14 April 2011

Android tablet attacks in London: Good or bad?

Yes, they come! The android tablets are populating some gadget shops. Yesterday I visited two stores in Ealing Broadway shopping center: Currys Digital and Carphonewarehouse.

First I entered Currys Digital. I was surprised that there were four android tablets: Motorola Xoom, Acer Iconia A500, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Advent Vega. The Toshiba Folio I saw few days ago had disappeared.

Unfortunately I couldn't play with those tablets. There was no Internet connection, so it was useless to do a test, because without Internet connection it was impossible to play with browsing, email, contact, calendar, android market etc.. And inside there were hardly any apps.

This was simply unacceptable! It seemed to me as if Currys Digital didn't want people to test and to buy those tablets. Why? Because with the nearby iPad and iPad2 show-cased there you could test some apps, browsing Internet (yes there was Internet connection!), play with calendar, contacts, email and photo gallery. I asked myself, what was the purpose to show android tablets there if they didn't want customer buy it?

Motorola Xoom
The tablets itself gave me different impressions. Advent Vega has a 10" screen and is very responsive. I liked this Android inside. Unfortunately the screen is not bright enough even by the maximum brightness. In addition the plastic skin makes it look cheap. It means Advent Vega cannot be my next tablet.

The show-cased Galaxy Tab didn't need my attention. I've owned a Samsung Galaxy Tab since November last year and I'm very happy with it. The installed browser was laggy when I bought it, but after I upgraded the system it is perfect for me: the speed, the size, and the weight.

Acer Iconia A500 looks nicer than Advent Vega, although the design itself doesn't convince me to buy it. Especially the screen shows finger prints to an annoying level. But what definitely would prevent me from buying this tablet is the battery life as written at the stand: 5 hours. Sorry Acer. I don't want any tablet with battery life less than 7 hours! My next tablet would be therefore the Galaxy Tab 10.1!

And Motorola Xoom? I was very disappointed! As I said there was no Internet connection so it was not possible to use browser and so on. But the pain was more than that. I tapped on Camera application, nix! I could only see blank screen. I tried a few times, but the result is the same. Shame, Motorola (or Currys?). And suddenly I got a message on the screen: application crashed!

How can Motorola convince me to buy Xoom if it disappointed me like this? The only thing I liked was the design. Compared to Advent Vega and Acer Iconia I would opt for Xoom. But that high price? Sorry!

Then I headed to Carphonewarehouse. Again android tablets were showing off: Samsung Galaxy Tab, Hannspree Hannspad, Creative Ziio, and Binatone HomeSurf and one tablet more I forgot the name.

Most of these tablets have resistive screen, so needless to say that using such tablets is like using those old Windows tablets. It is really a pain for those who have ever used Galaxy Tab or iPad.

Samsung Galaxy Tab
But at least Carphonewarehouse provided Internet connection, so it was possible to play a little bit with them. They could do more to make it possible for customer to test the tablets. How?

My suggestion is to create an Google account, create some entries in the calendar and contacts, send some emails to the account and upload some photos on Picasa. Then install some free apps: angry birds, Ebooks, weather, Facebook, twitter and a few more. I mean, just like they show on iPad. If you make it possible with iPad, you surely can do it also with Android tablets. Except if you don't like your customer buy those devices, and convince them to buy iPad instead.

Android tablet attacks: good or bad? As I said at the moment I'm disappointed especially with those cheap android tablets. They only create bad image of android tablets!

I'm happy with my Galaxy Tab. It fits perfectly into my jacket pocket, so I can bring it around. It's small and light enough to read in bed. If I want a bigger screen, probably I want to buy Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and remove the pre-installed OS with the stock ROM from Google as soon as possible.
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