it has at least one program that can open, edit and save Word files, displaying each page of A4 at very close to A4 size and with which I can interact with via either a soft or a physical keyboard. That's indisputably a full productivity application.

Possibly you want to say that most people use it as no more than a toy, that its problem is a combination of its demographics and the majority of the software available for it? In that case it would seem odd that the productivity applications are the biggest sellers.

So, it is exactly like any other computer in being a toy. It is by no measure merely a toy and use for more serious purposes seems to be common.

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Silver badge

Activate using iTunes voucher? Not any more.

Doesn't work.

It used to work, but not any more.

Seriously. Factory-reset your iToy, update iTunes, create a throwaway email account and TRY to register a new Apple ID and iTunes account without giving them a debit card. Apple don't even accept PayPal these days, and they still have yet to update their help pages (last updated in November) to match this fact!

(while you're at it, try telling them you're 8 years old and see what happens.)

Now, the only way of achieving the "none" payment option is hackery, arsefuckery and general buggery of the highest order. Not what I wanted to be dealing with at 11:30pm with a friend of mine getting increasingly exasperated at the £160 toy he'd just bought for an eight year old. If it wasn't for that hackery, he would have been taking it back the next day and Apple would have lost a sale. Now as you said to me, get your facts straight.

It's okay Steve Jobs, you can thank me later.

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Boffin

Fixed it for you

"I relish my ignorance"

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Silver badge
FAIL

You could have course

Googled "itunes register without credit card" and the first thing you would have found was this link to the Apple support forums: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2534 which tells you exactly how to do it

That was REAL rocket science wasn't it?

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@mgale... ...toy?

Toy:

http://www.caterham.co.uk/assets/html/showroom/superlightr500.html

Not Toy:

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/7203800/Trail/searchtext%3ESPADE.htm

What's your point?

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Yawn ...

"It used to work, but not any more."

Rubbish. In fact the gift card isn't even required. I just mentioned that as a way for your friend to give his child credit to use without risking unintentional abuse of his credit card. Apple even publish an illustrated support article that is top of the google list on how to create an iTunes account without a credit card that explains how to do it and it works.

When you tried to create the iTunes store account, you or your friend ticked the box that said "I have read and agree to these terms and conditions." before you were prompted for your age. It's quite clear there that you have to be 13 or older.

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Re: You could have course

"Important: Before proceeding to the next step, you must purchase a free application by clicking Free App."

I'm pretty goddamned certain that step wasn't there when I looked through Apple's support section. I had to find it from some other unofficial help site.

Anyway, nice to see that Apple seem to read the Reg. Not so nice that Apple "It Just Works" Computers couldn't make their iToys... just work!

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Silver badge

@gurner - My point?

My point is, realise what you're buying. People are going on here like the iPad is some kind of productivity tool. No, it's an expensive Apple Playstation with pretensions.

Of course I'll be downvoted for that. Too many people here who have bought a nice little toy and don't like being told their very expensive toy is a toy.

And then I'll get called ignorant for it. Oh the irony.

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Thumb Up

iTunes is the weak link

Get a advent vega - for £200 you can throw birds at pigs , surf the web and dont need a google account nor give Emperor Steve Jobs your first born.

I do agree with your statement - the iPad and vega are both TOYS.

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what if you only want free apps

And dont want to give apple more information without lying through your teeth?

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Silver badge

"It's quite clear there that you have to be 13 or older."

Not in Argos it wasn't.

Seriously, you expect to use any iToy without the One And Holy App Store access? Good luck with that.

Having to activate the bloody thing via iTunes is another stupid and unnecessary step. The toy itself plainly has everything required on-board, so why tether it to a (real) computer? This particular iPod Touch 4 is being bought for an eight year old whose mother does not have a computer or Internet access. Luckily, they know somebody who does, and is able to pre-load a bunch of stuff onto the thing for Christmas.

Fortunately, it wasn't my laptop that had to be weighed down by that godawful piece of shit known as iTunes. I'm just the guy who recommended they go for an 8GB 4th gen instead of an 8GB 3rd Gen due to the 8GB 3rd gen being a 2nd Gen in disguise. Also the guy they called when they switched their "magical and revolutionary" device on for it to say "FUCK YOU, CONNECT ME TO A COMPUTER YOU TARDS."

