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MSI Will Launch iPad Alternative

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the breaking-down-the-walls dept.

Linux 756

itwbennett writes "Underwhelmed by the iPad? Don't give up on tablets just yet, says blogger Peter Smith. MSI has a tablet coming in the second half of 2010 that measures up on price and size and addresses a lot of the iPad's most noted shortcomings. 'The iPad runs iPhone OS while the MSI runs Android,' writes Smith. 'That means the MSI will multitask of course, and Flash support in Android should be a given by launch time (though that isn't certain). It has a camera. It's running on an Nvidia Tegra2 chip which Ars Technica suggests puts it on par with the iPad's A4 as far as computing horsepower. And of course Android doesn't live in a walled garden.'" The post notes that the MSI device does not support multitouch in its built-in apps. Still, would an Android-powered iPad-alike tempt you?

Update: 01/29 17:58 GMT by KD : Dave Altavilla suggests Hot Hardware's coverage of Asus's recently announced tablet, also based on the Tegra2 chip.

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Only if it has an IPS panel. (2, Interesting)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950576)

While Apple may prove that it is indeed possible to put a better-than-TN LCD panel in a small (laptop-like) form factor, MSI would do well to follow the lead on quality.

That might provoke Lenovo to bring something back to their laptops that has been missing for a while.

Re:Only if it has an IPS panel. (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950844)

While Apple may prove that it is indeed possible to put a better-than-TN LCD panel in a small (laptop-like) form factor, MSI would do well to follow the lead on quality.

Of course, if you really want your tablet to also offer better-than-eInk readability (readable in direct sunlight without a glacial refresh rate)- you can just wait until the Notion Ink Adam [slashgear.com] (the first device with a Pixel Qi display) comes out.

Re:Only if it has an IPS panel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951032)

After trying to use a tablet for a while, I realized that it was just easier to use paper.

My notebook and pen weigh far less than even the lightest netbooks and tablets available today. I don't have to worry about it breaking if I drop them. I don't have to worry about charging them. I don't have to worry about thugs stealing them. They work perfectly in all of the conditions that a tablet would work in, and then some.

If I want to read the news, I'll go buy a newspaper, or pick up one of the free papers. If I want to read a book, I'll just buy or borrow a physical copy.

I don't use Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other ultra-stupid Web 2.0 time wasters. And these days, the further away I am from my email, the better off I am.

Re:Only if it has an IPS panel. (5, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951230)

I don't use Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other ultra-stupid Web 2.0 time wasters. And these days, the further away I am from my email, the better off I am.

Yet here you are on /.

Not really (4, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950584)

I've yet to see a compelling reason to pay more for a tablet. My Acer Aspire [amazon.com] cost less than any tablet I've seen yet but does quite a bit more. The only thing it is missing is the touch component but I have yet to find an app that makes me care.
 
If someone comes out with a tablet that is prices competitively with notebooks and has the same level of features, I'd think about it more seriously.

Re:Not really (4, Funny)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950636)

You're worried about price/performance ratios and overall utility rather than being cool and popular by jumping on yet another overpriced 'best thing since sliced bread' bandwagon?

You must be new here...or you must actually have a functioning brain!

Re:Not really (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950736)

For about $79.00 and a couple of hours of work you can make your Acer Aspire one touchscreen. I found a kit on ebay and made it fit.

it's not hard. give you touch which is actually really nice considering how crappy trackpad pointing is.

Re:Not really (3, Interesting)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950794)

For less money, you could get yourself one of these [newegg.com] . I bet it's also more user-friendly than either the trackpad or a touchscreen.

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30950834)

For even less money, you can get one of these [about] . No user-unfriendliness at all

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30950926)

And also for even less money, you can get [url=http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Trackman-Wheel-Optical-Silver/dp/B00005NIMJ/]one of these[/url] and a twist-tie to take the slack out of the cable. Now you don't even need a surface to place it on (unlike a mouse).

Re:Not really (2, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950904)

I bought my Acer for travel, as I got tired of lugging my 6 pound Latitude around. And my main laptop is too big to use on an aircraft. The Aspire is a great little machine for the road and would probably even make a decent little home entertainment box, it has hdmi out. But I don't use it at home or work. That's why I don't get the tablet thing. I've yet to see an app that makes me think, "Oh- I have to have that, it is so much better than using a mouse/keyboard/trackpad/etc."
 
When I'm at home watching Hulu or Netflix I'm using my television or my laptop with a large screen. I'm not watching movies on a 10/11 inch screen unless I'm traveling. Reading on an lcd is reading on an lcd. It doesn't bother me and I read a lot of books on my laptop but I don't need a special device for that. If I'm going to go with something smaller, my phone is fine and more convenient.
 
Maybe I'm a weird edge case, but I check out tablets every so often to see if things have changed and every time I'm under no compulsion to get one. The new announcements of this last few months, including the ipad do nothing to change that.

