26
Jun
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A few days ago, my colleague David Ruddock shared his feelings on Android tablets, why they "suck," and a few suggestions on how they can be improved. At the start of that editorial, he asked the question "how often do you instinctively reach for [your Android tablet], as opposed to your phone or laptop?" Today, I'm going to answer that question from my own personal standpoint, and I'm going to explain why I think Android tablets are actually underrated.

Before I get started, I want to make one thing clear: this isn't about blindly defending Android tablets. It's also not about ignoring their weaknesses, either; I will be the first to admit that the Android tablet app ecosystem is extremely lacking. What it is about, however, is some common misconceptions and utilizing what is available instead of focusing on what's not.

The break of dawn

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To give you an idea of how my day starts, the very first thing I touch every morning is my TF300. Why? Because it's my alarm clock. DoubleTwist Alarm promptly goes off at 8:00 AM (only because it's summer and the kids are out of school, though); being the non-morning person that I am, I snooze it at least three times before actually waking up at 8:30(ish). I grab my tablet, disable the alarm, and immediately check both of my email accounts for anything interesting that happened while I was sleeping, as well as the calendar widget so I'll know if there are any major device announcements, app releases, or anything else happening that day. And that's before I even get out of bed.

My day continues along a similar path, with my Android tablet at the center of it all. I won't even leave the room for more than ten or fifteen minutes without bringing it along with me. Why? Because my tablet has become an integral part of how I do, well, everything. I don't turn to my phone nearly as often as I do my tablet. And why would I? Text input is easier on my tablet. Reading email, checking RSS, Twitter, and Facebook are all drastically more convenient on my tablet. Basically everything I do on my smartphone is easier and more fun on my tablet. This didn't happen overnight, though; I've spent quite a bit of time using my tablet, finding apps that do what I need them to, and finding new ways to use it to simplify my life.

So, unlike David, I actually turn to my tablet long before my phone. I'm not going to jump into kitchen cutlery analogies to prove my point, however, so just take that for what it's worth. Simply put, not only do I think Android tablets are extremely useful machines, but I actually prefer mine.

Let's talk about productivity

Remember earlier when I said I want to address some misconceptions? Here's the first one: Android tablets can't be used for productivity. Bollocks! With the right combination of apps, Android tablets can be incredible productivity machines. In fact, I sometimes turn to mine when I need to get something done without being distracted. You see, due to the limited on-screen multitasking capabilities of Android, I can actually get more done. I've written several of my more recent reviews and editorials (including this one) using my Android tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard. It's so easy to stay focused on what I'm doing, and my thoughts remain clear when I don't have 13 other windows open to distract me.

But there's something I haven't mentioned in this equation: the applications that I use to get things done. Let's talk about those now.

Screenshot_2012-06-25-16-50-02

Main window: Evernote; top-left: Overskreen floating browser; top-right: hovernote

For writing, I generally use Evernote, because I still have to edit and upload what I'm working on with my computer (hey, I never said I use my tablet for everything, nor did I say that it is capable of such). If I need to work with a document or spreadsheet, it's OfficeSuite Pro all the way. It's definitely my favorite office suite for Android (until Google does something awesome with QuickOffice, anyway); it has Dropbox and Google Drive integration, too, so it's easy to keep what I'm working on synced across multiple computers. In fact, when I first started writing for Android Police, I also moonlighted at another job, which involved going to various places in the area and filling out tons of paperwork. Thanks to OfficeSuite Pro and Dropbox integration, I never had to go to the office - I typed everything up in OfficeSuite on my Galaxy Tab 10.1 (with a ZAGG Bluetooth keyboard) and it synced back to my computer at the office. I've since left that position, as I didn't have enough time to fulfill all of my duties there, but the same principle could easily be applied across the board for many different instances.

That's just a small taste of the the things that I use my Android tablet to do. Add some floating apps like Overskreen, AirCalc, Lilypad HD, and hovernote to the mix, and you've effectively doubled (or tripled) your productivity. Let's say, for example, you're working on a spreadsheet and need to do some simple calculations. Fire up AirCalc, which floats atop whatever you're already working on, and done. Hell, if you use something like SwipePad, you won't even have to navigate away from the foreground application to launch a floating app. If you can't be productive on your Android tablet with the combination of regular apps, floating apps, and quick launchers, then I have no idea what the problem is.

