Motorola Xoom, Apple iPad 2: Tablets Begin to Mature

Tablet development and sales are contributing to the global economic recovery. As Knowledge Center mobile and wireless analyst J. Gerry Purdy suggests here, buy a Motorola Xoom or an Apple iPad 2 and feel good about helping the world's economy recover.

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Over the past few weeks, we've seen the introduction of the second generation of tablets, the Motorola Xoom and the Apple iPad 2. It's been just over a year since Apple launched its "magical iPad."

This new, second generation of tablets is clearly beginning to mature into robust, high performing computing and communications devices that are going to be carried around and used by hundreds of millions of people. Globally, the tablet might become known as the only "truly personal computer" with which people can access the Internet.

Here are eight characteristics that define this second generation of tablet computing:

1. Better displays (Xoom: 1280 x 800),

2. Front and rear-facing cameras,

3. Much faster graphics,

4. Better user interfaces (Honeycomb for Android is amazing),

5. Better ports in which to manage interaction,

6. Ability to play high-definition video on large-screen TVs (via HDMI),

7. Better (faster) wireless communications (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access+ for AT&T),

8. Slightly lower pricing for WiFi-only tablets.

In a recent user study on tablets conducted by Dr. Phil Hendrix of the Institute for Mobile Markets Research, Hendrix found that the ideal price for a tablet is $351 (with a ceiling price of $521). Above that, the cost will negatively affect the user's purchasing behavior. Hendrix also found that if a tablet's price is below $202, there's a user perception of it being "too cheap and of too low quality" to be considered for purchase.