Re:Not really (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951264)

Word. The touchpad is the worst thing about my AspireOne. The second worse is the wireless card, which from time to time dies, and requires not only a reboot, but I have to unplug it and pull the battery. (For a while, I had Linux/Windows dual boot, and the wireless card would still be dead even if I booted into a different OS, so it was definitely the hardware.) Still, dollar-for-dollar this AspireOne is definitely the best-value computer hardware I've ever bought, by far. (I paid $300 at Costco for the ZG5 model.)

Re:Not really (3, Interesting)

AnotherShep (599837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950788)

Y'know, I love my netbook, but there are some times that it really just doesn't do it for me. Like in a yaris, at night, while someone else is driving down a gravel road. The position you're in is uncomfortable. The keyboard is awkward. The trackpad is tiny and useless when you're bouncing around.

It's not always how much something does, it's how easy it is to use. I'm going to be watching this very closely.

Re:Not really (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950936)

That's when I'd be using my phone and annoyed with anything larger - though for me personally even that would have to be kept very brief as I get sick in an automobile if I don't look out the windows.

Re:Not really (1)

AnotherShep (599837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951062)

Yeah, that's what I ended up doing, but reading longer articles becomes irritating.

Re:Not really (3, Funny)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951240)

Like in a yaris, at night, while someone else is driving down a gravel road.

Then buy a Hummer.

Touch is just nice (3, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950792)

Touch interfaces are nice. And multi touch is nicer.

I had to go back from a touchscreen TomTom satnav to a non-touchscreen Garmin -- it just felt unwieldy.

Once I'd used an iPod Touch for a while, I kept wanting to pinch-zoom the map on the TomTom.

There are certain things that just feel nice with mult-touch, and it also saves space by doing away with a trackpad.

As a frivolous example - a game like Crayon Physics will be tremendously more satisfying on a touch tablet, than when played with a mouse. But things like photo browsers, drawing apps, etc. will also benefit.

They need to solve the problem of so many things needing text entry, though. Decent handwriting recognition is surely the answer.

Re:Touch is just nice (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950958)

Android seems to be moving along nicely solving the text entry problem with voice recognition. I think that is the way to go in the long run.

Re:Touch is just nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951124)

"Touch interfaces are nice. And multi touch is nicer."

Can't you get that these are "nice to haves" rather than essentials? Most people don't think like that. If the did, then it would be the other way around with most things, e.g. 90% of them would have Macs instead of PCs...

Re:Touch is just nice (3, Insightful)

russian_casey (954084) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951152)

It's the same with various PC OEMs introducing gestures to their trackpads. The problem is, the trackpads are plastic garbage, the gestures are unwieldy, and it's just nothing like an Apple multitouch trackpad - at all. I think these new tablets are going to be the same. iPod touch and the 2G iPhone were lackluster and "underwhelming" at launch, too. And then OS 2.0 came along and blew everyone else out of the water. Killer apps are on their way for the iPad, rest assured.

Re:Touch is just nice (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951154)

I've wondered about the handwriting recognition; you just don't see/hear much about it anymore. But then, would you end up going back to a stylus or something? Handwriting with just your finger isn't going to be the same as if you're holding a pen. But I'd bet dollars to donuts Hell would freeze over before Apple includes any sort of stylus peripheral with one of their products!

Acer (1)

mfh (56) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950836)

Acers used to run pretty hot if I remember right. How is yours for being warm to the touch?

iPad is not a tablet. You cannot do anything on it but whatever Apple lets you. No, a real tablet would be fully configurable and open to modding the software and even firmware. These control freaks in business now are going to lose everything. Apple would have cleaned house if iPad was a tablet without a keyboard, running OSX or better, and able to do anything you want -- even if you want to dual boot OSes.

Re:Acer (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950974)

No - it stays cool. It's a really nice little machine that runs much better than I expected. I bought it intending to do no more than browse, email and watch movies but I've ended up putting OpenOffice.org on it and a few other 'heavier' apps that all run fine and it is the only machine I bring with me when I travel now.

Re:Not really (5, Funny)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950854)

tablets build muscles by requiring you to hold the tablet out in front of you and to hold your arms up to the screen when doing any interacting with the device. So it burns calories and is good for you. Something a laptop or netbook won't do because they sit on your lap, desk, or coffee table and you rest your hands on them when using them.

LoB

Re:Not really (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950862)

you have a good point, and I hope MSI covers it: AKA, let's see this thing be priced well under the apple price (say $300-$400 range). I could definitely see that happening.

Really, it'd be nice to listen to pandora while doing other things. However, it's still all going to be down to the implementation and/or is anything new/significant for it. If it has flash and firefox mobile, that would actually be significant for a tablet.

Re:Not really (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951058)

The only thing it is missing is the touch component but I have yet to find an app that makes me care.

Gosh, could it possibly that you've never yet found an app that's designed for touch on a device that doesn't support touch???

Re:Not really (1, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951144)

It's fucking differnt then a tablet with a different purpose.

You don't ahve a need for a flat computer with a big screen? fine, but don't compare it to a device in a different market space.

