I spent a couple hours this weekend trying out the BlackBerry PlayBook and Android 3.0, Honeycomb-powered Motorola Xoom tablets. I'd tried the PlayBook and seen the Xoom before at CES 2011, but both were unfinished at the time and I was interested in seeing what the shipping versions were like. Unfortunately, the shipping versions were still unfinished, or more properly, unbaked. They reminded me of cookie dough.

Cookie dough has all the right ingredients, so much so that people can and do enjoy it in its raw, unbaked state. They nibble at it, lick it off mixers, and eat ice cream filled with chunks of it. And why not? It's delicious... In nibbles and licks and chunks. But no matter how good it is in small doses, you inevitably wish someone would just bake it already.

That's how I ended up feeling about the PlayBook and Xoom. The BlackBerry tablet actually shipped without native email, calendar, or contacts support, with a browser that goes from smooth as silk to struggling, to crashing even with 1GB of RAM under the hood, and with a power button that challenged and annoyed many seasoned reviewers. The Motorola tablet had to wait on, or is still waiting on, software updates to enable USB and MicroSD, and a round-trip back to Motorola to have the LTE radio swapped in.

A trip to App World on the PlayBook yielded startling few apps in many categories despite the device supporting very nearly every development platform this side of Logo. The Xoom likely had far, far less. I couldn't verify that, however, as it hadn't been logged into a Google account so I couldn't access the Android Market, or email client, or many other apps, which in and of itself is a blisteringly bad user experience. (Show us the store, just don't let us buy anything. Show us the apps, just leave them empty. You know, like Apple does.)

The PlayBook for it's part provided a fairly consistent, often buttery-smooth OS experience. Inspired by webOS no doubt, but realized as something unto itself. But it's not a BlackBerry OS experience and someone coming from a Bold 9700 won't have the same instant connection to a PlayBook that an iPhone user would have to their new iPad. (In fact, given the experience of the PlayBook, every BlackBerry user should be required to take back 50% of the nasty comments they've made in the last year about iPad being a "toy").

The Honeycomb experience, while often spectacular, was far more disjointed, with different parts working in different ways. That the trademark lack of consistency has persisted to Android 3.0 makes me think webOS designer-come-Android UI savior Matias Duarte either wasn't given enough time to work on the UI or isn't being allowed the impact he should, both of which are troubling thoughts. It's far more of a desktop-style interface than iPad, and could allow for a lot more power, but it's caught at the moment between that desktop UI and tablet conventions, between where Android on smartphones was and where it wants to be. It's unfinished to the point that Google has taken the unprecedented step of breaking from their "openy" model and not releasing the Honeycomb source.

The PlayBook and Xoom have so much potential, so many great ingredients, but no fit and finish -- they were just put out on the shelves without seeing any time in the oven.

Say what you want about Apple -- and we all say plenty -- but most of the time they nail the fit and finish. They don't provide all the features everyone wants, they try to control the experience to a sometimes untenable degree, but what functionality they include and systems they design are mostly elegant, easy to use, and fully baked. The email, calendar, and contacts worked even if you didn't own an iPhone. The dock port and 3.5mm headphone jack were functional out of the box, and it didn't need to be sent back to Apple to have the radio swapped out. (Insert antennagate joke here.) They even chose the embarrassment of 10 month white iphone 4 delay rather than releasing a product they deemed unacceptable.

You get the feeling that Apple executives -- that Steve Jobs -- uses and loves these devices and if there's anything he considers a problem, he's down in the kitchen fixing it. Apple ships products that are finished because they've already had to satisfy one of the harshest critics imaginable -- their own CEO.

Maybe RIM and Google/Motorola felt compelled to release their tablets before they were ready. Maybe they value impatient investors more than the people who buy their products. That's too bad. You can't just bolt on polish like you can an LTE radio, or integrate customer experience like you can a secure email client. These values have to be part of the corporate culture and development cycle from day one. (Apple likewise faces similar struggles to add functionality like fast app switching, something webOS got right from day one.)

