All the rumors and speculation over Apple's iPad 3 tablet will either be put to rest or come to fruition tomorrow when the Cupertino outfit unveils the much anticipated slate at a press event in San Francisco. The most likely additions will be that of a 'Retina Display' that packs twice as many pixels as the iPad 2, and a 4G LTE radio. Everything else is a crapshoot, minus the usual rabid demand that accompanies most Apple product launches. This one is no different.
The late Steve Jobs was adamantly opposed to the idea of a 7-inch slate and called them "tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad." Due to his untimely death, Jobs never had a chance to see Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire device rapidly rise in ranks to become the world's second best selling tablet behind the iPad, but if he was alive today, would he change his stance?
Some Maximum PC staffers couldn’t live without their tablets, but others show no interest in them whatsoever. It all comes down to individual use cases. No one really “needs” a tablet, but many people are discovering that a tablet is a wonderful supplement to their core hardware arsenals. In fact, Maximum‑caliber tech enthusiasts are often the folks best served by tablets.
In the following article, we’ll explain all of that, plus review the eight most-talked-about models currently available. Six of the contenders run Google’s tablet OS, Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb). Another, the iPad 2, runs the latest version of Apple’s iOS. The final entrant is RIM’s oddball PlayBook, which is tied to a software ecosystem so funky, the PlayBook can’t really be included in any serious tablet conversation. The most oddball tablet of all—HP’s WebOS-based TouchPad—was left out entirely because it was discontinued a few weeks before we started working on this article.
Excited? Anxious? Maybe a little scared? Simmer down, amigo. Tablets are a confusing proposition, but they need not be feared.
Are you ready for that 3 a.m. phone call? You know, that 3 a.m. call from your sobbing parent, sibling, or acquaintance desperately asking for your help with a computer. It. Gets. Old.
Let’s admit it, for those computer-phobes, a personal computer with a fully featured and robust operating system isn’t right for either them or you. But in a world where not having access to email, Facebook, and the Internet puts you as far off the grid as the Unabomber, is there a way for these folks to have an easy, trouble-free computing lifestyle?
To find out, we looked at three machines—the Telikin Touch, the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook, and Apple's iPad 2—that just might be idiot-proof enough to keep even a complete computer-dufus from screwing things up.
Apple has been having a bear of time keeping up with demand for its iPad 2, which continues to be a hot commodity in the U.S. New iPad 2 orders on Apple's website will take 1-2 weeks to ship, and supply is low pretty much across the board. It's been reported that manufacturing problems unrelated to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan are at least partially to blame for the depleted stock. Be that as it may, Apple is forging ahead with its international release, launching the iPad 2 in a dozen more territories.
Haters will view this as more proof that Apple's iPad tablets are nothing more than toys and not computing devices to be taken seriously. We don't agree with that assessment, but for what it's worth, Toys R Us joins a growing army of retailers who now carry Apple's second generation slate, the iPad 2. Not every Toys R Us location is participating in the iPad frenzy, but it is available in hundreds of toy store locations across the U.S.
If there's one thing Apple is great at doing, it's following the planned obsolescence model. What we mean by this is that Apple is notorious for releasing products that are either functionally dated from the get-go, or have a limited shelf-life due to missing features. The recently released iPad 2 with its janky cameras, lower than Full HD resolution, and half the amount of RAM as competing tablets (512MB versus 1GB on the Xoom, for example) is a good example of this. With many viewing the iPad 2 as an incremental update over the iPad 1, then is it so hard to believe the Internet rumors suggesting Apple will release an iPad 3 in the third quarter of this year?
PC purists might contend that the joke's on all iPad owners who bought into iOS and the Apple ecosystem rather than invest in Android or hold out for any number of promising tablets on the horizon, like RIM's PlayBook and HP's TouchPad. But the real joke is on Verizon iPad 2 owners who report problems connecting to Verizon's 3G network, only it's no laughing matter to those affected. After blowing up Apple's support forum, the Cupertino outfit finally acknowledged the problem, but doesn't yet have a solution.
Apple set out to kickstart and then rule the tablet market with it's iPad, and now the iPad 2. Mission accomplished, at least until sexier Android tablets chip away at Apple's mobile market share. But what about PCs? It would be silly to think that slates will replace traditional computers, but according to one analyst, Apple's iPad devices have significantly cut into PC growth.
Too bad there's no eBay for dead people. If there was, you could make a, ahem, killing selling your iPad 2 tablet to people on the 'other side.' Apple's second generation tablet is proving so popular that not only does it remain sold out in stores and online, but Chinese families in Malaysia can't even get their hands on paper replicas to burn as part of a centuries-old ritual.