It's like looking at a boat and bitching it doesn't have wheels like your car.

For the Eskimos out there, note I said wheels, not tires.

Your device costs 461, the iPad costs 500 dollars. It has abilities and features the Acer doesn't have, but like I said, thats a stupid comparison.

multitouch? (1)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950654)

Hope they can get it to have multi-touch, at least in the "euro" version we could all purchase via the internet. And I would not mind one running WinMo7 if that think ever comes out (maybe they're waiting for Duke Nukem Forever).

Re:multitouch? (1, Insightful)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950698)

Why would you choose Windows Mobile over Android ?

Not to sound like a OSS or Google fanboy, I really am serious, what does WinMo provide that Android lacks ?

Re:multitouch? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30950798)

Not to sound like a OSS or Google fanboy, I really am serious, what does WinMo provide that Android lacks ?

Good apps? It's easier to develop for as you can write apps in C, C++, etc instead of subset of resource hogging Java.

Re:multitouch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951102)

And then you can have tons of issues figuring out which version of WinMo you're trying to work with for which device and which compatibility issues there are and all of those other headaches.

Don't pretend that WinMo using C/C++ makes it any better than anything else; it's such a fragmented platform that development is incredibly difficult for it. I don't like programming in Java, but if I know it will run on all instances of Android on all devices as long as I make sure it works on the least powerful one, that's an incredible benefit.

Re:multitouch? (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951260)

To be honest Android apps perform better on my phone (Touch Pro) than Windows Mobile 6.5 ones, and that's with software rendering.

Re:multitouch? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951116)

Not to sound like a OSS or Google fanboy, I really am serious, what does WinMo provide that Android lacks ?

As WinMo is a fairly old platform, and had decent backwards compatibility all along (not as good as desktop Windows, but better than many others in the same niche), it had a few, by now very mature, pieces of software developed for it. Sometimes, those aren't available for any other platform (or they're only also available for S60, another old-timer). It's possible to get hooked onto one such thing, and stick to the platform just because only it lets you run your favorite app.

Re:multitouch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30950708)

What's the appeal of Win mobile on anything more capable than a basic 90s pda?

On Par? (4, Informative)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950680)

Highly doubt the Tegra 2 is on par with the A4, unless the A4 has a dual-core Cortex A9... Info suggests the A4 is only a single core Cortex A9 which would make the Tegra2 at least 2x more powerful. Not to mention Nvidia vs ARM based graphics core.

Re:On Par? (2, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950846)

Highly doubt the Tegra 2 is on par with the A4, unless the A4 has a dual-core Cortex A9... Info suggests the A4 is only a single core Cortex A9 which would make the Tegra2 at least 2x more powerful. Not to mention Nvidia vs ARM based graphics core.

Absolutely. Ars is a bit of an Apple fansite. Check out Anand's discussion for more reasonable analysis (Anand uses a Mac for his main personal PC, too, but he's not affected by the RTD), suggesting as you say that the iPad most likely has less than half the CPU power of Tegra 2. Among other things, Tegra 2 also enables 1080p decoding of h.264 content, while Apple's A4 can only handle 720p and is locked to some annoying containers, meaning you'll have to transcode. GPU performance on the Tegra 2 is most likely several times that of the iPad, as well. Tegra 2's power consumption is also claimed to be several times lower than that of the iPad. But MSI's tablet will run Android, not iPhone OS.

Re:On Par? (0, Troll)

doomday (948793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951088)

Absolutely. Ars is a bit of an Apple fansite.

Ironic, considering how ars was considered a PC fansite that gave no consideration to Apple only a few years ago.

Re:On Par? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951092)

"most likely has", "is most likely several times that", "power consumption is also claimed to be several times lower than"

Oh! the facts!

Fact is: no official info has been given about the internals of the A4, only rumors. And yet you come to the conclussion that the Tegra 2 is faster both GPU and CPU wise, and yet
consumes less power. And you criticize sites of being affected by a RTD -did you mean RDF-? maybe you are also in some kind of RDF yourself, of another kind.

When a Tegra 2 tablet is released you will be able to compare the systems. Until them saying one is better than the other is just speculation. Well, in fact it is quite easy to compare
them right now: they have the same performance and the same power consumption: 0, as you can not get either one.

Re:On Par? (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951120)

Hmm, perhaps the iPad is said to only display 720p video because that's how big its display is???

Re:On Par? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951228)

But I can play 1080 content on my laptop just fine even though the screen is nowhere near that size. Two things - video out, for one, but not having to scale down from 1080 in the first place if it's your source is also a plus.

