Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

Summary: When it comes to Android tablets, we've gone with high-end devices with the Samsung Galaxy Tab and downright Bodega with the Maylong M-150 for $99. They all fail.

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When it comes to Android tablets, we've gone with high-end devices with the Samsung Galaxy Tab and downright Bodega with the Maylong M-150 for $99.

The verdict: Android tablets are a big FAIL.

First up, we were looking forward to the Galaxy Tab as a device that could give Apple's iPad a run. The rub: The hardware is nice, the software integration is so-so at best and the price just isn't right.

Jason Perlow's money line about the Tab:

It feels like a really big smartphone, and the Android 2.2 UI even with Samsung’s tweaks lends itself to the user feeling like they aren’t using something that was really designed to run on this form factor.

This is in stark contrast to the iPad’s iOS, which was originally derided for being just a big iPod Touch or a giant iPhone, and is actually more optimized to the target device despite originating as a smartphone operating system.

OK, so $600 is way too high for the Tab. At $300 you'd put up with the flaws. Pricing is everything for Android tablets.

So clearly a lower price---say $99---would make us a little less picky about an Android tablet. Right?

Enter Perlow and the Bodega tablet. Go to Walgreens and for $99 you have an Android tablet.

Unfortunately, you get what you pay for. Perlow notes:

For $99.00, you really don’t expect and shouldn’t expect much from a tablet device. I do, however, actually expect the thing to work, albeit in a mediocre fashion. However, I don’t even want to call this device mediocre because it’s worse than mediocre, it barely functions at all.

Now what?

We've gone to the bottom of the barrel and the alleged top. The Android tablets are all lacking. Perhaps Barnes & Noble's Nook Color saves the day, but we're not hopeful.

As a result, I'd advise you to wait a generation on the Android tablets. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang basically said the same thing last week. Android tablets just aren't ready to tackle the iPad. He said:

We know at this point that the projects that we’re working on, particularly in the tablets, have taken longer than we expected. And it’s taken longer than we expected by a few months. But the important thing is that you can’t just build a tablet. You can’t just put an operating system on a tablet and hope that — on a piece of glass and hope that you’re going to compete against the iPad. The iPad is a wonderful product. And if you’re going to give that wonderful product a run for its money, you better build something absolutely exquisite.

Until something exquisite comes along at the right price you're better off staying away from the Android tablets.

Topics: Android, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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86 comments
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  • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

    I had the opportunity to have some hands-on time with the Galaxy Tab the other day and was surprised how clunky and unfinished the user experience was. Given its astronomical price (EURO 749!) I don't think the thing is ever going to take off.
    mulder@...
    • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

      @mulder@... I just sent back the cool little Archos 70... Why? I've been spoiled bu my iPad!... So befor I sell my iPad, here is what needs to beat it.


      Here is my Twitter tag #TheUltimateUmpc
      TheUltimateUMPc
      Folks, the iPad is a 4x3 screen, the Gal Tab and Archos 70 are both closer to 16x 9, so Also, don't forget we can't compare apples(sorry...) to oranges.

      1. =>960?640 display
      2. Micro SDHC-up to 256GB with snap cover to prevent accidental card pop out
      3. VANILLA Honeycomb OS
      4. vid accelerator switch
      5. => 10 HR. Battery life
      6.allows MODERATED (meaning tested to platform) APPSTORE
      7.Allows side loaded apps WITH "at your own risk" caveat
      8. The best of Cydia backgrounder and iOS multitasking
      9. Folders
      10. Windows security essentials quality malware protection, since the Android OS is the wild west out there!
      TBC
      11. iOS like cut copy and paste
      12. SWYPE!!!
      13. Optimized (for now until html5 comes into it's own) Flash player
      14. Front AND rear facing cameras
      15. Nice case ala Viewsonic 7?
      16. USB 3!! Data/charging port
      17. TELEPHONY! Ala VS7
      18. Point to point wifi
      19.NETFLIX STREAMING!!!!!!
      20.Hulu "
      21. BT a2dp support?
      22. bodacious file manager
      23.BT keyboard-doc/stand(supports portrait & landscape)
      24. >= 1GB RAM 2GB if...OhNooo. Windows(BARE OS7 Core w/ tablet GDI ?DLLs)
      25. kick stand ala Archos70
      26. >= 720P 1080P? HDMI output
      27.Android optimized(code and interface)Itunes AppStore concept.
      28. Nuance Kindle?
      29. Customer replaceable battery

      Comments?
      hesynergy
      • While not sure what all those things are

        @hesynergy much of your list sounds a lot like Notion Ink's Adam.
        putt1ck
      • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

        @hesynergy Good list, you're looking at 2 years wait for that type of CATCH UP. By that time you will be spoiled with iPad 2 or 3, and have a new list. And I'll send you this miessage again but add 1 to each of the iPad generations.
        m3kw9
      • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

        @hesynergy Antivirus? WTF are you saying. As long as your not an idiot you don't need antivirus software.
        Jimster480
      • @ Jimster480

        AntiVirus is one of the top 10 selling apps in the Market Place.

