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Apple iPad vs. Samsung NC10

Here’s a quick comparison table of Apple iPad vs. Samsung NC10. Both are highly portable, computer-like gadgets, intended for basic web surfing and light office work. They’re approximately the same size—Apple is thinner and lighter, but Samsung has a keyboard—so I think this is quite a fair comparison:

Feature Apple iPad Samsung NC10
Launched in 2010 2008
Price starts from $500 $300
Can present photos, audio, video yes yes
Can browse web, email, IM services yes yes
Supports Flash on web pages no yes
Multitasking coming yes
Full freedom to choose software no yes
Full freedom to choose 3G data carrier no yes
Camera no yes
USB ports no yes
Ethernet (“wire internet”) no yes
Memory card reader no yes
Can run Linux no yes
Free office software available no yes
Vendor lock-in yes no
Defective by design yes no
Freedom to choose programming language no! of course

Truly iRevolutionary! Viva iAdvancement!

Update: Some people suggested that I’m not getting the point of iPad, and omitting features is part of the design, intended to make it more useful for “average users” (as opposed to “nerds”). So let’s see why an ordinary user might need the features missing from iPad:

  • Flash: To view majority of world’s web sites correctly.
  • Multitasking: To read and make notes simultaneously.
  • Freedom to choose software: Most of us have our favorite pieces of software. Want to use them.
  • Freedom to choose 3G data carrier: No choice == no competition == expensive.
  • Camera: To take photos (!)
  • USB: To transfer photos from external camera. To transfer any data to/from an USB stick.
  • Ethernet: To conncet to internet where wireless not available.
  • Memory card reader: To transfer photos from external camera.
  • Linux: Ok, granted, this is just for nerds.
  • Free office software: No free == proprietary == expensive.
  • Freedom to choose programming language: To get someone to translate your existing favorite applications to the new platform.

So we have a high-end tablet that excels in surfing web and viewing photos, except that it doesn’t show web sites properly and there’s no easy way to transfer your photos to it.

I agree that few features made well is better than lots of half-assed features—to a degree. But how far can you take it? I think almost all of the above are quite basic, self-evident essentials that people are used to. Taking them away results in a crippled product. iPad is indeed just a giant iPhone without phone. Besides, it doesn’t fit up your ass.

Update 2: Apparently multitasking will get better in new versions of iPhone OS. Good. But there’s also another not-so-good news: Apple, the North Korea of computing, led by its Great Leader Steve Il Jobs, is limiting the programming languages allowed to program its devices:

3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

Note that it says must be originally written in…. Compatibility layers are forbidden. Taking an existing application and translating it to a supported programming language is forbidden. Welcome to Absurdistan.

Last modified: 2010-04-18 16:25 +0300

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