Re:On Par? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951108)

This is what hit me too. Apple's A$ certainly does NOT have ARM A9, otherwise they would brag about it. Most likely, the have a single core A8 if even that. After un-spinning "Ars Whatever suggests puts it on par with the iPad's A4" we get A4 is 3 times slower at CPU tasks, at least 4 times slower at video and who knows how many times slower at 3D... Heck, A4 can't even play 780p vs Nvidia's 1080p for the same battery life. I see a blatant deception campaign promoting Apple's inferior product. With measly $1 billion for R&D Apple's does indeed need their $5 billion marketing budget for stealthy PR advertising. Paul Graham described the "technology" here:

http://www.paulgraham.com/submarine.html [paulgraham.com]

Maybe.... (2, Insightful)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950684)

I think it has more promise than the iWidgets do.
It's a more open platform which IMHO gives it more potential.

Geeks miss the point again. (4, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950700)

It's not about "do more things," it's about "do very few things better."

That's why Apple wins.

My wife asked about the iPad last night (she owns a netbook right now) and now she's drooling over one. Why? It doesn't have "files." It doesn't have "windows." She won't have to worry about "flash drives." And so on. She was so excited about all the things it didn't have (and that she therefore didn't have to worry about) that she was disappointed when I told her they weren't in the Apple Store in Manhattan yet.

Meanwhile, the geeks are running around blasting Apple products for all the things they "don't have" and recommending complex alternatives.

That's why Apple is making $$$ these days. Because they're removing 60 percent of the features and making the remaining 40 percent configuration free and so polished they make your eyes hurt.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (0, Troll)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950776)

That's why Apple wins.

Also, I should point out that Android seems to have all of the disadvantages of a closed system, and all of the disadvantages of an open system at the same time. For example, app developers on Android can publish without approval, but so can malware developers. There has already been one app pulled because it was a phishing app. Then, Google has complete control over what can be released, and can even uninstall apps that were previously downloaded.

So Google has basically built an App store that lets malware through without impediment, but can ban any software they want. How is that more open than Apple? It sounds to me like a much worse system.

Not to mention, Android limits the amount of disk space for installable apps to something less than 256MB. You can forget about apps that require a large local database, or other large apps like games.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (1)

Menkhaf (627996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950898)

...but if it runs Android, it will soon run Mer (Maemo), some Ubuntu variant, Windows CE and so on. That's the real deal with MSI's alternative to iPad, at least for me.

Slashdot: why is the "post anonymously" text white on a white background?

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (1, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951060)

Only the executable part of an Android application has to reside in the primary flash storage (still a ridiculous restriction to have designed in however).

A version of Android coming in the future will remove this restriction as well.

Doesn't negate the fact that comparing Android to iPhone OS 3.2 will be like night and day in terms of the software available and how it works in terms of ease of use. And I say that as an Android user. Multitasking is all very well, but having to open a task killer application to kill off background apps to free up memory is tiresome. All apps should quit when closed unless they need to run in the background, if they need to check periodically for tweets, email, etc, the underlying Linux has cron.

The iPad looks immensely compelling as a pick-up-and-use device that I don't have to think about, that does all of the things I want. There are even suggestions that it will support flash (farmville and mafia wars fans rejoice!), because the iPad videos contain web pages that have the flash operating (see 9to5 mac), but could be a fault with how the video was made (using desktop safari imagery).

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (1)

sneaker98 (1545049) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951276)

Your response is disappointingly flawed. Frankly, you seem to be focused on the "what if" and not actual reality. Google pulled a Malware app, not a browser or a VoiP product - yet you still manage to see that as a bad thing? That is absolutely flawed reasoning, my friend.

The actions of the companies while managing their respective application stores speak for themselves. Google has an "Accept All" policy, and only removes apps if they harm users. Applications are not rejected based on unknown rules, such as "duplication of proprietary applications" (ie: browsers, google voice, etc etc).

Apple, on the other hand, has a "Deny All" policy, and only allows apps if they pass an obfuscated and seemingly arbitrary series of tests and checks. Totalitarian policy at its finest.

As for the supposed limit of disk space, you're sadly misinformed. Android doesn't limit application space, the hardware does. And this limit only applies to code - games can store their data on the SD card. I have Doom on my HTC Hero, and it does exactly this.

Besides, this is not likely to be a problem in a tablet, where space won't be at such a premium as on a smartphone.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950852)

Obligatory Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] comic.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950858)

I'd mod you up if I could.

I have an MSI Wind (a hackintosh) that I love but it is not the same thing as a tablet. Too many people view a tablet as "a computer that is just the screen." Apple has gambled (and I am increasingly thinking they're right on target) that a tablet is not a computer - it's a computing device. If you want a computer, you'll use a laptop or desktop. Those already exist and there are hundreds of choices available. A tablet, however, is an ultra-mobile device capable of very specific computing tasks.

In short, I agree - it's about doing few things better. That's why I think the iPad (hate that name) is going to do pretty well as it differentiates itself from the deluge of "computer in tablet form" offerings from other companies. It's not a computer in tablet form - it's a tablet.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (-1, Troll)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950878)

So the best device for your wife would be a solid chunk of stainless steel so she wouldn't have to worry about the battery life, don't worry about the screen if the device falls down, and actually don't worry about anything at all. After all, a chunk of stainless steel does extremely few things (well, actually nothing) but it is the best at it.

