Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablets rival iPad 2, say reviews

O RLY? (original image by John_White)
By Richi Jennings. May 17, 2011.

Here's a shocker: some reviews are saying that tablets running Google's (GOOG) Android 3.1 -- called Honeycomb still -- are as good as an Apple (AAPL) iPad 2 running the latest version of iOS. Oh really? Let's find out. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers cogitate and pontificate.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention the Top 50 Worst Video Game Voices...

Jason Kincaid shares his thoughts:

I’ve had some time to test out the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 ... [which] will be available in stores beginning June 8. ... This device is going to do very well ... it foreshadows a bright future ahead for Honeycomb.

...

As you hold it in your hand, its smooth edges feel ... like the coveted iPad 2 (in fact, it’s actually slightly lighter than Apple’s device). ... All of the Google I/O attendees ... now have the tablet, which will probably help give the OS some momentum. And ... this new wave of better, lighter Android tablets ... [gives] developers ... incentive to optimize their apps for the tablet.

...

Honeycomb’s growth [will] rapidly accelerate around one month. ... The Market will get fleshed out over the summer ... things will really get going this fall ... in time for the holiday season.  
M0RE

Scott Raymond also gave 3.1 a spin:

Still dubbed Honeycomb, version 3.1 is supposed to correct a number of showstopping issues ... that caused it to be roundly snubbed by the press.

...

After updating ... the device felt a lot faster and smoother overall, for transitions, animations and application launching. ... The browser and Market apps are quite stable now. ... Definite improvement in the performance of Flash ... [which] utilizes hardware acceleration.

...

Now that Google seems to have stabilized the operating system, more developers will update their apps.  
M0RE

This reviewer, Joanna Stern, is my next:

Better late than never. ... My very own Xoom finally received the over-the-air update early Saturday ... and I spent much of the weekend messing around with [it]. ... It sure does improve stability and add some welcome features.

...

The other major UI tweak is the ability to now scroll through the recent apps list. ... Certainty a much appreciated multitasking addition. ... There’s now a new Movies tab for renting flicks. ... The downloaded movie played back very smoothly in the new Videos app.

...

Apps seem to open faster and transitions between menus appear ... snappier. ... Browsing and Flash support also feels noticeably more stable — in the last 48 hours I haven’t encountered one ... force close crash ... which certainty wasn’t the case prior to the 3.1 update. ... The core and stability ... seems to be improving rapidly — I just wish I could say the same of the app selection.  
M0RE

But MG Siegler is not pleased:

I definitely agree that this thing seems much better than the Xoom ... this really isn’t saying much.

...

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 seems like a decent piece of hardware ... with mediocre software and essentially no app support. How does that beat the ... iPad 2? It doesn’t.  
M0RE

So Trent Nouveau offers something new: [You're fired -Ed.]

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang ... remains optimistic about the next generation of Android tablets ... [saying] a "new wave of affordable tablets" ... are currently "ramping up" all over the world. ... "Ones that are even thinner and even lighter than the best offerings from anyplace."

...

Huang also reiterated Nvidia's staunch support for ARM ... and emphasized it was a "foregone conclusion" that [it] would be the most important standard for future apps. ... " there are far, far, far more ARMs computers ... than there are x86 computers being shipped."  
M0RE

While Marc Flores reads between the lines:

While Huang doesn’t explicitly mention Apple, he’s clearly referring to the iPad maker.

...

[But] no Android tablet has come close to being as great a deal as the iPad. ... Until Google and its ... partners can solve that problem ... one has to wonder whether anyone out there is capable of dethroning the iPad.  
M0RE

 

And Finally...

Top 50 Worst Video Game Voices

[hat tip: Rob Manuel and David Stevenson]

 
 
Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's also the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld, plus The Long View. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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