Apple: It Just Works.

Still, at least now they're well pleased with it. Plenty of free little things and it'll connect anywhere there's wifi access. I've also set up skype for them. The one thing these people I know have, that it seems a lot of people here don't? The realisation that they have just bought a toy. Primarily for an eight year old. And no, he won't be going outside the house with it for a few years yet.

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simple

use a disposable visa gift card, or follow the process noted in apple's own help forums for creating an account without a credit card.

Why are you paranoid about giving apple information about you anyway? Their data protection is top notch, and audited multiple times per year to be in compliance with the strictest federal security policies, the EXACT same policies btw your own bank has to follow. Your personal data is no more at risk on Apple's servers than in BoAs (arguably more so given the number of breeches BoA has incurred, and Apple has not). That said, I bet you;ve bought at least something online before, and have accounts with your real data registered with several sites using your real ID, and since those sites almost certainly only do credit processing and never store your CC numebr, they're not bound by the same tight security rules apple is, so your personal data is, I'm sure, already out there and at higher risk of theft than simply having an iTunes account.

If you don;t like iTunes, thats OK. Most people don't. however, don;t fault the fact you have to provide ID of some kind in order to have an account authorized to make purchases (free or not, they have to have something to bind the DRM the content providers force them to use to).

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Anonymous Coward

@M Gale, @gurner - My point?

You point is lost on me.

Available to buy at Toys 'R' Us:

Toshiba 10" Mini Laptop

Toshiba 15.6" Dual core laptop

Elonex 7" and 10" eTouch tablet computers.

Not available to buy at Toys 'R' Us:

iPad

Please explain why the iPad is a toy and the Laptops and Tablets for sale at Toys 'R' Us are not.

I'd also like to know why toys are bad and what you're really angry about. ISTM that these are all tools or one sort or another that can (and are) being used by people as toys or productivity devices or even both.

From what I've read in this thread your actual issue seems to be that it's an Apple product, which is much like someone arguing that a Fiesta is a bad car because it's built by Ford.

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FAIL

and, so.... what?

Big deal, you have to give them an account number with your bank. ...and then you can disable electronic access to that card allowing only "available balances" in an iTunes account or gift card to be used, protecting you from yourself.

Apple's not going to ring up charges on your card just because they have it, and because they have it, they're subject to a myriad of federal regulations and security requirements to protect it (further backed up by both Visa itself and your bank, protecting you from fraudulent charges).

To have just about anything today, you have to have a credit or debit card. Electronic billing for pretty much any utility, service, online game, subscription, etc requires you have a card. Getting one from your bank is effortless since it's not a secured debt, and thus there is no credit check. Worst case, you can always go to your local grocer and buy a re-loadable Visa Gift card and use THAT.

The only people who need to jump through hoops to get an iTunes account are a) illegal immigrants and others who can;t legally open a bank account, and b) paranoids with no understanding of modern banking rules or the protections in place over your money, and even those two groups need only buy a disposable credit card...

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Silver badge
FAIL

Your point

Is that because you can't think of any way that it can be used productively (and you can't have been trying very hard) then it can't possibly be be a productivity tool?

Here's a couple of ideas for you to start with. Firstly Keynote lets you show PowerPoint presentations (which can also be linked to a projector). Secondly it makes a neat Citrix terminal that can give you VPN access to the corporate application suite.

Despite your continuing protestations businesses are finding more and more tasks that it can usefully perform, and so by definition it isn't just a toy (though it CAN be used as such).

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Silver badge

*yawn*

Disposable pre-paid debit/credit cards... don't work. Yep, that's right. Apple changed that policy a while ago.

As for whether something is a toy or not based on what shop it is sold in: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4488309

There's your precious iPad Mini, being sold in Toys R Us. 64GB model too. I'd reckon the reason they don't sell the big one is either because Apple won't give it to them or because the big version is for big boys. This doesn't detract from its toy-like nature though, and Toys R Us still sell plenty of iPad accessories. Bluetooth keyboards too. Would that be an oops?

