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September 13th, 2011, 12:34
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Well, speaking of tablets.. I was surprised to see this announcement today that Gamestop is going to start selling Android tablets, as well as iPads and iPods. They're expected to begin stocking them prior to the start of the holiday season.
This ties in well with the game streaming service they bought - and why they were pulling OnLive coupons out of Deus Ex: Human Revolution (still inexcusible, IMO).

I knew they were accepting iOS devices for trade-in (cool, now they can offer kids $2.50 for a $300 iPod instead of a $60 game!) but had missed the selling used devices thing.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
All tablets will include a disclaimer that the box may have been opened by a Gamestop employee prior to purchase.
Do they actually bother with a disclaimer?

Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
While I love me some Android, I have to be honest that the only Android tablet I see potentially doing well is the rumored Amazon one. Android really needs a breakthrough tablet to spur development, particularly game development, and to do that I think someone's going to need to take a loss on the hardware. Amazon is rumored to be doing just that with theirs. They're the only ones other than Google that have a market (and until very recently Google didn't own any hardware tablet hardware production ends) so they're in a position where they can lose money on the hardware to potentially make it up elsewhere. Plus they have a good brand name and have sold a lot of Kindles.
I agree - but for a different reason. Amazon is going 'low end' - it will not compete with the 'spec war' tablets in any way - heavily 'forked' pre-Froyo OS without ANYTHING Google visible or available, a relatively low-end hardware spec without 3G, GPS, etc, and very much an Amazon-forward experience. That said, if it comes with free Amazon Prime as rumored I am in - will save me $79 a year

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September 13th, 2011, 18:21
Oh I agree there. There needs to be some low end alternative to the iPad. I think the Touchpad pretty much proved the point that people will buy a non iPad tablet if it's cheap enough and I think there is definitely a market segment out there who aren't willing to pay $500 or $600 but are willing to pay $200 or $300. These aren't taking sales away from the iPad, these are people who never would have bought it anyway.

The problem with all the Me Too! Android Tablets is they are trying to compete at iPad prices and at that price point, people are going to choose the option that has more apps and support, DUH. The producers of those tablets thought they could sell them on better specs but honestly what are people doing on their tablets that even need those specs? For most people Angry Birds is probably about the most taxing thing they will do on it.

You know, if Barnes and Noble had made the Nook a little more open and multi-purpose I think it could have been that breakthrough low end tablet. They did eventually add apps, but it's locked down through their own store and almost seems like an afterthought. I will give them though they have been really laissez faire with the community hacking around with it when they could have done things to try and block that.

I'm curious to see how Amazon will implement their tablet and how restricted it will be. I heard the Prime rumor as well so I'm keeping an eye out for this tablet. I'm sure someone will hack it to enable the Google stuff and add custom roms and what not.

Amazon is also redesigning their site to be more tablet friendly. I think they are testing it now because I have the new front page if I'm logged in but then if I log out I don't.
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September 28th, 2011, 20:47
So the Kindle Fire tablet is available for pre-order now. The rumor about the free Prime turned out to not quite be what was expected. You get a free month (which you can normally get anyway to try it out) and not a free year.

Still, for $199 it doesn't seem to be a bad deal. Unlike the other Android tablets, Amazon is in control of the hardware and the software and store so it seems like it will be a complete experience, which is something Android was really lacking until now.
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September 28th, 2011, 20:49
I'd like a bigger screen, so hopefully they'll consider that down the line. For the price though, its a good deal. This might kill the Nook though. B&N can't be happy.

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September 28th, 2011, 20:57
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
I'd like a bigger screen, so hopefully they'll consider that down the line. For the price though, its a good deal. This might kill the Nook though. B&N can't be happy.
B&N is rumored to have a couple new Nook colors in the works, including one with a larger screen. You can pretty much bet if Amazon does well with this one, a larger model will come out. That's what happened with the original Kindle reader and is rumored to be happening with the Nook too.
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September 29th, 2011, 01:45
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
So the Kindle Fire tablet is available for pre-order now. The rumor about the free Prime turned out to not quite be what was expected. You get a free month (which you can normally get anyway to try it out) and not a free year.