A little help, please

Alright, so the tablet isn't a productivity device on its own - it needs a little help from a few accessories. Routinely, I use a Bluetooth keyboard and speaker with my tablet. This way, I can listen to some music with Google Music or Spotify (which lost landscape support after the most recent update - I'm still livid about that), and get some work done using Evernote, hovernote, OverSkreen, and the like.

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Some may argue that if I'm going to go through all that trouble, I should just use my laptop. That's not what this is about for me though; this isn't about using a tablet in place of a computer - it's about getting things does in a different way, using a different medium. Sure, I could use my laptop, but I could also argue that I could use my desktop in place of my laptop. It's always on - with one move of the mouse it's ready to go. Yet, my laptop is asleep. Why would I go through all that trouble to wake it up? Because I want to, that's why. Using my tablet is no different - I don't use it because it's "better" or "more convenient;" I use it because I like it and enjoy using it.

To use a different analogy, let's look at artists. Some prefer charcoal pastels, while others may love oil pastels. Is one "better" than the other? No. They're just different. Sure, they both have advantages and disadvantages, but that's the case with nearly everything. I'm not going to argue why Android is better than iOS anymore than I'll argue why Windows is better than OSX. Both are grown operating systems that are good what they do. They just handle things differently.

No, they're not perfect

As I've already said, I have no problem admitting that the app ecosystem for Android tablets sucks. It's awful, and there's no denying that. I'm going to give an opinion here that many people may not like: Google messed up when it brought "zoom mode" to tablets in Android 3.2. This effectively encouraged developers to take the "lazy way out;" after all, what's the point in a dedicated tablet interface if their already-good phone app scales to tablets? Of course, even before the introduction of zoom mode, most apps upscaled themselves to make them "usable" on tablets - zoom mode just made it a little bit "better." At one point, Andy Rubin himself said that "you shouldn't have to have a third-party developer build his apps twice" to allow for a tablet-optimized interface. In fact, he also said that "[he doesn't] think that there should be apps specific to a tablet." While I don't fundamentally disagree that developers shouldn't have to build an app twice, I do think that this sends the wrong message to developers and the lack of good tablet-optimized apps really is killing Android.

I'm not saying there aren't any good tablet optimized apps, though; I've already talked about some of my favorites. With that, however, I do admit my beloved tablet's weakness: it can only be as good as the ecosystem that surrounds it. Therefore, Android tablets do not suck - the lack of support is to blame for this label.

Up to this point, I haven't mentioned two key aspects of David's editorial: Play Movies and Play Music. Why? Because I feel like that's an issue with the Play Store itself and applies to all Android devices, not just Android tablets. You can make your own call on that one.

...But let's not forget about leisure

Much like my PCs, I don't just use my Android tablet for work; it's my on-the-go movie, music, and gaming machine. And it's awesome.

My primary tablet is a Tegra 3-powered Transformer Pad 300. It's fast, light, thin, and has a keyboard dock (which, ironically, I don't actually use to type on most of the time) that offers a full-size SD card slot and USB port, as well as a few hours of extra battery life.

I don't have a television in my bedroom (nor do I want one), so my Android tablet becomes my primary source of entertainment at night. My wife and I often lay in bed and watch something on Netflix before falling asleep, which works out nicely. The only complaint that I have here is the Netflix interface: it sucks. Like, to the point that it's almost unusable. Since the entire interface is handled server-side, though, this is more of a Netflix issue and less an Android problem. Don't get me wrong - actually watching something is fine; it's navigating to whatever you want to watch that is troublesome. I really hope that Netflix is working on a fix to that.

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In my downtime, my Android tablet also becomes my gaming rig. With titles like Shadowgun THD, Dark Meadow: The Pact, GTA III, Max Payne, NBA JAM, and Mechinarium (just to name a few), I have no shortage of awesome games to kill some time. Throw in some emulators like NESoid and SNESoid, and I have a kick-ass throwback gaming rig, too. Combine all that with the TF300's keyboard dock, a Logitech wireless controller, and an HDMI cable out to the TV, and the experience is killer.

