I didn’t say much about the iPad 2 launch last week, because there isn’t much to say. It’s an excellent follow-up to a groundbreaking product. What’s more interesting is the almost comical inability of Apple’s competitors to touch the iPad in cost, functionality and performance. Here are a few snippets from a review of the iPad’s closest competitor, the Motorola Xoom:
LTE isn’t the only hardware feature that’s not working right out of the box. The Xoom’s microSD card slot is also non-functional, due to software issues that are attributed to Honeycomb. Motorola says that the feature will be fixed soon in an over-the-air update. The Xoom’s much-touted support for Adobe Flash is also absent at launch and will similarly be delivered in an upcoming software update. […]
The relative awkwardness of using portrait mode on the Xoom isn’t a huge issue, because most of the Honeycomb software seems to favor landscape orientation. One issue that’s worth noting, however, is that a lot of the existing Android phone applications are designed to be used in portrait orientation. Until more third-party developers start making native Android tablet software, Xoom users will end up having to use portrait orientation more often than they might like.
A year ago, competitive tablets didn’t exist. Today, slower, uglier and clunkier tablets exist. And Apple is readying more killer features, like the Retina display, that will keep the competition playing catchup. I’m anything but an Apple fanboi, but they deserve a hell of a lot of respect, because it’s becoming clear that nobody else can do what they’ve done with the iPad.