And no, I consider it completely bloody unnecessary to give Apple bank details after already handing them a metric shitload of money to start with. They don't need or deserve my private and confidential information, and that's exactly what the parent and guardian of the eight year old I've already mentioned, think too!

Age limit? It's going to be used under supervision, inside the house. This boy's mother is his legal guardian, not Apple.

Anyway, I've really had enough of arguing with iTards. It's about as productive as trying to troll 4chan. Seriously, enjoy your toys. Just don't try and tell me that they are serious tools to be relied upon.

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FAIL

Chill out! It's not that big of a deal!

If you don't like it, simply don't buy it! Why act like a fucking 8 year old child?

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Silver badge

Dell Streak anyone?

Has anyone played with this machine, or is there a good reason I've never actually seen one outside of the O2 store?

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Page 2 incorrect details for iPad

the iPad has iOS 4.2.1 not 4.1

also the Wireless only version does GPS , it just doesnt have assisted GPS

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iPad looks...

"Indeed, of all the tablets on the market so far, none can beat the iPad when it comes to looks."

No. The iPad is ugly. Like, staggeringly so. It looks like a joke - a Fisher Price iPod Activity Centre. Which doesn't detract from its usefulness or usability one jot, but it is decidedly not an attractive piece of kit.

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crunchpad

Such a shame that the crunchpad never made it

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Crunchpad.....

It's been renamed and released as the JooJoo (which is now also dead, apparently).

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Anonymous Coward

Typing

I'm as fast on the ipad as I am on a keyboard, although admittedly I don't touch-type. Writing requires as much thinking and reviewing as typing, whether on PC or ipad, so it works just fine. A couple of 10,000 word documents written entirely on my ipad proves that, although they were written whilst commuting over a period of a month or so and not in a single session. But that's what I needed it to do, and it was the right tool for the job, which was my original point.

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FAIL

Tab Prices wrong, by a big margin.

As of now the Galaxy Tab is £399 in Comet, £419 in HMV and £395 in Currys/PC World if you show them the Coment price.

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Lucky me

I received an iPad as a gift from a loved one just 2 weeks ago. Upon opening the box I had a dread: What use will it be? Is it a toy? How limited is it's usability? Do I have to pretend to like it?

After initial configuration I set about using it for all the tasks I normally use my home desktop for, during a weekend day, fully expecting to have to put it down at some stage and go to a "proper" computer:

Check my multiple pop and imap accounts - perfect; rendered doc, xls, pdf and mpg attachments seamlessly. Replied to a couple of them. Virtual keyboard is acceptable for short drafts but wouldn't want to do a lot with it. One big bonus of a virtual keyboard is that when you switch languages, the keyboard follows! Especially useful for non-Roman character sets.

Read the news from multiple European and far-eastern news sites. What a calming experience without the flash-based ads running down the side of the page. Only the Korea times did not render well, but Korea is known to be M$'s bitch, so no surprise there... Checked a few forums, posted a coupe of comments - fine.

VNC'd into my work Linux computers using iTeleport which I chose to buy from the app store (what a superb app). Did my checks and made some tweaks. All worked fine.

Played music throughout the day using iTunes remote. No reason for me to load low quality compressed files on my limited internal memory, I have a smartphone for that.

Looked at some YouTube that a friend had linked to. Fine.

By evening my wife was eager to research next year's holiday, so I gave it to her.... Holiday sites a bit less suited to the touch interface but all were usable.

Bed time - no silly, I didn't take it with me.. I put it on charge, even though having used it practically all day, the battery indicator said 55% full.

Have I used it since? Yes daily. Could I live without it? Probably. Which would I choose between my iPad and my laptop? The iPad!

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Lack of Flash never emphasized enough

When articles about the iPad are written, I'm always amazed that the journalists never seem to mention the lack of Flash support. In our family, we have an iPad, two iPhones, and an iPod Touch. Without a doubt, the most galling thing on these devices is the inability to view Web sites that use Flash. I don't care if Mr. Jobs thinks that people shouldn't use Flash (because it's buggy, memory hungry, etc.) - the fact is that a *lot* of web sites use it and I can't get information off them when I'm mobile (unless I carry my laptop).