I also like to play around with photography in my free time. I'm by no means a photographer on any level, but I find it enjoyable and relaxing. Thus, when I go out to take some shots, guess what accompanies me? Yep - my tablet. Why? Because, as I've already mentioned, the dock has a full-size SD card slot; this allows me to see my images on a much larger screen than just the camera alone. I can even use my tablet to do some spot editing on-site if I want, which is always nice.

Okay, I'm done

To answer the question that David asked in the beginning of his editorial, how often do I instinctively turn to my Android tablet instead of my phone or laptop? Very often. In fact, I think it was slightly unfair of him to called out Android tablets for "sucking" when he openly admitted that he rarely uses his. I feel like that, in order to objectively says that something "sucks," you need to spend quite a bit of time with it. 

But, of course, David is my colleague and I respect him and his opinion. This is in no way a personal attack on him, but rather a look at the other side of what Android tablets are capable of from someone who uses one every single day.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, and musician. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6- or 7-string, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • AppleFUD

    "Android Tablets Are Powerfully Versatile Machines, And Don't Try To Tell Me Otherwise"

    OK. . . I won't :)

  • BlackGod

    Read this on my Asus Transformer Prime TF201, typing this with the keyboard dock, and with a very big smile on my face :D

    • CJ Walker

       what browser do you use bc for the life of me I can't every click properly into the "Type your comment here." box to begin a reply ...

      • BlackGod

        I mainly use Chrome Beta (Request desktop site) and occasionally use ICS Browser+

      • punkchobit

        I'm using dolphin hd on a galaxy tab

      • Nick V

         I like the stock browser more than all of them.  I am not a fan of the Chrome Browser on Android, although it is probably due to not using the "Request Desktop Site"

  • kapralwojtek

    The opinion of someone who goes out of his way to do almost everything on his tablet, even things that are better done or just more convenient on other machines like laptops or desktops ("kick-ass gaming rig"? Seriously?) is hardly unbiased, too. Definitely no need to go bashing your colleague for having a different one.

    • AppleFUD

      Did you actually read the article?

      1. He does not bash is colleague
      2. He uses his tablet because he *enjoys using it more* than other devices for those tasks that he uses it for

      It's one thing for a person to force themselves to use something even though it is near impossible (often seen with fanbois trying to prove a point) and another because you actually enjoy using it.

    • Dustin

      Wow your choad

      • Dag86

        with what? wow my choad with what? I MUST KNOW

  • RedPandaAlex

    My Xoom is my primary computing device.

    My setup is this: I have a custom-built desktop in the bedroom that's fairly powerful. I have a Xoom and my girlfriend has a Chromebook, which we use for email, note-taking, social networking, general web browsing and videos, etc while we're sitting on the couch. The full computer is available whenever we need to do something our portables can't. All of those together were cheaper than two good laptops, and the desktop is more powerful and the portables are more portable.

    How useful a tablet is going to be to you depends on the rest of your set up. If you have a 1500-dollar ultrabook, it's not going to do much more for you. But if you have a 600-dollar custom-built desktop, it definitely has a niche.

    The only downside to our set up is that I've been really disappointed in the remote log-in apps I've tried. I wanted to be able to use my computer from my portables, but it's always been easier to just get up and go down the hall rather than try to use log-me-in or something.

    • http://twitter.com/anasqtiesh Anas Qtiesh

      Have you tried Teamviewer?

      • Endersdestiny

        2x client is also pretty good for WiFi use. They do offer a remote option that runs on your desktop but I haven't used that yet because I use Teamviewer.

      • John O’Connor

        Teamviewer is a great app. I like the added feature of having a list of various computers/contacts to one click login as well

    • http://twitter.com/katsushiro Katsushiro

      I actually spend a good chunk of my workday RDP'd into my home PC from my TF300 (with dock) and it works beautifully. Add in a bluetooth mouse and adjust the settings, and even right-click works perfectly. I use Xtralogic's Remote Desktop Client (I have both TeamViewer and Splashtop THD, and Xtralogic's client is the one I find the most usable when I'm remoting in from out of the house.. Splashtop a little better for when I'm in the house with Wifi). Not free, but works beautifully.

