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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:05 am 
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I bit the bullet today and bought an iPad for my wife - for the price, the iPad 2 didn't offer much more to wait for.

I've been setting it up and playing with it for most of the day and while I have been "awed" a few times, my overall
experience hasn't been conclusive yet.

Here are my thoughts after less than a day as a "power" user... I don't care about ram size or processor speed, I'll review just the stuff the matters as an everyday consumer.

The BAD:
- you can't take it out of the box and just use it, it MUST be setup through iTunes first (which I've avoided installing on my pc for many years). iTunes is more bloated than quicktime and the first install didn't go smoothly. Luckily, my wife wasn't setting this up... I would imagine that Apple get's a lot of calls during the first 1 hour of ownership.
- Apple REQUIRES you to setup an "Apple ID" with your credit card information in order to use the app store - even if all you needed were free apps, your screwed without a card.
- it's hard to hold. Maybe I'm spoiled with the size and weight of my Archos 70, but this thing REQUIRES two hands and typing is frustrating.
- it doesn't have true multitasking. I thought our 256mb Archos devices were bad about closing apps to conserve memory, but this is brutal. You CAN leave one app and quickly enter another without the state of the app being altered, but 99% of the time, the app reloads or the website I was on has to refresh - it's as fake as you get for multitasking. SIDENOTE: to get to your "recent apps", you have to double-tap the home button. I would have preferred a long-press... I don't like to wear out buttons...
- And about the buttons... Android has a huge advantage with a menu key, home key, back key and search key. Constantly having to reach to the top of the screen get's old really fast.
- Apple may have lots of apps in the app store, but hardly any are free. I'm use to running everything as freeware unless it's a really specific app (like Logmein), but with Apple, there's hardly a free app selection based on how many apps are available.
- Most apps have very low ratings... not having time to test every app in the store, it seems that LOTS (more than 70% from the look of it) are 3-stars or less. Not very cool...
- Most apps do not have a trial and paid version - they are just free or not. I wanted to test a few browsers that had high ratings and unlike most android browsers (Dolphin, xScope, etc.), there was no trial or lite version to test with. Not very cool.
- Apple wants you to buy EVERYTHING!!!! This is no doubt why the insistence to have iTunes is so damn strong. Buy books, video, movies, tv shows, apps... spend all your money on us! Thanks, but I just want to use my device.
- No SD card, expensive accessories, etc. , for those that like those things - be prepared to be sad.
- The stock browser - sucks... It will load one page view, but then "checkerboard" when you pan around... not very nice to look at.
- The keyboard is garbage. Auto-correction is bad, no long-press to get alternate keys, big and clunky.

The GOOD:
- Very clean UI. It's polished and that adds huge value for consumers.
- Compared to Android apps, there's NO COMPARISON over quality - Almost every app I installed looked amazing and had real tablet function. The CNN app - beautiful! Youtube app? Better than honeycomb... Seriously, the polish on these apps, the high-resolution they display at, just leave my mouth dropping. If I had to compare, I'd say Pulse news reader for Android is the closest thing to an ipad look and it still looks like crap compared to iPad tablet apps. SIDENOTE: Iphone apps look like hell!! That awful stretching they must endure is terrible. Maybe this is how 10" android tablets look too... I'm not sure.
- It "just works". The reason I got this for my wife, was that I was tired of hearing her complain about how difficult it was to use Android. Stuff crashed, not compatible, etc. With the iPad, things just seem to work. And that's a good thing!
- THE APPS!!!!!!! This is the one thing that Apple has an ace over Android on - the app selection (paid and free) are great. Netflix, works like a charm. Farmville (yes, we can't use this on Android) works incredibly well. Apps that are on both Android and iPad are just better on iPad...
- Accepted my wifes Wifi tether from her android phone without a hitch.
- One last thing,which is huge for me... although i-devices don't have "flash", I was able to play CNN and IGN videos (hadn't tested any more) in the browser without a HITCH. Way better than how my archos plays the same content. They may not have flash, but Apple did SOMETHING to get this working REALLY WELL. Huge applause for this.

Overall, I say the experience with an iPad has been an interesting one. I'll try to report back after using it for a while longer.

If anyone has questions about how these devices (Archos 70 / iPad) compare, just ask :)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:24 am 
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I didn't see the multitasking issue that you saw. I found when i went from one app to another the state was the same.

Having owned the Archos 101 for more than two months I finally gave up on it and waited for the Ipad 2. The only thing I wish the Ipad did have was the micro sd card slot. The other features that the Archos had over the Ipad didn't really make any difference for me though do make a difference for others.

