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Apple’s iPad 2.0 will face stiffer competition than its predecessor

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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apple, tablet, computerSpeculation abounds that Apple will introduce its much-anticipated iPad 2.0 at a Wednesday meeting at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Any new tablet computer Apple might unveil will enter the market with much more serious competition that its predecessor.
motorola, google, tablet, computer
As it did a decade ago when its iPod took the digital music player world by storm, Apple more recently set its sights on what it felt was an underserved market—in this case, notebook-sized computers for easily accessing the Web and playing high-quality video and video games—and delivered a predictably handsome, powerful and popular gadget that left the rest of the market frantically trying to catch up. Whereas Microsoft and the competition failed to come up with a commensurate response to the iPod, this time around Apple has to contend with Google, whose Android operating system has attracted a substantial and growing base of application developers and device makers.

Google’s first response to the iPad is the Xoom, a tablet built by Motorola to run the latest version of Android, called Honeycomb. Other high-profile competitors—including tablets developed by Microsoft, Blackberry-maker RIM and HP—are likewise sharpening their knives to claim a slice of the more than 57 million tablets expected to ship this year (up from about 17 million in 2010, according to research firm IHS iSuppli).

Here’s a round-up of several available or anticipated tablets:

ExoPC Slate
•    Released: October 2010
•    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit edition
•    Size: 295 mm long by 195 mm wide
•    Thickness: 14 mm
•    Weight: 950 grams
•    CPU: 1.66 GHz Intel Atom Pineview-M N450
•    Display: 294.6 mm
•    Memory: 2 GB
•    Storage: 32 GB or 64 GB
•    Camera: 1.3-megapixel front-facing Web cam
•    Price: $700

ASUS Eee Slate EP121

•    Released: February 2011
•    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
•    Size:  312 mm long by 207.2 mm wide
•    Thickness: 17 mm
•    Weight:  1.2 kilograms
•    CPU: Intel Dual-Core i5 470um
•    Display: 307.3 mm
•    Memory: 2 GB or 4 GB
•    Storage: 32 GB or 64 GB
•    Camera: 2 megapixel camera
•    Price: $1,000 (32 GB) or $1,100 (64 GB)

Motorola Xoom MZ600

•    Released: February 24, 2011
•    Operating System: Google Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
•    Size: 249 mm long by 167.6 mm wide
•    Thickness: 12.7 mm
•    Weight: 725.7 grams
•    CPU: 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor
•    Display: 256.5 mm
•    Memory: 1 GB
•    Storage: 32GB flash drive
•    Camera: 5 megapixel, plus a 2-megapixel front-facing Web cam
•    Price: $800

Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry PlayBook

•    Expected release: early 2011
•    Operating System: BlackBerry Tablet OS
•    Size: 194 mm long by 130 mm wide
•    Thickness: 10 mm
•    Weight: 425 grams
•    CPU: 1 GHz Cortex-A9 dual-core processor
•    Display: 177.8 mm LCD
•    Memory: 1 GB RAM
•    Storage: 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB
•    Camera: 5 megapixel, plus a 3-megapixel front-facing Web cam
•    Price: N/A

HP TouchPad
•    Expected release: summer 2011
•    Operating System: HP webOS (initially developed by Palm)
•    Size: 242 mm long by 190 mm wide
•    Thickness: 13.7 mm
•    Weight: 740 grams
•    CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-CPU APQ8060 1.2-GHz processor
•    Display: 246.4 mm
•    Memory: N/A
•    Storage: 16 GB or 32 GB
•    Camera: 1.3-megapixel front-facing Web cam
•    Price: N/A

Apple iPad

The consensus is that iPad 2.0 will be thinner than its predecessor with more RAM (512 megabytes) and a front-facing camera. As of now, however, the iPad’s vital statistics are as follows:
•    Released: April 3, 2010
•    Operating System: iOS
•    Size: 242.8 mm long by 189.7 mm wide
•    Thickness: 13.4 mm
•    Weight: 0.68 kg (Wi-Fi model); 0.73 kg (Wi-Fi + 3G model)
•    CPU: 1 GHz Apple A4
•    Display: 246.4 mm LED–backlit glossy widescreen with Multi-Touch
•    Memory: 256 MB
•    Storage: 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB flash drive
•    Camera: none
•    Price: ranges from $500 (for 16 GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity) to $830 (for 64 GB, plus Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity)

Image of the original iPad courtesy of Apple
Image of Xoom courtesy of Motorola

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  1. 1. dangerisland 2:03 am 03/2/2011

    I don’t see any competitors to the iPad on the horizon. The iPad is the best device for using iTunes and the other marvelous Apple apps, not to mention the third-party apps. The way an iPad extends your productive Mac lifestyle is far, far from being challenged. IMHO of course.

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  2. 2. yoshyusmc 2:17 am 03/2/2011

    Spoken like a true Apply fan boi.

    I agree that Apple will be hard to challenge, the size of their market share dictates that it only has one direction to go, which is down.

    Dangerisland you also underestimate the open architecture and open source power of the pc based device where users don’t have to contend with all the usage limits Apple inherently comes with.

    So your assertion that this article is false simply because of iTunes, and other "marvelous" Apple apps is not compelling enough. Because not everyone eagerly embraces the Mac lifestyle like yourself, hence the popularity of PCs over Macs because of the open architecture I mentioned.

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  3. 3. Dimitris 5:57 am 03/2/2011

    Where ipads really failed miserably was with flash. At first, not including flash support was logical, since the earliest devices couldn’t handle that. Then, it was just a whim based on apple’s desire to fully control the device, rather than trust the user to know what they are doing. Apple’s devices are really pretty and functional, for the low level user how is contend not to explore his device too much. On the other hand, android devices are open to customise and to develop for. More importantly, the openness of the architecture has allowed lots and lots of developers to produce very useful apps, rivaling the app store. On the other hand, for an app to go on the app store it has to be approved by Apple, which is really sad.

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  4. 4. JamesDavis 6:53 am 03/2/2011

    I looked at all the tablets and pads available, compared them and for productivity, the Microsoft Eee Slate is by far better than the Apple 2.0. I do not believe the iPad is set up for productive people but for game playing people. I like being productive better than I like playing games so I think the Eee Slate is more suited for what I like to do.

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  5. 5. BekiHill 9:02 am 03/2/2011

    But are tablets really that great anyway? I can see loads of advantages (and I am a bit of an Apple-addict, I must confess) but there’s something that makes me think I’d rather hold a real newspaper or just work on my laptop. I don’t know if I have the spare cash for another gadget! I might be in the minority, but my colleagues have discussed this here: for those who want to get involved in the debate some more!

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  6. 6. nancyparrishnrs 11:41 pm 03/2/2011

    Thanks for introducing Apple iPad 2.0.Its have great features.I didn’t see any competitors to the iPad on the horizon.I agree that Apple will be hard to challenge, the size of their market share dictates that it only has one direction to go, which is down.
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  7. 7. efinance24 9:06 pm 05/25/2011

    This one is really great. Just found your blog through another blog. What a great project! I love ipad — you have just made my day! Thank you

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