  • Gino

    @kapralwojtek:disqus both articles are opinions and the way they start set up the tone of a biased opinion. I think David and Cameron both did a great job of defining the two extremes of Android tablet love (or hate). I would say to get a better idea of where the tablets stand, one should read David's article and then Cameron's to end up in the middle. :)

  • Samhawes151

    How is the the TF300 compared to the prime. Do you notice any image retention/Screen burn using that clock? I went through 3 primes and eventually gave up due to them all having issues with image retention. Also how is the standard glass compared to the gorilla glass, It worries me that it may not be as sturdy. And I agree if you put the effort in then there a so many uses for an android tablet.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      I have both, and I prefer the TF300. My Prime has a few performance issues that the TF300 doesn't suffer from, but I'd say if you're in the market for a new tablet, just wait for the TF700.

      • Samhawes151

         I was jut really put off by the screen issues I had, screen burn on two and dead pixel and dirty trapped under the glass on the other. Though it might have something to do with the super IPS panel, which I know the TF 300 doesn't have so I thought the 300 might not suffer the same issues.

      • miso_sori

        Yeah I really wish ASUS would address the I/O writing problems the Prime suffers from it makes browsing a pain. Wasn't planning to root this device but I might have to just for browser2ram.

  • Paito

    Read on Tablet. :)

  • Nathan Weaver

    A while back I requested our office buy an iPad and Android tablet, so we could use it in testing of our courses--I work @ Missouri S&T in the online program.  Before getting them, I had never used either an Apple or Android mobile device.  Though, I'll admit I had my reservations about Apple's strictness, as strictness can often cripple the user experience.

    After using both extensively for testing video streaming and other apps and productivity options on them, I have found that the Android certainly is a better software from the end user's perspective.  Less limitations, more openness, allows for a smoother experience.

    Whereas, on the iPad I often have to download some 3rd-party app that looks frightening just to do a simple task... like downloading one of our course videos in H.264.  Or my favorite, not being able to find the ability to set a video on repeat using Apple's built-in video player, and having to download a 3rd-party app just so my boss's boss can pass the iPad around the room in a meeting with a little demo video playing and know it isn't going to end by the time it gets to the second guy.

    But now that I'm talking about user experience, if your user has no desire to do anything but use the tools you give them, then I guess the iPad is alright.

  • http://twitter.com/rohanXm Rohan Mathur

    My HP Touchpad is still going strong for $99.
    You really cannot beat it.

    • http://twitter.com/bryanilee2 Bryan Lee

      Ah, poor Touchpad.  Too bad HP was so short-sighted and didn't realize (unlike most of the commenters on these articles) that what you don't do is work on a tablet, release one version of it, and then cancel it shortly thereafter.  That it takes time, resources, and dedication to build up an ecosystem and a customer base.  RIM, are you listening?

  • mustybooks

    Completely agree... I'd like to mention Splashtop THD as well :D

  • http://www.nerdshowandtell.com nerdshowandtell.com

    You described pretty much exactly what I do every day on my own tablet.. As does my girlfriend.. We both use our tablets much more than our phones throughout our days.. Thanks to Pulse, Google Calendar, Google Voice, etc.  If I have my phone and tablet sitting next to me and I receive a text message (or need to send one), want to check RSS feeds, calendar, etc.. 99.99% of the time I will grab my tablet..  The tablet is the OPTIMAL read-only device.. if I need to type a lengthy (longer than a sentence or two) email or anything, I'll use my desktop. 

  • L boogie

    read this on my gtab 7.7 and it's a great counterpoint to david's article though the 3 strikes analogy does drive home some serious valid points. as a IT major closing in on graduation, my gtab as well as my future infinity or huawei full hd model has & would continue to help with productive apps Cameron mentioned to fulfill my education as well as entertainment needs. it's good to look at the big picture from different angles to reach an overall decisive viewpoint

  • http://www.talltechtales.com/ Mattias

    Good contrast and I think it's great to see articles highlighting both sides. I agree with this one quite a bit more.