What I still think are some of the key advantages of the Ipad over the Archos (101 in my case) was stability, # of apps and the screen. I bought my first digital book yesterday. With the Archos viewing angles, I had no desire. The Archos offers good value at $300, but the increase in price to get an Ipad 2 was worth it. I do like in the apps store where they id apps as designed for Iphone or the Ipad. Most apps I loaded for the Archos crashed and burned. I haven't had a single crash and I have had it for a week.

It's interesting on the Archos where I would have to kill applications to keep the speed, but the Ipad 2 seems to do an excellent job of memory management as the speed has never dropped no matter how many apps I have opened.

I've moved to the Apple camp on this round of tablets, but I was willing to pay the higher price. I'm sure there are those who will never buy an Ipad just because it's made by Apple. But competition is good.

The Xoom has better technical spec, but I've saw that the Ipad 2 holds it on against the Xoom beating it more often than not on synthetic and real word application benchmarks. I haven't dug any deeper to see if the site that had this info was apple biased.


Good luck and it should be interesting as you and your wife compare notes regarding the two products. I have gone to the dark side :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:22 pm 
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tbirdman wrote:
I didn't see the multitasking issue that you saw. I found when i went from one app to another the state was the same.

Having owned the Archos 101 for more than two months I finally gave up on it and waited for the Ipad 2. The only thing I wish the Ipad did have was the micro sd card slot. The other features that the Archos had over the Ipad didn't really make any difference for me though do make a difference for others.

What I still think are some of the key advantages of the Ipad over the Archos (101 in my case) was stability, # of apps and the screen. I bought my first digital book yesterday. With the Archos viewing angles, I had no desire. The Archos offers good value at $300, but the increase in price to get an Ipad 2 was worth it. I do like in the apps store where they id apps as designed for Iphone or the Ipad. Most apps I loaded for the Archos crashed and burned. I haven't had a single crash and I have had it for a week.

It's interesting on the Archos where I would have to kill applications to keep the speed, but the Ipad 2 seems to do an excellent job of memory management as the speed has never dropped no matter how many apps I have opened.

I've moved to the Apple camp on this round of tablets, but I was willing to pay the higher price. I'm sure there are those who will never buy an Ipad just because it's made by Apple. But competition is good.

The Xoom has better technical spec, but I've saw that the Ipad 2 holds it on against the Xoom beating it more often than not on synthetic and real word application benchmarks. I haven't dug any deeper to see if the site that had this info was apple biased.


Good luck and it should be interesting as you and your wife compare notes regarding the two products. I have gone to the dark side :lol:


I also noticed that there were no slowdowns regardless of what I was running or doing.

I've tested several more sites and video playback is FAR superior than anything I'm able to play on the Archos - videos within sites load quick and are much higher in quality than what we are getting with flash.

Multitasking is still hit and miss... lots of apps just tend to reload rather than resume it's previous state. I'm sure the ipad 2, with 512mb of ram does a better job in this area.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:33 am 
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I've also noticed the superior videos. I think Android will catch up, but right now Ipad has such a lead and sites are tailored just for the Ipad. Only wish the 101 was as good so i could have saved $300 :(


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:21 am 
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tbirdman wrote:
I've also noticed the superior videos. I think Android will catch up, but right now Ipad has such a lead and sites are tailored just for the Ipad. Only wish the 101 was as good so i could have saved $300 :(


If video worked as well on Android as it does on the ipad, we wouldn't need flash. It's shocking how high-quality the videos are and how quickly they load.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:30 pm 
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Thank you for that review. If i were rich, I would get the Ipad but since I'm poor with no credit card, it's really not in my future.
I didn't know Itunes needed a credit card for their free apps. It probably will be Archos for me.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:40 pm 
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Union Man wrote:
Thank you for that review. If i were rich, I would get the Ipad but since I'm poor with no credit card, it's really not in my future.
I didn't know Itunes needed a credit card for their free apps. It probably will be Archos for me.


Yes, I've never liked the fact that Apple wants you to be part of their "family" just to use their products. It really takes away from any sense of control that the user has. As mentioned previously, I couldn't even use the device out of the box until I installed itunes on my computer and "updated" it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:15 am 
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I fully agree with the original review. The good and the bad. The parallel: my GF bought an ipad2, and it is really, really nice. High quality, fast , great apps. Skype works great But I feel guilty using it. No tinkering. No hacking (Well, haven't done a jailbreak it). No command line no file browser. But what it does, it does so well. A lot, not all, web sites recognize safari and show you the real web site. That's not the case with my archos.