I can see you're great with non-tech (3, Funny)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951002)

people.

"I can either outfit you with Gentoo on an 64-way 128GB NUMA server with a 16TB ZFS RAID that you access via ssh over gigabit ethernet... or with your basic hunk of steel... if the 64-way Linux box is too complicated for you. No, you don't want that iPad. All it does it access the web, your email, Facebook, YouTube, and iTunes with the touch of a finger, but only over a wireless network so unspecial you'll find it anywhere in the world, and it doesn't do anything beyond that, really. Oh, and it won't force you to learn anything while you're at it. Naw, either stick to the Gentoo server or the hunk of steel, those are your two best bets, depending on what sort of person you are."

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951168)

Maybe something like this [tablepromos.com] instead?

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (5, Insightful)

eepok (545733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950912)

While I agree with your analysis as to why the Apple iDevices sell so well, I have to state that "the geeks" aren't interested simply in buying from the company that has the best business model... we just want something that works the way we want. We couldn't care less if our purchase includes us in part of a smug team of iTards or anti-Mac... we just want to know if this tablet has the features we require. Example:

I don't need a camera.
I need multi-tasking.
I prefer to have a modable interface to save CPU/Battery power (less is more)
I want an SD or USB port
I need 3G
I need a text and email program.
I need it to be less than $600.
I don't care what anyone else wants nor how successful the company will be (or if it "wins" in the tablet arena)
etc...

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (5, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950952)

Meanwhile, the geeks are running around blasting Apple products for all the things they "don't have" and recommending complex alternatives.

Wait, so multitasking is a "complex alternative"? Please.

Yes, Apple's tablet is meant to be a computing appliance. But ffs, no fucking user-level multitasking? Christ, people bitched and complained about PalmOS and it's lack of multitasking, and now you're cheering it on like it's some kind of feature. It's fucking baffling.

That and the fact that the iPad is a completely closed off system puts it off my list. No, I don't believe a tablet must be a general purpose computer. But I do believe that I should at least be able to install what I want on it from whatever source I like, and I should be able to run more than one fucking application at the same damn time.

I've had a long-running problem (3, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951078)

with my wife hating multitasking. She never closes a thing (tab, application, etc.) and invariably runs out of memory. Often, there are dozens of background processes. Her hard drive starts to thrash. Things grind to a halt. I get called.

I've tried to explain about things taking up memory, the problem of lots of background applications, the problem of never closing applications. She doesn't want to know what memory even IS. "Why is the computer so stupid," she wants to know, "that it can't figure out that I only care about what I'm working on RIGHT NOW?"

Say what you want, but a) she's my wife, b) she's rather beautiful, c) it's absolutely impossible to even try to say "okay, let me explain to you why..." and d) Apple's gonna continue to make bank selling devices to people just like her.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951216)

No one complaining about multitasking even seems to appreciate the disconnect between that word and what they really want, so I would say it is plenty complex. Seriously, people don't multitask, we time-slice between tasks, and at best handle one interaction intensive thing at a time. How much near simultaneous interaction with multiple apps could you possibly do with such limited screen real-estate anyways? When people whine about the lack of multitasking, what they really seem to want is background processes. They just want IM client running, while they're doing other stuff.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30950964)

My wife is excited about iPad for about 20 seconds until I explain to her that she cannot play her Facebook games on it. "Utterly useless" is the comment after that.

But when is fewer too few? (4, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951012)

You make a valid point - Slashdot is not the market segment Apple is aiming at with the iPad. Rather, it's the woman in my class whom I overhead saying "I was thinking about getting a Kindle, but now I might get the iPad - it looks cooler and can do more stuff" or my buddy whom I saw last night saying "The iPad looks so cool, and it's CHEAP! [for an Apple product]"

Problem is, I pointed out to my friend that since the iPad lacks flash, he won't be able to watch Hulu on it. He was very disappointed to hear this. Unless, of course, Hulu releases an iPhone/iPad app. There was a rumor about that last year, but nothing solid so far. ATT complains that the iPhone is already killing their network, think they will really want to let Hulu on the iPhone? How will Apple feel about Hulu as a potential competitor to iTunes? Yeah, there are other streaming apps, but still.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (1)

tzhuge (1031302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951034)

I get the feeling that people are put off by the fact that the iPad is not what they expected. It's kind of funny that prior to Apple's announcement there was commentary about how no one has been able to make tablet computers successful, and now after the announcement, when it's clear that Apple made the 'big iPod' instead, there's all kinds of complaints that they didn't build a tablet computer.

So I'm agreeing with you and taking it further. I don't think (many, or at least the vocal ones) geeks have even figure out what the iPad is and what market it is actually going for. As support for this I would point to all of the 'It's Just a Big iPod' talk (which I suspect will be the new "Less space than a Nomad..."). It's not just a big iPod, it is a big iPod. It's a device that is fundamentally about the consumption of media. It's an iPod; a music player with access to the iTunes music store. It's a portable video player with access to the iTunes movies and tv shows store. It's an ebook reader with access to the iTunes bookstore. It's a gaming device with access to the iTunes App store.