  • http://twitter.com/katsushiro Katsushiro

    Y'know, everyone keeps complaining about the lack of apps as if there was nothing to use on an Android tablet.. And yet I use mine constantly and it does almost everything I want without fail. Are there apps on the iPad that I wish were on Android? Yes. Do I wish there were more tablet-optimized apps on Android? God yes. But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty and that they aren't awesome. Let's see:

    Productivity: Evernote is amazing, the built-in Gmail and Email apps are great both for gmail and Exchange, ezPDF Reader, RepliGo Reader, and Aldiko Reader are all great for browsing documents, OfficeSuite Pro, CloudOn, Dropbox, Google Drive, all of these keep me busy and productive. The built-in SuperNote software is also good for quick notes and sketches. And AirTerm is invaluable for me in my line of work, especially with a rooted tablet and root access to the command line.

    Entertainment: An embarrasment of riches here. News browsing? Pulse is incredible, Currents is quite nice, and syncing things from my computer to Pocket is a pleasure. Comixology and Komik and PerfectViewer are all great for reading comic books, and MangaWatcher is quite spiffy for browsing manga. The built-in Youtube app is great (and if you've never used it while connected to an HDTV via an HDMI cable, you're missing out), but there's also Netflix, Hulu+, and Crunchyroll for streaming video. And for playing HD video in any format with nary a skip, DICE Player Advanced is priceless. Browsing pictures with the 500px app, and browsing Instagram pictures with Tabstagram, is a delight. Browsing the web is fun with Chrome beta, Boat Browser, or Dolphin, or even the built-in browser, are all great. Zinio for browsing/buying/reading magazines is easy and great. Stick it! is great for watching videos while browsing too. Oh and Baconreader for reddit.

    Social networking: So the default Facebook and Twitter apps blow chunks. No denying this. Luckily, there's much better apps available: Plume for Twitter, and Friendcaster for Facebook are both beautifully designed apps that make using those services a breeze. There's no excuse for the Google+ app yet, tho. Get on it, Google. 

    Games: I'll just list these here: Dark Meadow, Shadowgun THD, Shadow Era, Siegecraft, Zen Pinball THD, Riptide GP, Dead Space, Minceraft, GOF2 THD, Avadon: The Black Fortress, Mini Motor, Sprinkle, Apparatus, Mass Effect: Infiltrator, Triple Town, Max Payne, GTAIII, Cryptica, World of Goo, Spirit, Angry Birds Space, Battleheart... 

    Misc: Thumb Keyboard is a great replacement for the built-in keyboard and I couldn't live without it. Google Maps and Earth are always fun to use. So is Star Chart. 

    Could I do *more* of a lot of these things on an iPad? Possibly. But there's almost nothing I *can't* do with my tablet. My Asus TF300 (w/ keyboard dock) fulfills all my needs for entertainment, information, and productivity, and then some.. and is getting better on a daily basis.

    • http://profiles.google.com/zandmstudios Steven Zang

      Thumb Keyboard is amazing! Though I still don't find any Android games (even in your list) that are worth playing in the long run besides Minecraft and Battle for Wesnoth. Btw you didn't list BfW in your list of Android games but you did list Avadon, and BfW and Avadon are relatively similar so I would suggest you try out the former! I guarantee you'll like it :P

      • http://twitter.com/katsushiro Katsushiro

        I'll definitely check BfW out, thanks for the tip. :D

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Your list of commonly used apps is remarkably similar to mine. I didn't want to make an entire post dedicated to fantastic tablet apps, however, so I kept it short. 

      • http://twitter.com/katsushiro Katsushiro

        Yeah, the crop of good apps isn't as big as one might like, but they're definitely there and they make Android tabs capable of doing pretty much anything you can throw at them, which is the point. :) 

    • BlackGod

      Also, please add NOVA 3 to the games. That game is epic!