There are a lot more tablets coming, from RIM, Motorola, and many, many -- many -- others. But as I've said before, the competitors can't just bring specs (or content) to an experience fight, and especially not when they're unbaked.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments



Renee i agree with the article but in less than one year apple has crippled my iphone 4 with ios updates and iam supposed to believe thats not the intention to get me to buy a new one i went from 4.3 back to 4.1 and its night and day diffrence and they do it on purpose cause ill bet when ios5 comes out it wont be for my old 3gs right shady practices

Seriously? Crippled your iPhone. I doubt it. But to give you the benefit of the doubt, I hear you and believe you believe. Maybe you have a one tie fluke. Our family has 4 iPhones, 2 iPod touch and 1 iPad. They work flawlessly. So I give you the benefit of the doubt then you go conspiracy on us? Apple breaks everyone of purpose using upgrades so we'll all have to upgrade to a future free upgrade or newer phone? Be honest and get real.

i have to iphone 4s if your the isheep you say put 4.2.3 on one then 4.1 on the other you can see the diffrence for yourself so do some homework before runnin off at the mouth

i have 2 iphone 4s if your the isheep you say put 4.2.3 on one then 4.1 on the other you can see the diffrence for yourself so do some homework before runnin off at the mouth

Actually I thought he meant that his iphone 3gs was broke by going to ios4 which makes sense to me as my iphone 3g became pathetic after a few updates.in Canada we typically have 3 year plans which dont make sense to a typical smart phone. HI became write angry with apple over that and the painful wait for flash that eventually never manifested. Cant tell you how many flash developers and interactive art directors were pissed ovee apple pissing on their careers. Bjt Android is making truly remarkable gains. Everyone knows Google gets it really right in time. So yoi have to keep in mind that Samsung and HTC will set the android bar. In fact Galaxy S 2 has just been declared the absolute best near perfect smart phone not even comparing iPhone 4 as being in the same category oyster that good. Appleis no longer the best smartphone period. Samsungst Galaxy 2 equiv will do the same to iPad completely outclassing it.

I have two iPhones 4 on 4.3.2 and I have no idea what you are talking about with crippled -- there are some odd hiccups from time to time, but nothing that I would call crippled. My most irritating issue is that touch response goes AWOL occasionally.

THe PlayBook is a good device from what i have seen and if I did not have so many apps for iOS then I would strongly consider it and jump over to CrackBerry and have lots of fun. The only problem people have with it is the power key and the lack of native email but frankly I use the gmail website on my Laptop and when the tablet has that much processing power I think that going to the web for email is what most people are going to do and when the native email comes the power users can jump for joy because from what I hear it is going to be fantastic and also when the android player update gets out you can use android email apps if there is no app yet. to me it is not a big deal. On a side note get the PlayBok into hackers hands and we will have Android Gmail running on it.

With all due respect (not trying to pick a fight!), I think you're making excuses for RIM by stating that we should just go to the web to deal with our Gmail. The lack of a native email client for a modern tablet is just incredibly short-sighted of RIM. Yes, I know they're getting one soon, but this is Rene's entire point--Apple knows to wait until it's good, not release a half-completed product. They wonder why their shares are plummeting.

Agreed! Very good point.
This does sound like a excuse,
Who wants a tablet with no email app,
Incomplete products is why everyone is getting rid of their blackberries for iPhones n droids

Not an excuse. Gmail is the best mail client for lots of people. HI hated the apple mail client. More on android I much more prefer gmail as well as on my desktop. Gmail rocks for lots of people who used to use dedicated email applications.Simple fact

Hrmm...is this a vegetarian post? Where's the meat? How are they unbaked?
I bought XOOM yesterday and believe Honeycomb is superior to iOS. Driving 30 seconds away from Best Buy [to the bank] and standing at the counter for a couple minutes is all it took to have 1300 contacts, 7 gigs of email, and my calendars.
Ingredients? Yep. They all made for an excellent first experience. The iPad 2 on the other hand my wife had to wait nearly 24 hours to use it because we picked it up and didn't return home until late that night so I couldn't attach it to her PC to set it up and sync all of her account info.
Couple that w/ excellent widgets, Flash [which has been excellent for my tests], a battery that has lasted 14 hours [39% left; plenty for daily use] and you have some pretty sweet cookies.
Call it dough all you want but I have zero desire to use my wife's iPad beyond the cover [which I LOVE]. :-)
Cookie dough FTW!!