Still, for $199 it doesn't seem to be a bad deal. Unlike the other Android tablets, Amazon is in control of the hardware and the software and store so it seems like it will be a complete experience, which is something Android was really lacking until now.
I pre-ordered one. I have my Android tablet and it is a shining example of just how FUBAR the Android tablet ecosystem is, especially compared to phones. The Fire killed the Android tablet market today.

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September 29th, 2011, 09:41
The Fire only has 8 hours of battery life?
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September 29th, 2011, 10:02
Dude… it's $199.
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September 29th, 2011, 10:06
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Dude… it's $199.
I assume the answer is yes, then?

One of the things that appealed to me about the original Kindle was the vast battery life for reading. Perfect for my needs.

8 hours is not enough for me, regardless of price. But I was wondering if there might be some kind of "reading" mode where battery life might be extended.
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September 29th, 2011, 10:22
To be honest, I don't know. A quick search didn't reveal much to me. What's the average battery life of other tablets in comparison?

I've never paid much attention to tablets until now. They've always seemed more like a gimmick than anything. $199 seems attractive, but then I saw how small it is, and the fact that it's only 8GB and doesn't have a camera.
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September 29th, 2011, 10:29
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
To be honest, I don't know. A quick search didn't reveal much to me. What's the average battery life of other tablets in comparison?

I've never paid much attention to tablets until now. They've always seems more like a gimmick than anything. $199 seems attractive, but then I saw how small it is, and the fact that it's only 8GB and doesn't have a camera.
The Kindle could last almost a month or so.

I DESPISE having to constantly recharge stuff, which is why I've stayed away from most of these devices. I have an iPod Touch which lasts ~2-3 hours of normal use, which is pathetically low for my tastes. But it was meant mostly for music - and it can last for 30 hours for that purpose, so it's not all bad.

The iPad 2 is supposed to last for ~10 hours - which is also too low for what I'd want, and it's stupidly expensive for what I'd be using it for.

Once these tablets get to ~20 hours of normal use (for real, not juiced up) - then I'll start being more interested in them.

But it won't be Apple - as I hate the closed nature of their platforms. Eventually, some competitor will come up with a strong alternative, and thankfully most others have a much more lax approach to platform lockdown.
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September 29th, 2011, 11:47
I doubt you'll see a full-colour LCD screen product get anywhere near the battery life of eInk, with it's low refresh rate. That's just a compromise you need to make one way or the other.

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September 29th, 2011, 11:52
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I doubt you'll see a full-colour LCD screen product get anywhere near the battery life of eInk, with it's low refresh rate. That's just a compromise you need to make one way or the other.
I'm not asking for anything near that.

I also don't follow development on these things, so I don't know if some kind of hybrid technology could be possible.

I have zero doubt that ~20 hour battery life is coming one day for devices like this, because it's such a desirable quality for so many.

The question is when.
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September 29th, 2011, 12:33
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The Kindle could last almost a month or so.
My Nook Touch has been recharged three times since I got it, a fourth time if you count a couple of weeks ago when it was half-full but I was going on a business trip.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I DESPISE having to constantly recharge stuff, which is why I've stayed away from most of these devices. I have an iPod Touch which lasts ~2-3 hours of normal use, which is pathetically low for my tastes. But it was meant mostly for music - and it can last for 30 hours for that purpose, so it's not all bad.
I have no idea how you manage that … unless you have degraded the (non-replaceable) battery … I still get better than that using my 1st gen Touch for gaming and video …

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The iPad 2 is supposed to last for ~10 hours - which is also too low for what I'd want, and it's stupidly expensive for what I'd be using it for.
I would say that I get closer to 15+ hours on my iPad 2, particularly in my main usage as a 'laptop replacement'. For gaming, it is lower, but it is still a 'every few days' thing for charging.

