From time to time I like to runs polls on this site to gauge opinion about technical issues and to help me pick topics to write about that are going to be of interest to readers. One of the most interesting polls has just closed with two hundred votes cast. The question asked was “Which tablet do you own or are you wanting to buy?”. Obviously there are some restrictions to how seriously this poll should be taken, but I am hoping that the number of participants in the poll is big enough to give some meaningful data on the tablet battles. So the results are in and they are surprising – who are the winners and losers?
It is strange to think that it was only 2007 when the first Asus EEE PC came onto the market. This fun little machine turned heads and would often be the subject of curious questions. I think it was also a bit of a game changer, opening a world of ultra mobile computing to a whole new audience. It is also ancient ancestor of the Eee Pad Transformer. I've had mine for just over a week and have sometimes used it as a tablet, sometimes as a netbook depending how I'm feeling. It is feature packed and runs on Android 3.1 (since a recent update), Google's optimised operating system for tablets. There is also a possibility that a lot of people might find it is the only machine they need.
There is a lot of talk about how tablets might kill off netbook sales. I thought about buying a tablet to replace my broken netbook but then I found another rather interesting option. The Samsung NB30 Touchscreen in some ways occupies an uncharted land between netbooks and tablets. It is a netbook, but you could also think of it as a tablet with a keyboard. This machine fitted my requirements a bit better than a tablet and I felt that it would offer me a bit more flexibility. In my last blog post I examined how to set up Ubuntu on this machine, in this post I want to reflect on my first week using it.
Today (Sunday 18th July) Techcrunch published a story about how the Android operating system, which is now spreading beyond the mobile phone, is poised to take over China and said this will have global implications. Coincidentally yesterday I took delivery of a device, made in China, that is maybe not too well known: the Eken M001 Android Tablet. This gives you a WiFi enabled Android computer with a seven inch touchscreen that has 128MB of RAM, 2GB of storage and an SD card slot. None of these specifications are particularly remarkable, but what is astonishing was the price: £85 (about US $130) from a reseller on Amazon. Even a 7” digital photo frame would typically set you back £30! (about US $46)