Whether or not that's a good thing or if it will have any kind of impact is an open question, but, make no mistake about it, it is an evolution of the iPod and that's very likely what Apple intended. If it helps people get their head around it... think of the iPad as a new product in the line of iPods and AppleTV rather than Macs

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (1)

timster (32400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951052)

Yeah, I see a lot of people going on with the "can't replace my laptop because" sort of theme, and I'm surprised that it's so unclear to people what this is for. The iPad is a coffee table computer, mostly something that will sit in a living room/conference room for when someone wants to check their email or the news or whatever for a couple minutes.

I'm trying not to be tempted by it (1)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951174)

because (a) I'm a Linux user since 1993 (Unix since 1986) and often personally share some of the frustration that geeks have about narrowly specified consumer devices (as opposed to flexible, powerful IT tools), but at the same time and paradoxically, (b) since getting my iPhone I carry my laptop about 90 percent less. I already am doing most of the web browsing, emailing, facebooking, document editing, and even ssh logins in my life NOT FROM A COMPUTER but from a locked down Apple device, only one with a tiny-ass screen. If that's how it's going to be, might I not as well just get an iPad?

But then, clearly, I will be banned from /. forever. Still, it's only $499... There's something do the idea of a limited-function generalized network access appliance with a long battery life, completely uncumbersome (and no-mouse-or-pen needed) user interface, that's super lightweight and portable, and runs "full" versions of the few things it does well (as opposed to the crippled versions of everything that were common on mobile machines before iPhone came along).

I haven't decided yet. But I know that in about 60 days my wife will be turning up saying "so I went into Manhattan today, and I bought a little something for myself..."

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951076)

Not to mention the eBooks. Kindle may offer more eBooks than the iPad, this MSI product may have better graphics than the iPad - but it's not going to support Apple or Amazon's eBook stores. The eBook store is just as crucial in moving these things as iTunes is for moving iPods. Then there's the app store to keep in mind as well. iPhone users are going to default to these things b/c they don't have to rebuy their apps.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951104)

"STOP . AMERICA . NOW"

You just knew Apple fools would utter things like this.

A disgrace.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (1)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951114)

I'd bet you the iPad won't be a huge commercial success. It's not just geeks that are missing the point here. Most people other then Steve Jobs and your wife seem to be missing the point. That's a lot of money to fork over for a device that won't find a lot of use.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951142)

... now she's drooling over one. Why? It doesn't have "files." It doesn't have "windows." She won't have to worry about "flash drives." And so on. She was so excited about all the things it didn't have (and that she therefore didn't have to worry about) that she was disappointed when I told her they weren't in the Apple Store in Manhattan yet.

You just wait till she actually uses one for an extended period of time. I strongly suspect that she'll suddenly find out that all those "complicated things" such as files and multitasking were actually very handy to have.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951282)

I am 100% confused behind your wifes reasoning and those that modded this insightful. Did anyone actually read the parent and attempt to comprehend the claims or see the straw man argument here?
Your discussion of why she wants an iPad does not directly relate to why the iPad would be a good alternative. If you are working with files and flash drives, it is because you are moving or manipulating files or data in and out of the system to those devices. How is the act of using the iPad over a netbook going to eliminate that need? I assume the flash drive or files your wife uses is to open and work on them and then save them, please explain how she can use the iPad to work accomplish that task without actually opening them or going to some device to open them? If you find an alternative way of performing the tasks she needs to without using files from a flash drive or without the act of "opening files", would that alternative also work with the netbook? If your NOT using the flash drive and opening files on the netbook, how is the ability to do that impeding the ability to do other things with the netbook?

The "reasons" sounds like an excuse is being made to justify buying one because no other logical justification makes sense.

Re:Geeks miss the point again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951302)

It's not about "do more things," it's about "do very few things better."

My wife asked about the iPad last night (she owns a netbook right now) and now she's drooling over one. Why? It doesn't have "files." It doesn't have "windows." She won't have to worry about "flash drives." And so on. She was so excited about all the things it didn't have (and that she therefore didn't have to worry about)

Geeks: "only an idiot would get a tablet computer that is more expensive than other computers which do all of those things and more.

You: "my wife is such an idiot things like "files" and "flash drives" confuse her."

Nobody disagrees Apple is a successful company. People are saying the product sucks. The fact that people buy crappy apple products means two things: Apple is a smart company with a great marketing department and there are TONS of idiots in this world. Neither of those facts are news. The iPad still sucks.

Depends on the price (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950726)

I generally like the notion of a touch screen gizmo that'll let me STFW and watch the odd video and stuff, that I can hang on a wall - like in the kitchen - I like the idea of having a recipe website handy.
But for me, if it's a large (touch) screen that doesn't do much, I'm not going to pay over the odds for it.
I'll pay more for more functionality (well, actually I probably won't - if I wanted a laptop, I'd have already gone and bought a laptop), and I'll buy cheaper stuff if it does the right subset of things.