      • http://twitter.com/katsushiro Katsushiro

        Haven't tried NOVA 3 yet, but looking forward to trying it. :)

    • http://twitter.com/dotnetdave David Kennedy

      Most people who make similar complaints, when questioned, reveal that it is usually just a couple of specific applications that they used to use on iOS. There are usually perfectly adequate alternative applications, just with different names, and that's enough to confuse an iFag. :P

    • Nick V

       I use Swiftkey for both Tablet (ASUS Transformer Prime) and Phone (DroidX), and love it.  I won Thumb Keyboard in a contest, but do not use it as much. 

  • marcusmaximus04

    In terms of Android tablets I only barely have one(rooted Nook Color with ICS mainly used for reading), so I'll use my fiancee as an example.

    Her use falls somewhere in between the two. She doesn't reach for the tablet for absolutely everything, but it's not just collecting dust in the corner either. She mostly uses it for reading/annotating PDF's for work(for which it's far superior to any other device). If it's sitting nearby, she'll also reach for it for web browsing vs. firing up her desktop or using the relatively cramped phone.

  • copolii

    100% agreed. I have a piece of crap ExoPC with Android x86 hacked onto it and I love using it. If the build on it wasn't so unstable, I'd use my laptop & desktop a lot less.
    You CAN build a single app that is optimized for both tablets and phones, you just have to make the right decisions in the layout. You can easily include a different layout for tablets and you can easily use fragments.
    Functionality is the same, you just have to be creative about the layout and use your head.

  • http://twitter.com/rdlf2048 Rodolfo Ferreira

    I do respect David's opinion though I don't think it's fair to attack Android Tablets without spending some time with it, which he clearly doesn't seem to, and not only that but also start talking about 'how good I think m$ tablets are/will be'.
    Nonetheless I also think Android tablets suck, but my opinion is about how bitchy nvidia can be and impose such hardware restrictions for Tegra 2-based tablets, which still is bought by so many people nowadays, just take a look at Transformer Forums and there are and will be new threads about ppl who bought one and are asking away for help for Android starters. I could even buy and try this logictech controller and although it works with Tegra 3, it might not even get 'detected' by Tegra 2 devices (My tablet is TF101). Not to mention how fragmented Android games are because of "thd" and "non-thd" titles, which give game Developers much more work thanks to nv. This is serious guys, nvidia is fooling us. If you don't take my word for it, just look at this story: http://forum.gameloft.com/index.php/topic,52259.0.html and if you don't want to read it, take a look at the pic: http://www.kephost.com/images4/2012/6/2/bjmjuvw9ah6bfprtztph.jpg To sum it up: A SINGLE processor is capable of handling both "THD" and "non-THD" versions of a game. Is this because of the hardware (processor) itself? YES. If it is a tegra processor, then the EFFECTS are enabled, otherwise, guess what. In other words, a non-tegra processor can run "thd" games as if it was a tegra processor, it's just a matter of fooling the hardware-detector. My tegra2 can run your tegra3-ONLY games but nv doesn't want to because if I could, there would be no point to buy a tegra3-device. See? Their hypocrisy and ambition just hurts the gaming environment of Android. I'm not going through other details, I'm done here.

  • Ozikeri

    Well done Sir,

    X2 everything above. Don't get me wrong android has a long way to go but I do know for sure that the first thing I would grab in a fire would be my prime which I am currently typing on.

    Should become even better when Microsoft office is released later this year for Android.

    • New_Guy

       i love when people say android has catching up to do (not bashing you) because thats exactly what people were saying about android phones as recently as 2010. its only a matter of time =)...

  • punkchobit

    Devs don't need to make their app twice, just make a second ui layout which is basically an xml file thar sets the location of items on screen.

  • http://twitter.com/kn1ghth4wk241 Mike Daniels

    although you may have a point about android tablets, i completely disagree with you and i do agree with david and his opinions, but thats just my opinion, until you use a windows 8 tablet you will not know what it likes to do everything your desktop can do

  • Martin Nilsson

    I think that Android tablets sort of suffers from the same issues as the netbooks did. To me the netbooks were awesome and I know that many shared the same view. Thanks to the hardware and the fact they ran on Linux they cost you less then 200$ and where perfect as a glorified notepad and pen. They didn't do much more then take notes but they did it brilliantly. With a larger (third party) battery mine could almost do 20 hours before I had to charge it, so I was very happy. Then people started bitching about the fact that they couldn't play World of Warcraft or run HD video on their machines and suddenly we instead got more powerful machines for 3 times the price.