Compared to a smartphone my iPad (and 4th gen touch) has infinite battery life.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Once these tablets get to ~20 hours of normal use (for real, not juiced up) - then I'll start being more interested in them.
One thing about battery life and 'juicing' … for the last 20 years since laptops became popular Apple (and IBM in the early days) were the only ones who were reasonably honest with life - they went to the conservative side. Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, and so on, assume that you find a computer useful with all services disabled, screen backlight off and not running any programs when they make estimates.

Same is true for tablets … I have to charge each of my Android tablets at least every other day - and use them much less than the iPad.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But it won't be Apple - as I hate the closed nature of their platforms. Eventually, some competitor will come up with a strong alternative, and thankfully most others have a much more lax approach to platform lockdown.
The 'laxness' comes at a cost - Android tablets are a fragmented mess.

I can only get ~25% of games I want between my phones and tablets, compared to 100% on iTunes. And Android monetization isa real issue - some apps work off of ads, but for non-trivial games developers need to get paid … and the 'everything is free' mentality of many Android users extends to software - give it to us for free or we will find it for free.

I don't know how many things I've read from devs saying they hope the 'we actually buy stuff' mentality of iOS users rubs off on Android. They might dislike some of the Apple rules … but they like getting paid for their work.

And in the end it is all about getting stuff done - having some moonbeams and unicorns thing about 'we're open' is nice until you see how Google has shut down companies who got in their way (their Maps wasn't supposed to be on the original Droid, they withhold source for new versions unless certain Google-centric things are done, and other anticompetitive and certainly non-open things).

From a normal consumer perspective Google is no more open than Apple is closed - these things that irritate the crap out of tech folks like us have little bearing on the vast majority of folks.

And that is where the Kindle Fire comes in. It is like Android, but without the rampant fragmentation, incompatibility, and inability for devs to get paid. It is a vertically integrated solution - like Apple. It is a closed ecosystem - like Apple.

And it is probably already the #2 tablet in the world (despite being sold just in the US) … and has basically killed the non-iPad tablet market, which was already pretty dismal anyway …

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September 29th, 2011, 12:48
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
My Nook Touch has been recharged three times since I got it, a fourth time if you count a couple of weeks ago when it was half-full but I was going on a business trip.
Your what Touch?

I have no idea how you manage that … unless you have degraded the (non-replaceable) battery … I still get better than that using my 1st gen Touch for gaming and video …
Well, I use it and it runs out of power… Not sure what else I'm supposed to be doing

I would say that I get closer to 15+ hours on my iPad 2, particularly in my main usage as a 'laptop replacement'. For gaming, it is lower, but it is still a 'every few days' thing for charging.
Well, 15 hours of normal use is close to what I'd be willing to live with - but not quite.

Compared to a smartphone my iPad (and 4th gen touch) has infinite battery life.
That's quite a lot isn't it

One thing about battery life and 'juicing' … for the last 20 years since laptops became popular Apple (and IBM in the early days) were the only ones who were reasonably honest with life - they went to the conservative side. Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, and so on, assume that you find a computer useful with all services disabled, screen backlight off and not running any programs when they make estimates.
You're stating that as if I've been specifically attacking Apple. All I know is that my 4th gen iPod Touch lasts 2-3 hours if I do ANYTHING but listen to music on it. I seem to recall the "official" promise was around 4-5 hours of full use.

I don't think I've ever had a laptop or "device" last as long as promised, so it's not just Apple.

The 'laxness' comes at a cost - Android tablets are a fragmented mess.
It seems a lot of people are happy with their new Android tablets. Not that I'm particularly interested in one.

As I said, I'm waiting for a strong alternative - much like I recommended to my GF that she waited for a strong Smartphone alternative. She did, and now she's got the Samsung Galaxy S2 - which completely trounces the iPhone 4 for everything she's into.

But I'm not really interested in Smartphones. Seems pretty superfluous in most ways - to me.

I can only get ~25% of games I want between my phones and tablets, compared to 100% on iTunes. And Android monetization isa real issue - some apps work off of ads, but for non-trivial games developers need to get paid … and the 'everything is free' mentality of many Android users extends to software - give it to us for free or we will find it for free.
This is turning into a pro-Apple tirade, isn't it.