        It is sad Android is the Win 95 of mobile computing. In all the bad ways.
        Bruizer
  • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

    Rubbish! wait for Lepad from Lenovo and Many other Ipad Type Tablets.
    Samuel C.
    • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

      @Samuel C.

      Read your post, you said, "wait for Lepad from Lenovo and Many other Ipad Type Tablets." That's laughable because the only iPad type tablet is the iPad. Claiming that product B is just like product A, doesn't distinguish product B, it relegates it to copy cat status. Which is why, despite all the claims from manufacturers of "wait until we release..." people will still buy the iPad and enjoy it now. And by the time that whatever the product is called launches, the iPad will have evolved yet again.
      mrgoodall
      • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

        @mrgoodall <br>I hope it does evolve.<br>At this point it is not more than a big iTouch.<br><br>and yes, I took a lok at the Tab - was not surprised by what I found. It reminds me a lot of my son's Captivate. <br>Price? yes, too high.<br>Then again I plan on waiting for the ASUS tablet for first view (maybe Motorola...) so the Tab was a look and see proposition for me, not a look and buy.<br><br><img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy">
        rhonin
  • FAIL? Says Who? Let Consumers speak.

    The results of retail sales will resonate loud and clear whether or not Android Tablets fail, not your cursory examination and superficial assessment.

    Here comes the Android steamroller. Step back or be crushed.

    Bwaahahahahahha.....
    ah hem. Sorry Larry.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
    • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate In the long run, I agree that Android tabs will be huge. The reality today though is you're wasting your dough---arguably more dough than you'd pay for a 10-inch iPad---on this generation. Best to hold back a generation, maybe two given Android's dev speed. I just don't see it today. Early adopters will get steamrolled right now.
      Larry Dignan
      • That's your perspective. But I'll wager consumers will be happy.

        @Larry Dignan

        Unmet need.
        Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
      • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

        @Larry Dignan I haven't seen ZDnet take a look at Archos. clearly they have a better Price vs Performance Ration than Samsung or Viewsonic for that matter. And we should expect better than Maylong.
        nucrash
      • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

        @nucrash

        You said exactly what I was thinking. They've gone to both extremes, but haven't tested anything in the middle.

        I'll agree with the analysis they've given to both of their tested products - the Maylong is just to cheap to be an acceptable product, and the G Tab is overpriced for a tablet with an OS that Google openly admits is not optimized for tablets.

        I'd suggest they test the Archos 70 Internet Tablet before they completely write-off everything on the market right now. It's affordable at $275, and it offers acceptable hardware - which includes a capacitive screen. It's still only running Android 2.1 (2.2 expected end of month), but that's a bit more acceptable for a tablet costing half the price of the Galaxy Tab / iPad.

        I've watched several videos of the device being tested, and I've been fairly impressed. I plan to pick one up when they become available (currently out of stock).
        NetAdmin1178
      • Fail vs Huge

        @Larry Dignan<br><br>You have me thoroughly confused. Early in the blog you say "Android tablets are a big FAIL" and now you say "Android tabs will be huge". I guess the contradiction is lost on you.<br><br>Android for tablets is not even out, and a few early attempt have hit the market and you jump to conclusions? The "experiment" is a failure before it has started?<br><br>Is this click bait or confusion?<br><br>Very disappointing.
        Economister
      • @economister

        Considering that all Android tablets are nothing more than an attempt to be an iPad with a higher feature count, it doesn't take prophecy or "waiting to see," to pronounce the product line DOA. Just like Linux, "Me, too" products never do as well as the path-setter.
        frgough
      • Yeah,....

        @frgough

        Just like the Android phones, right?
        Economister
      • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

        @Economister

        [i]"Just like the Android phones, right?"[/i]

        What exactly is your point here? I don't think that Android tablets ultimately will fail and do believe that they will be very popular at some point but are you saying they will be like Android phones in regard to their success? If that's the case they you just confirm frgough's statement because as a individual phones not comes even remotely close to being as successful as the iPhone. Sure, the OS is wildly successful but as a one on one comparison as I read frgough last line to mean none even remotely compete on a sales volume level.
        non-biased
      • RE: Our Android tablet experiment has failed miserably

        @Larry Dignan said "wasting your dough"

        *Exactly* why I bought a WiFi Kindle this year. I only need to read and do light web browsing. It excels at one and does the other passably. And it costs just a smidgen more than a Maylong.
        Olderdan
    • I'd want to agree with you Dietrich

      because Android IS the wave of the future, and the death of M$ an Apple, but to be 100% serious at least the Slate is a different pad for a different need, but ALL the Android pads I've seen are just cheap ipad knock-off crap.

      Somebody better get serious about building a REAL Adroid tablet or consumers will run to the ipad no questions asked!
      Ron Bergundy