Re:Depends on the price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951140)

STFW?
Shag The Fat Wench?
Shut The Fucking Window?
Slowly Titillate Furry Wierdos?
Silent Terrible Fart Wind?

Re:Depends on the price (2, Interesting)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951156)

How would you like it if this hypothetical tablet of yours came standard with a magnet that would let you stick it to your fridge while you cook?

The Always Innovating Touchbook does just that. The problem? They are hand assembled in batches after enough orders are in to cover the cost of materials. So you would be looking at a 3+ month wait to receive one at the moment.

Skip the camera (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950738)

Nobody needs to pay for a camera in what is suppose to be a display/input unit. Keep it simple and cheap. Heck, if they really want to be inventive, make it work with the Cameras in any other android phone. That way you attach your phone to a stand, plug it into your apad, and then have the camera stream to the apad.

Re:Skip the camera (1)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950864)

The primary reason stated for not putting a camera was the viewing angle from a device located beneath your chin, that is on your lap or in your cradling arm. IMHO, double-chin is platform independent.

The only way around that is to hold the device up in front of your face (NOT!), or having a cool War of the Worlds micro gooseneck. But, then again, if I had one of those, I could thing of far more interesting uses. ;-)

Just install Ubuntu on the iPad (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30950742)

Surely if you insert a linux install CD in the iPad's blu-ray slot it will install?

Re:Just install Ubuntu on the iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30950888)

What blu-ray slot?

No guy would buy these (0, Redundant)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950778)

Why would a guy want something that is already commonly called the iTampon?

Re:No guy would buy these (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951112)

You do know that joke wasn't funny 3 seconds after they announced the product name so it certainly isn't funny now after 1000s of geeks have beat the joke to death.

"Walled garden"? (0)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950796)

I'm not exactly sure what "Android doesn't live in a walled garden" means, but if means "doesn't have the design consistency and intuitiveness of Apple UIs" then I doubt that the market is going to embrace it.

Re:"Walled garden"? (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950882)

If you don't know the meaning of a common semi-technical phrase [wikipedia.org] , it's probably better to just look it up, than to loudly proclaim what you don't know.

Re:"Walled garden"? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951298)

it's probably better to just look it up, than to loudly proclaim what you don't know.

Sorry, you must be new h...

by slim (1652)

Well.

Why a phone OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30950812)

Why do tablets all of a sudden need a phone OS?

Re:Why a phone OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951256)

I don't know what Apple's take on it is, but everyone else is just jumping on the Android bandwagon, and it's as counter-productive as all bandwagon-joining always is. The stupidity of this industry knows no limit.

There is not enough memory (2, Interesting)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950832)

Check out 1:12.

He is scrolling through the pics, he exits out, then tries to open the photos again. Instead of seeing the picture, he sees an error box stating
"There is not enough memory to load the photo".

Seems a bit... sad.

Asking the wrong question (2, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950886)

Or, actually, the post asks the right question in the wrong place.

The question is not what'd be popular on Slashdot - we're not representative of the wider population by almost any stretch of the imagination. Of course Slashdotters want multitasking, want to be able to install ssh, want the option to run their own web server on the thing. Slashdotters will want the darn tablet to support FLAC and Ogg Vorbis/Theora.

But the things that'd make this really popular with Slashdotters are not the same things that'll make a tablet a commercial success. It's pretty obvious the majority of people don't care about multitasking (as long as they can listen to their tunes while they do other things - which is true of the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, and most any other device), nor about Apple's "walled garden". What they do care about is the availability of the apps they want and that the features the tablet offers are easy to use and work well.

Re:Asking the wrong question (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951082)

The majority of people don't want multi-tasking? Do they have the option to use it and choose not to? Because I was under the impression that the "majority of people" don't even have such an option on their smart phones.

Re:Asking the wrong question (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951158)

And that it looks nice.

Hmm. (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950928)

A tablet might be nifty. I will get one when they have either an sd card slot or a little compartment to put an USB stick in. I want to be able to work with the music/video/text/whatever files that are on the removable media, no 'importing' crap.
And if i have wifi and a browser, i need enough flash support to watch Weebl and Bob.

And for blimey's sake, make the screen scratch resistant.

No multitouch? (1)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950984)

No multitouch like the droid doesn't have multitouch (the droid certainly does support multitouch)? The default browser doesn't (other browers and apps on the device do) and it's up to each app to support it.

Or, in this case, is there really no multitouch?

Re:No multitouch? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951164)

The TFS says precisely this:

MSI device does not support multitouch in its built-in apps.

So, yes, like Droid.