I won't argue against the App market dominance for Apple. No doubt about it.

I don't know how many things I've read from devs saying they hope the 'we actually buy stuff' mentality of iOS users rubs off on Android. They might dislike some of the Apple rules … but they like getting paid for their work.
Who can blame them, really.

And in the end it is all about getting stuff done - having some moonbeams and unicorns thing about 'we're open' is nice until you see how Google has shut down companies who got in their way (their Maps wasn't supposed to be on the original Droid, they withhold source for new versions unless certain Google-centric things are done, and other anticompetitive and certainly non-open things).

From a normal consumer perspective Google is no more open than Apple is closed - these things that irritate the crap out of tech folks like us have little bearing on the vast majority of folks.

And that is where the Kindle Fire comes in. It is like Android, but without the rampant fragmentation, incompatibility, and inability for devs to get paid. It is a vertically integrated solution - like Apple. It is a closed ecosystem - like Apple.

And it is probably already the #2 tablet in the world (despite being sold just in the US) … and has basically killed the non-iPad tablet market, which was already pretty dismal anyway …
Let me make this simple, so we don't have to go through all that Apple defense again.

I'm not saying there is a better alternative to Apple out there right now for the Tablet market.

I'm waiting until there is, and then I'll gladly explain to you why it's better for me personally.
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September 29th, 2011, 13:31
D you're comparing tablets with book readers. A tablet can be used as a book reader, but it won't be as good as one, just like you can't really browse the internet with an ebook reader. So yes, for tablets the standard is about 7-10 hours while with ebook readers is more like 2-4 weeks, big difference, but then again, they're not the same thing.
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September 29th, 2011, 13:45
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Your what Touch?
Identical to the new $99 Kindle, IR touch region, E-Ink screen. Barnes & Noble makes them.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Well, I use it and it runs out of power… Not sure what else I'm supposed to be doing
I find the iPods are terrible in terms of power cycles and memory and batteries fading into the sunset. I got my wife an iPod Mini a few years back and within a year she was lucky to get an hour of battery. Now with her Nano she never charges unless it is about to die and does much better.

Unacceptable for something without a replaceable battery.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
You're stating that as if I've been specifically attacking Apple. All I know is that my 4th gen iPod Touch lasts 2-3 hours if I do ANYTHING but listen to music on it. I seem to recall the "official" promise was around 4-5 hours of full use.

I don't think I've ever had a laptop or "device" last as long as promised, so it's not just Apple.
Didn't mean it as an attack … or even against Apple. My point is more that estimating battery life is hard and depends on use cases … but with all of the reviews of hardware I've done I have found that when matching claims to reality I do better with Apple stuff.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It seems a lot of people are happy with their new Android tablets. Not that I'm particularly interested in one.
Again it is use-case dependent. If you just need it for a few things, any tablet is fine. I tend to push things - when I complain about the RAM or slow app management, people tell me I shouldn't want more than 50 apps installed. Why should I be limited by a poor OS?

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
This is turning into a pro-Apple tirade, isn't it.
Not intended as such - I keep trying to give Android my money, but it refuses by sheer incompetence.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Let me make this simple, so we don't have to go through all that Apple defense again.

I'm not saying there is a better alternative to Apple out there right now for the Tablet market.

I'm waiting until there is, and then I'll gladly explain to you why it's better for me personally.
Everyone has their own uses, I just have an issue with the BS pretense of Android as 'open' … it just plain isn't.

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September 29th, 2011, 13:49
I am just about ready to get rid of my iPhone. Perhaps iOS5 will solve this, but for now it feels like an unuseable toy. The issues seems to be the same with iPad.