Recently, it has been especially annoying: we're in the market for a new car, so whenever I see a car I like (in magazines or on the road), I'd grab my iPhone or iPad and go the car maker's web site to have a good look - 9 times out of 10, I'd get "Need Flash" before getting detailed views of the car. Just try it yourself!

I can't replay my township's council meetings either - they're using Flash video too. I had played with the notion of getting my mother an iPad - but abandoned the idea because she visits a lot of game sites - which either use Flash or Java (that, too, is not supported on the iPad).

I don't have a Galaxy Tab, so I can't comment on its abilities in this respect - but supposedly Android 2.2 and later have built-in Flash support, and I'm sure, as a result, I will be able to consume more web content with it than with the iPad.

But having said this, I've never regretted the purchase of either the iPhones or the iPad. The iPhones have become indispensible parts of our lives. My wife uses the latter constantly to watch movies in bed (yeah, sad, isn't it? :-) - while I read books on my Kindle.

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Had iPad moved over to Galaxy Tab

Its all about form factor and weight for me - the galaxy tab is half the weight of the ipad and its form factor is the same as a kindle - so ok to hold in one hand. I returned the ipad after 1 week - way too heavy and akward for me and much more girlfriend friendly as can keep one hand on her!!!

I'm enjoying the galaxy so far - its nice to have another os to play with. The ebook reader on it is perfect (my kindle 3 is going to my better half) and I've not had any problems with it so far. I guess it depends on usage. I turned off the 3g so that has increased the battery life significantly.

I seem to be getting at least 7 hours out of it.

I use it on the sofa and next to the bed - the ipad was too big to do this.

Big phone? yes some of it might be but I'm getting old and can't look at my iphone 4 screen for too long! I like being able to browse the full websites and flash has been ok on it.

BTW I just noticed the tab has had its price reduced its now £399 at amazon. With price erosion like this it will be £200 come february!

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Badgers

Re: Had iPad moved over to Galaxy Tab

"I use it on the sofa and next to the bed - the ipad was too big to do this."

Nooo! You're so not "on message" with this.

You're supposed to tell us about how you just "love" curling up on the sofa with your iPad while your well-trained pets whisper sweet nothings into the ear of yourself, your lovely wife and 2-3 adorable children - each using their own iPad, naturally ("How we look back fondly on those minor squabbles about who got to use it when we only had one! Nobody wanted to watch 3D-HD TV or use the X-Box, Blu-Ray or even the MacBook Air, any more!") - while having Belgian chocolates inserted into your mouths at regular intervals, at least while the pets are not busy using their own iPads and people have to finger their own chocolates. "How wonderful it is to live the iLifestyle together as an iFamily (restrictions on media sharing may apply)!" And so on.

All this you do while reclining during the weekends or during slack periods in your schedule as media professionals. Otherwise, you're surely on the open road in your white Range Rover... all of you using your iPads, of course.

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Anonymous Coward

if the wife is happy....

I gave my wife an ipad as an anniversary present. Best 500 quid I ever spent. The only way you'll ever get her to give it up is by prying out of her cold dead hands. She doesn't care much for fancy games, nor for photo editing, writing software, burning dvds nor anything else that requires a bit of grunt and faffing about. She does like browsing the web, watching Eastenders on the iplayer, and using the rightmove app to look for her dream house. She can surf the web wherever we have a decent 3G or wifi hotspot signal. She can access all the documents she needs in work meetings. The ipad does all of those very well indeed, and it fits in her handbag.

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Its only toy when you play with it! :)

I have an iMac, a Macbook, a 11.6" Macbook Air, and I had an original V1 iPod (my wife has an iPod Touch). That's in addition to a couple of Windows laptops, and a Windows desktop.

You'd think that I'd have an iPhone and an iPad, but I have Desire HD and a Galaxy Tab.

Whilst I'm not keen on the Steve Job sanitized view of the world, my reasons for having a Tab over an iPad are simple - for *my* needs the iPad is too big. My Macbook Air isn't that much bigger and heavier than an iPad and it is much more versatile - it cost twice the amount though, so that's not a dig at the iPad at all, which is a great device!