It still won't let me do my job (1)

vinn (4370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30950996)

I love the idea of these kinds of devices. I could definitely see myself having breakfast and reading the newspaper on one of these things. It'd also be nice for taking freeform notes. However, at the end of the day I really need even a basic computing device running something that will let me get my job done. Namely: * I need to be able to read my corporate email. From an Exchange server. Preferably using Outlook. * That probably means I need a VPN client. Even if I don't need a VPN client for Outlook, there's a few other reasons it would be nice to have; not the least of which is just to be able to get to that corporate Intranet server. * I want to be able to open and do a quick change on a spreadsheet or document. In other words, everything that I can do on my netbook, I want to do on a little tablet.

Re:It still won't let me do my job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951238)

As long as you don't actually need to use Outlook, the iPhone will hook up into an Exchange server fine - the contacts app will show the GAL, the calendar app will show your calendar and the mail app will show your mail. PPTP/L2TP and (Cisco) IPSec are supported out of the box. The iPad is extremely likely to share those features. Android most likely has them, too.

Re:It still won't let me do my job (1)

silentjay (979424) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951262)

iphone/ipad/osx all have cisco/pptp/l2tp vpn and exchange connectivity as standard.......

Productivity (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951008)

Are there good Word Processors/Spreadsheets/Presentation apps on android yet? Seriously asking. I'm a big Pages fan and am really happy to see they were able to put together an iPad version; and the single-record entry views in Numbers are one of those "duh" ideas that would probably be really useful.

Please don't post to tell me about google docs -- at the very least a "real" word processor should allow more than web core fonts, and should let you set line spacing, tab stops per paragraph, and use named styles.

Re:Productivity (4, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951202)

If you want a real word processor or spreadsheet, then just bite the bullet and get N900 - it can actually run OpenOffice [maemo.org] (UI not optimized for small screen, though... but still usable). So far as I know, this is unmatched by any competitor today, and none of them have plans to get anywhere even close in near future.

On par? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951066)

"It has a camera. It's running on an Nvidia Tegra2 chip which Ars Technica suggests puts it on par with the iPad's A4 as far as computing horsepower"

What a stupid measurement. A4 is superior for this environment. 300 mw 1GHz. 45nm. I will be might surprise if the Tegra2 can be put into a similiar sized device and still get 10 hours.

Apple provides a good experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951084)

I just keep seeing over and over again, with my own experience and through others, what a positive experience it is to use Apple products and what a hassle it is to use non-Apple products. So, I for one would not consider such a tablet; I'll stick with the iPad. If something goes wrong, I just pop into one of the many Apple stores and get hands on assistance with it. You can't do that with anyone else.

People dismissed the iPod and iPhone, when they first came out and then each time a competitor took a step ahead. Things like, where's the camera? Where's the video? Where's the radio tuner? And still today, where's the camera flash? Where's Adobe flash? Etc., etc. And yet, they sell extremely well, dominating their respective markets. Why? Because there's something about Apple's designs that taps into people emotionally. They're fun, they're endearing, they've got style. People like that, and people pay for it.

Both need better market focus (1)

CorporalKlinger (871715) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951090)

I'm content with my own personal technology, but I am invested in some of these companies, so I look at it from that standpoint.

I see the big problem with both the MSI tablet and the iPad is that both are trying to be everything to everyone. Instead of showing how great the games or "Brushes" or the eBook reader are on the iPad for 30%+ of the launch event, I would have liked to have seen how Apple plans to expand into markets that have been relatively closed to them in the past.

Medicine: the iPad is uniquely suited to allow doctors and nurse practitioners to bring x-rays, CT scans, patient records, and more into the room with them - a laptop is too big and bulky, an iPhone / iPod touch too small. Show off an app that allows this to interface with a server in the office to store medical records on the fly, and I think they might have gotten the attention of physicians and hospitals.

Manufacturing: Great for live project / inventory status updating on the assembly line, at delivery point, etc.

Construction: Ruggedize and show how great it works as a tool for schematics, supply chain management, etc.

Instead, Apple is targeting this at the wealthy who need a new toy to fit somewhere between their Macbook and their iPhone on the spectrum of personal technology. I think that's why the iPad will fail - and MSI's solution will too, unless they partner in advance with companies that develop software actually used in service-related industries and focus on selling to a different crowd than the typical iPhone / Macbook owning home user.

MSI Tablet + Android = ... (1)

saintory (944644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951184)

Tabloid?

iPad has nothing on android. (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951188)

Features I would require to purchase a tablet:

multitasking
sd and usb slot
flash support

Nice to have:

16x9
hdmi out
camera

iPad fails miserably on ALL of the above. Android is where the future of tablet lies, in my opinion.

Yes, it would (1)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951288)

An MSI tablet running Android would definitely induce drool for me. Android is on the extreme end of the stick against Apple's OS in terms of openness, and so it helps to have an open competitor in the face of a totalitarian locked-down sorry excuse of a computing device. ... As long as Android's problems are addressed at a quicker rate. Even having said so, the iPad will not be popular because of its usefullness or usability for the most part, but because of brand power. For an Android tablet to fight that, it really has to exceed the iPad (LOL) in all aspects.
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