There are no filesystem. You can't store or use your documents on your device like you do with another phone or computer.

iPhone and iPad can't:
* Copy mp3s or documents to the phone (must be done through iTunes or be app specific)
* Erase mp3s or documents from the phone (must be done through iTunes or be app specific)
* Can't save mp3 or documents from the browser (must be done through iTunes or be app specific)

Music or documents installed for one app can't be used in another.

iTunes:
* Mirrors files from your saved library so if you synch the computer you must have all files on your phone on that computer.
* Difficult to have installed on more than one computer, so you must always use your main computer to handle files. Do you want to clog your laptop with iTunes so you can transfer/fix the files on-the-fly (and must have your music librabry on your laptop) or do you wish to have your main computer as your syncstation so you can't copy/delete/fix mp3s and documents on-the-fly?
* Copying single files from different sources can't be done. The most trivial thing like copying a document or mp3 from your home computer to your phone before you get in your car or on the bus or on the train, is a needlessly difficult, encumbersome and timeconsuming process.
* Must be connected physically by cable, wifi/bluetooth doesn't work
* Whenever you wish to connect your phone, like copying one your photos you taken for photoshop editing, iTunes must usually backup/sync first which can take several minutes since you aren't likely to do this regulary
* If you lose your iTunes installation (crashed computer?) you need to fill your phone from scratch (a new iTunes installation pretty much means formatting the phone) since the computer can only synch to the phone, you can't sync the phone to your computer.
* iTunes wishes to update every other week or so and it usually fails the automatic update for me
* iTunes is absurdly slow and memory consuming (tested on my OC3.8ghz/8gb memory machine)


In general it's alien that your phone cant handle your files on your own. All file management must be done through your computer. As a traveling student who do not have access to my computer for 8 hours, must update when I get home (tired) or very early in the morning (6am) so I usually do not do so.

Everything that the iPhone is perfectly capable to do, I must do with my Windows 7 tablet simply due to the software limits in the phone.

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September 29th, 2011, 13:52
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Identical to the new $99 Kindle, IR touch region, E-Ink screen. Barnes & Noble makes them.
How much of this shit do you own, anyway?
Didn't mean it as an attack … or even against Apple. My point is more that estimating battery life is hard and depends on use cases … but with all of the reviews of hardware I've done I have found that when matching claims to reality I do better with Apple stuff.
It must be hard based on my experience with every single estimate being higher than reality

Again it is use-case dependent. If you just need it for a few things, any tablet is fine. I tend to push things - when I complain about the RAM or slow app management, people tell me I shouldn't want more than 50 apps installed. Why should I be limited by a poor OS?
I guess it makes sense that if the OS doesn't do what you want it to do, then you'd think it's poor.

However, I can't exactly "take your word for it" over the words of so many others. I'll reserve judgment for when I get my own hands on things.

Not intended as such - I keep trying to give Android my money, but it refuses by sheer incompetence.
Why would you try to give it your money?

Everyone has their own uses, I just have an issue with the BS pretense of Android as 'open' … it just plain isn't.
That's really interesting, except I haven't said it was open. So why don't you save your issue for people who do?
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September 29th, 2011, 23:46
I agree with *most* of what you are saying:
- Having just grabbed a new Mac I had to go through the re-install dance for all of my crap. Considering I have >1500 apps … ugh.
- iTunes on Mac vs. PC is totally different experience. I have it on my Sony Vaio PC so I can play my music whenever … and so long as that is all I do it is no more of a pig than ~4 tabs of Chrome. But still a pig compared to Mac - and when I *did* hook up iPods … yuk.

Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
iPhone and iPad can't:
* Copy mp3s or documents to the phone (must be done through iTunes or be app specific)
* Erase mp3s or documents from the phone (must be done through iTunes or be app specific)
* Can't save mp3 or documents from the browser (must be done through iTunes or be app specific)
I do this all the time, through iWork or DropBox or SygarSync. I would be *dead* without a cloud file system usable from Mac, PC, iPad and Android.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
How much of this shit do you own, anyway? ;
Well … Macs, PCs, iPods, iPads, Android Phones, Palm webOS phones, Windows Phone 7 Phone, Android Tablet, Nook … and the full set of GBA/DS/PSP hardware …

In other words - way too much.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Why would you try to give it your money?
Because there IS much I like about Android!

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
That's really interesting, except I haven't said it was open. So why don't you save your issue for people who do?
haha … well played

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