The iPad is the king of tablets and might hold that title for years to come. However, there are a ton of alternatives that we’ve featured over the last few months… But since [then], a lot has changed and while some managed to make it to the market, others were delayed or scrapped entirely.
Nice article describing what’s happened to alleged iPad alternatives (are they called alternatives to recognize the iPad has no competitors?) in the last few months.
I’ve written the iPad has no “alternatives”, and CrunchGear makes it’s easy to see why. We can dismiss seven of them out of hand:
- ModBook – This is a MacBook reconfigured. A laptop with a desktop OS.
- Viliv X70 – A tablet with a desktop OS (XP, no less).
- Archos 9 – A tablet with a desktop OS.
- Viliv S10 Blade – A “convertibile” device. Again, a laptop with a desktop OS.
- Spring Design Alex – This is an eBook reader, what’s it doing here?
- Lenovo Skylight – A netbook, not sure how it made even an exaggerated list of competitors.
- Lenovo IdeaPad U1 – Another “convertibile” that comes apart. Desktop OS as PC, and maybe Android as a tablet?
Some of these are not even available, but even if they were they’re not iPad alternatives. They’re not iPad tablets in any sense. It’s not just about form, it needs a touch, not desktop, OS and apps. The human finger doesn’t have the precision for software written for the precision of a cursor tip. A stylus can address that, but styli are a big failure, no one wants them. Why would any hardware maker (or anyone else) ignore the decade of failure “desktop tablets” have had in the market?
After weeding out the above, of the six remaining (I left the HP Slate because rumors say it won’t run a desktop OS), four of them—Notion Ink Adam, HP Slate, WeTab, and ExoPC—are nowhere to be found. These devices are delayed, or maybe even killed altogether. In any case, they can hardly be called alternatives now. They’re vapor, and I remain convinced the iPad will outsell vapor.
So that leaves just two devices: the enTourage eDGe dualbook, which isn’t any good; and the Dell Streak, whose too-large-for-a-pocket but too-small-for-a-tablet form factor isn’t winning any converts, and it’s not yet available in the US.
The tech press loves for Apple to have competition, and sometimes go out of their way to invent it. In the case of the iPad, however, it simply doesn’t exist. Not even close. Maybe by the end of the year, but certainly not now.