My Tab on the other hand is the perfect size and weight for *my* needs - it's also just as functional (IMO) as an iPad. That's not to say that it is better than an iPad - just that it meets my needs better than an iPad would.

Some would say that it is a toy, but for me it is an essential business tool - when I'm out and about I can use my Tab for a variety of tasks including remote desktop to various servers I need to attend to, Citrix served applications, viewing and creating office documents, and ad hoc web browsing.

When I'm not working, it serves as a media player (and server), games machine, rss reader, occasional ebook reader (only when I don't have my Kindle with me!) amongst other things. It's also the tool I am most likely to use a night to browse the web, which used to be a task for my Macbook (not the Air, that's a business travelling tool).

Yes, I could do much of this on my Desire HD, but the simple facts of the matter are that the Tab has almost 3x the screen area of the Desire HD and a higher resolution. That is a key differentiator for me. In fact, I hardly ever use my Desire HD anything other than a phone these days because for most purposes (other than phone calls) it is more comfortable and convenient to use the Tab.

So for *my* purposes, it's an absolutely fantastic device - and it fits in coat and jacket pockets, which is a massive win for me.

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Tab Up

I have a Powerbook G4 and a Macbook Pro, and have used an Iphone 3G for the last couple of years. You'd have thought that I would have migrated to the iPhone 4 and perhaps iPad, right?

I was given (as in completely free) an iPhone 4. But I chose to buy the Galaxy S. And then I recevied the Galaxy Tab as a gift.

Personally, I couldn't be happier with the S + Tab combo. The Tab does a lot of stuff that isn't covered at all in most (all?) of the flimsy, superficial reviews that I've read - this review included.

I've worked for a telecoms network provider for almost 10 years, so I wanted the best available handset and tablet that were available. Nice that the hardware and environment is so similar in the Galaxy handset and tablet, and that the Tab fits in all the jeans/'trouser and jacket pockets that I use. Generally, portability (access) is important to me - I also own two of the Nokia N series, and several netbooks. Tab beats them all hands down, for me.

And last but not least, I didn't want to buy something with such a silly name as an iSanitaryProduct.

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They're all fiddly toys so far

If I wanted to fling birds around, I'd buy a Nintendo DS. Even if I wanted to browse from the sofa/bed I'd still prefer a keyboard as the responses I want to type extend beyond 'LOL'.

None of my social circle have one, but I have seen at least a couple on the train - being used in a variety of raised cases as a book. A book in huge iPad format, on a train, as opposed to a custom device like a Kindle. Boy, that's sensible.

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issues

Since you;ve never had one, you've clearly never taken to typing on it. I borrowed one for slightly longer than a week during an extended and in depth comparison on several e-readers. After just a few hours with it, i was typing on it at near my physical keyboard speed, and had no issues writing a several page article on it, not typing long forum posts or complex e-mails. I can hit about 80wpm on a full keyboard, about 65 on a laptop keyboard, and I was hitting about 55 on the iPad, with little practice. On netbook keyboards, i fall under 50wpm, so to me it was BETTER than an ultraportable's cramped layout. With time, and getting used to auto-complete (which i think should be ported to desktop OS as well), i could easily hit 60-65wpm if I tried.

Do i "like" typing on it? compared to a full keyboard, hell no. compared to a laptop keyboard, I dislike them both about equally. Did it get in the way of my productivity? barely enough to report, and over time that would change to a "no."

Why have an ebook reader that is JUST an ebook reader? I can not only read on an iPad, i can edit a word doc, respond to an e-mail on the commute to work, play a quick game, watch a video or podcast at lunch, watch a TV episode while the wife is watching some other boring show without having to leave the living room to do it and hear her bitch about how I'm not helping watch the kids, it's SO much more than an ebook reader. Heck, we slung it from the back of the drivers seat and played a few Disney movies for the kid on a road trip while I had it. The longer I had it, the more uses i found for it. I did an exhaustive demo of the Kindle, kindle 2, Nook, and iPad, and recently added the Tab to that cycle. the ONLY one I regretted giving back at the end of the week was the iPad. the only reason i don't have one yet is we're in the process of buying our house from it's owner, and cash flow is restricted.