(edit) oh yeah, the weight. The a101 is really light compared even to the iPad2. I haven't tried the ipad1, gals I didn't. It's hard to choose tho'. The iPad2 is much more solidly built than the a101.

_________________
A5A 16GB,BT kbd,DVRdock..A101 RMA'd


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:24 am 
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WMTOANDROID wrote:
- The stock browser - sucks... It will load one page view, but then "checkerboard" when you pan around... not very nice to look at.


Thanks, i had this issue with my iPod and have been wondering if it was the same on the iPad. How well does it open webpages in the background? Because on the Dolphin i keep opening new pages in tabs (i.e. if a forum thread has multiple pages), it slows down but it does load while you're reading the first page, on the iPod, if i start opening pages, they don't actually load until you switch to them.

tbirdman wrote:
I've also noticed the superior videos. I think Android will catch up, but right now Ipad has such a lead and sites are tailored just for the Ipad. Only wish the 101 was as good so i could have saved $300 :(


Not much to catch up since Android can play them too. It has to do with the encoding and the expected users. I make both html5 and flash sites for media companies (Company products, musicians, painters, etc.), and if i don't use browser specific codepaths those iPad profiled videos will also work on the Archos.

However, the problem is that HTML5 "Standard" is a myth. HTML5 coded for an iPod Touch 4th Gen is not guaranteed to work on an iPad, nor an iPhone, nor on a Touch 3rd Gen (The same freaking OS!!! WTF???). If i make a fully dynamic HTML5 site, i can only use it for one device. I cannot use it for any of the desktop browsers. If i make an HTML5 site on the desktop, it's impractical to just plain impossible to make an HTML5 site that's equal to a flash one. The way each browser handles shadows, PNG alpha channels, etc. is completely different, so you end up making codepaths (browser specific functions) for each browser to compensate for the browsers quirks, or tell the web designer that you'll have to simplify his site if he wants it to run consistently on more than one browser.

Point is, we already have headaches working with mobile Safari (I was floored when i found out the iPod sites weren't working on the iPhone!), if we have to make android specific sites too it'll raise site development cost. We'd rather have android browsers be compatible with desktop standards (Flash especially).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:27 pm 
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I think if you want true productivity -- doing word processing & working on spread sheets and presentations, etc, --you would probably want the ipad, although I am curious what people have to say about that. I do not need this.

I just wanted a media player, photo display, Pandora radio & music, and web browsing so that I can trade stocks on the go. So for me, the advantages of the Archos 70 are

1. Drag and drop. Freedom from the misery of itunes. If I am going out, I can quickly drag a photo or file from my computer to the Archos, slip the Archos in my handbag and show it to friends without uploading it to itunes, syncing, etc, etc. I love my iphone, but I hate itunes.

2. the microSD card is essential, and has given me no problems at all

3. the USB port means I can back up to any powered hard drive, and grab files I need quickly and easily

4. I needed something light and portable I can slip into my handbag and pull out to check stocks without wrist pain and needing to put it down after a few minutes.

5. the kick stand is really important to me. It saved my life day trading in cafes and buses in Italy.

6. the price was great -- $275 including shipping. But I would pay more for things I cared about.

For the ipad, I see the advantages as

1. that gorgeous screen. I yearn for it every time I see it.

2. you can buy movies, TV shows, music, etc. I think this is going to get really big. Apple is building a huge server farm in North Carolina.

3. No slowdowns is not a big deal to me, and I have had no crashes or freezes ever with my Archos 70 in 2 months of ownership. I love the multitasking and I keep an eye on how many apps I have open.

4. Better video playback is not a big deal to me, but if I experienced it, I might start to care a lot more!

What would tempt me to get an ipad is 1) the gorgeous screen and 2) if the ipad browser worked as well as Safari on my iphone, which works much much better than Dolphin HD on the Archos. Safari on the iphone will let me look at 20 or 30 charts of stocks in a row with no problem. Dolphin balks after 3 or 4.

So how does the ipad browser compare with Safari on the iphone, and what makes it sucky?
Ruellia


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:37 am 
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A problem w/comparisons to an Archos 101 G8 is that Archos behavior varies wildly based on the installed apps on the machine, even the live wallpaper can make a difference. So I'm not surprised different people have different multitasking experiences.

Interesting that iPad apps are made to be glossy compared to their Android sibblings. I have to agree that sharpness affects perceptions even if it's just wallpaper quality: Using a live wallpaper, like WPClock, to display my photos as a wallpaper results in impressed onlookers as compared to perceptions when the blurry default bakground wallpaper creation tool is used. It'll be interesting to see if Android apps start looking more glossy and perceptions of Android improve.

Thanks for the detailed comparison.


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