    I think it's about the same with tablets, especially those with Android. If used right, they are awesome. But if you want to play World of Warcraft and think that the cheapest tablet and no external keyboard (come on, they are expensive) will do, of course you will be disappointed.

    Use it right and for the right purpose, as you have pointed out in this article, and they will be an extremely powerful and helpful device!

  • Stuntman06

    Tablets aren't for everyone and apparently, it isn't for your colleague Dave. I was skeptical about how useful a tablet would be for me. When I finally got one, I ended up using it 3 times as much as my laptop. I am so glad I got one last year.

  • aaronratner

    I honestly don't think there is an all shortage although I can always use more. I've been addicted to my Xoom since I bought it the day it launched. It's excellent for a good amount of work on the go, fun and game (especially the kids) and as an awesome media center, especially with HDMI. I love my Xoom and can't understand even for a moment why it for such a bad rap.

  • aaronratner

    I completely forgot. I read like crazy on my Xoom. I've completely given up on paper books. It's great for consuming media if all kinds.

  • masterdebater

    Great article sir. 

  • jayray78

    I'll say this. I've had my iPad one since launch day and I find it largely unusable for spreadsheets.  I also have a Kindle Fire running CM9.  I find both are great for consumption devices, but I have to disagree with productivity.  Maybe I am just entrenched in the desktop/laptop mentality of doing things.  Just give me my Chromebook and I am happy enough. 

    • Ryan Officer

      The kindle Fire lacks Bluetooth support, there for no use of a physical Keyboard.
      a opposed to the Transformer TF300 with a keyboard dock/bluetooth support for wireless keyboard  

      • jayray78

        OK, thanks....what's your point?

  • http://profiles.google.com/jonbethea Jonathan Bethea

    awsome article! i use my Xoom every day and i love it, do i wish it was thinner and it had more apps sure.

    • tBs_Battousai

      and lighter and Motorola would update it to ICS (MZ604 UK wifi) but I agree, can't imagine a day without using it...

  • Himdeep Rekhi

    I agree 100% with Katsushiro. 80-85% of the apps that I use are similar to what he uses & I feel them adequate for my needs. In between having full time job, an Android phone, spending time with wife, kids, dog & friends ... I don't have more than 2 hrs to spend with tablet be it be any tablet. & in those 2 hrs (give or take), I mostly read comics or ebooks & sometimes play some games. I have done some productivity stuff on Android & I personally believe that Android is a more promising ecosystem as most Android devices offer USB/SD support & have drag & drop as opposed to sync via itunes. This makes Android a better & easier platform to consume stuff from various sources & not just tied to one ecosystem (or making life difficult for no reason.) Sometimes, I think Apple is a biggest tech troll company. They will make a wonderful device & then they will put BS restrictions. I hated that in iPods & I hate that in iPads & iPhones. It may work for many people but it doesn't work for me. If Android tablets out paces or matches Apple in market share then probably more quality apps & support will be there. Well, at least Android has a lot of free apps. & while some people might claim ease of use for Apple products, I honestly don't think so. Ease of use is not just downloading & pressing App icons. Ease of use is whether you prefer file management system (it is easier than it sounds) or go through itunes. It also includes whether you find Apple way of doing things more intuitive or an Android way of doing things. Personally, I had to google to understand iPad every step of way (waste a lot of time) whereas I just understood Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 instinctively.

    Until then, I would say analyse your needs & see what fits best. If you are tied to Apple ecosystem or love itunes or is an avid gamer or can spend lots of time & money on apps or accessories then nothing beats iPad. If you are like me then Android tablet would do just fine & these days Android Tablets prices have really come down (& quality really gone up). Add to it cheaper memory expansion capabilities (for people like me online storage just won't cut it), more free apps (which are not demos) & ease of transferring stuff (drag & drop); you will be one happy camper.