I know people who use them to do business presentations, access CRM systems, review documents (which is SO much nicer on a Portrait display than a notebook, let alone a netbook or ultra-portable), deal with the flood of e-mail, and a dozen other things with them. I know a lot of people who simply shifted from having an ultra-portable plus a "real" notebook, plus a machine at home to simply having an iPad and one good laptop they rarely lug around. I know several who just abandoned the notebook al together and use only a desktop PC now with the iPad. the iPad can do 80% or more of what most people do in a day well, and most of the rest with little trouble.

A week with the Tab, btw, cramped virtual keyboard, no productivity apps suited to the larger screen (no good productivity app at all to compete with Pages or keynote), PenTile AMOLED screens suck for reading text, and the battery dies too quick. If it was 9-10", with twice the battery and Android 3.0 it might fly as a real competitor, but it was little more than a big android phone without a phone and certainly no help on the productivity front, and the poorest e-reader i reviewed.

As for e-readers, if all you're looking for is reading, and are looking to spend a very small amount of money, or you do most of that reading outdoors in bright light (where optometrists tell you NEVER to read due to heavy eye strain issues) i can recommend an e-ink based system (i preferred the nook to the kindle options, but only because it was a more open platform not locked solely to Amazon's book store). That said, if you read regularly in poor lighting (subway, dim lit rooms, in bed, etc), stay the hell away from e-ink. Although very sharp in normal light, and a bit less effected by bright light (though it was still effected), e-ink was the worst performer in sub-ideal lighting conditions, i even liked the AMOLED screen better in the dark. If you can spend a bit more, a used or refurn iPad is a better bet, especialyl if you don;t already have an ultraportable and are interested in doing anything at all more than reading.

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FAIL

So...

If you want to play an online shoot 'em up or something like that, do you insist on using a dedicated console or do you 'settle' for your Windows PC? Isn't Windows, an multifunction OS, the biggest gaming platform around?

You've seen a couple of people on trains reading books on iPads, and you surmise that this is all these people do with them? The point, numbnuts, of a multifunction device is just that. It has multiple functions that not only provide various functions, they also mean that you only need to carry one device! I know! Genius. Reading books on the iPad* is just one of the many 'functions' it provides. Gimp.

*this also rings true if your religion is Android, just replace 'iPad' with your tablet of your choice.

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Anonymous Coward

For REAL mass market, need it to work for kids

... and nearly all kids sites are written in flash. That's why if I buy either, it will be the Samsung.

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The kid's Market

Last year after the BETT show, I posted a comment on one of the iPhone theads, that I was suprised by the number of vendors showing school uses for the iPhone. Not just for theachers but for whole classroom use.

BETT comes up again in a couple of weeks and I fully expect to see as many vendors punting the iPad for classroom use.

Sorry if that sounds like a 'Today Programme' news item.

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I think I want one

I've had a touch for 8 months and it's the most used gadget I've ever brought.

I have an old 36" wide screen CRT TV in the bedroom, since owning the touch, have never turned the TV on as the pic is such better quality.

TV shows, films, ebooks etc, I use my tough all the time for this sort of thing.

So far the touch has done everything I've needed it to do with out jailbreaking it. Can even stream my Sky TV to it (use VUduo box for Sky TV instead of their own HD box).

However, I almost exclusively use the touch when I go to bed, for an hour or so before I go to sleep. Lying on the pillow, holding the touch in one hand.

The only reason I can see for wanting the ipad is the very obvious one of the larger screen. better for Video, better for ebooks etc.

But I can also see that being it's downfall for me. Not being able to lie on the bed, tossing and turning as I do, while comfortably holding it in one hand.

When (if) the price plummets, I might be tempted. But at the moment, top be honest, while it may be a small screen, my touch is so clear, so easy to hold in one hand, that I'm happy.

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Badgers

Best product of 2011

Ipad version 2.0 with Hi-Res camera and FaceTime. I'm putting $100 USD on it despite the H8trs on this site. Bring on the thumbs down.

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