Amazon's New Tablet Design: 10 Reasons Not to Get Excited About It

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-09-26 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

News Analysis: The Amazon tablet is just around the corner, according to the latest news reports. But by the look of things, the new tablet won't be all that appealing to many customers.

As the technology world prepares for the unveiling of the Amazon tablet later this week, consumers and enterprise users alike are wondering what the device will offer. The latest reports suggest it might come in at the low price of $250 and boast Android along with a 7-inch display. What's more, it will provide access to Amazon's Android application marketplace, which means it should have a relatively healthy selection of supported apps.

That said, by the look of things right now, the Amazon tablet doesn't appear to be worth getting all that excited about. Sure, the device is coming from Amazon, which has an established traffic of successfully marketing tablets. But when one considers the many factors that go into building a top-notch tablet as well as how the market is operating right now, prospective buyers of this new model will quickly find that the upcoming slate from the e-commerce giant might fall short in several ways.

Read on to find out why getting excited for the Amazon tablet is a mistake:

1. It's coming with a small display

Although Amazon hasn't made any indication either way, recent reports claim the company will be showing off a tablet later this week with a 7-inch display. That's a problem. The iPad has ensured that all future successful tablets will come with larger screens-and for good reason. As Steve Jobs pointed out earlier this year, tablets work best with larger screen sizes. The iPad's 9.7-inch screen and the Galaxy Tab 10.1's 10.1-inch display are right in the screen size sweet spot. A 7-inch screen will look rather small (and less appealing) when compared with its top competitors.

2. Is Android ready?

Much has been made about Android's success over the last few years and that it will dominate the mobile space for the foreseeable future. However, in the tablet market, Android is having some trouble gaining traction, due mainly to concerns about the software the software's performance on tablets. Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" was a mess when the Motorola Xoom launched, and Android 3.1, while vastly improved, is no iOS. What's more, consumers have so far responded quite well to iOS on the iPad. Considering the Amazon tablet will have Android, that could prove troublesome for its adoption-at least, in the short term.

3. How important is pricing, really?

Many industry analysts say Amazon's trump card in the tablet space will be pricing. Those folks believe  the company will ship its first tablet at around $250, making it much cheaper than the iPad 2's base price of $499. However, there have been several products on store shelves that have come in cheaper than the iPad 2, including Vizio's 8-inch tablet, and none of those products has even come close to matching Apple's sales. Pricing is important, for sure, but it's not a make-or-break feature in the tablet space.

4. The better option is coming next year

Over the last several months, rumor after rumor suggest Amazon is working on two tablets. The first, which it will reportedly announce this week, is the smaller, less-capable option. The bigger, high-powered tablet will launch next year. With that in mind, why would anyone want to get excited about Amazon's 7-inch version? Wouldn't it be better to wait for its best device?



 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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