Seriously? I should leave my truck at Best Buy, walk 3 minutes or so, handle my banking business, go back to Best Buy to get my truck, then continue my busy schedule? Ok. Thanks...I feel much more enlightened.

So getting access to your contacts and email makes it superior? I will grant you, the tether to iTunes to activate the iPad is maddening. However, when I have purchased my last four iOS devices, I set up my MobileMe account and had access to 20GB of e-mail, storage space, 900 contacts, seven calendars, thousands of bookmarks, and notes. The key point I'm making is the way to happiness is to pick an ecosystem and stick with it. Google works best with Android. MobileMe works best with iOS. Mixing of the two is always kind of hoky.
I will also agree about Flash--I'd like to have the option, to even turn it on and off. I keep running into an occasional Flash site I can't view on my iOS device. Having said that, I don't like Flash and what a resource hog it can be. I have yet to see Flash run well on any mobile device. I do like widgets too, and I'm praying iOS 5 will have some more options there. iPad has amazing battery too, so that's a wash.

For flash on iPad - use Puffin. Works great.
I still don't see the big advantage of xoom over iPad other than taking micro sd cards.

Oh no, that's just the initial experience. I'm stating how annoying/disheartening it is to get a new device and have to wait to use it, tie it to a PC to update it, etc.
Yep...enjoy your $99 MobileMe. :-) I once had it and loved it! Great service but free is free and excellent products for free is like getting paid. lol
Superior, to me, means it works best for me. I loathe the locked down state of iOS [former iPhone user]. Yes, the XOOM has some issues and Apple is smooth as silk w/ their implementation but I'd rather take functional cotton over locked down silk any day. :-D
It is all a preference, honestly. :)

Let's say I bought a Xoom but use Yahoo! and don't have or want a Gmail address. How many hours would it take for me to activate the Honeycomb?
What if I had gmail but no Wi-Fi in the car when it asked for my Gmail address?
Everything is tethered.

If you use yahoo, get a REAL webmail account (read: gmail) and call it a day.
if you don't have wifi in the car go to a coffee shop or use the free tethering built into every Android device.
For the record I much prefer google forcing you to provide/create a gmail account for market access to apple forcing you to provide a credit card number even for free apps.

Apple does not require a credit card number. I only use iTunes cards on my accounts and have never had any problem with free or paid apps. The do not have my credit card info at all.

"Everything is tethered."
LMBO! Seriously? I never connect my Android devices to a computer other than to charge. lol. Kindly try again sir. :)
"Let’s say I bought a Xoom but use Yahoo! and don’t have or want a Gmail address. How many hours would it take for me to activate the Honeycomb?"
You would jump into the Email app, type your email address/password, click Next, fill out some info [name your account, provide your name for outgoing emails, etc] and watch your email pull down pretty swiftly. In case you need to read that as an official way to handle it: https://motorola-global-portal.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6292....
"What if I had gmail but no Wi-Fi in the car when it asked for my Gmail address?"
Then you find wi-fi, type your info, and start driving again after your 2 minute pause in your trip. You still wouldn't have to wait until you got home to plug into a computer.
Anything else?

"What if I had gmail but no Wi-Fi in the car when it asked for my Gmail address?"
wtf? That's like saying what if I didn't tether my new iDevice to a computer to activate it in iTunes and have no computer in the car when I suddenly want to use my iDevice. It doesn't make sense for that to be a complaint when it's a very simple activation process.
"Show us the store, just don’t let us buy anything. Show us the apps, just leave them empty. You know, like Apple does."
I can look up the store right now even without an Android device. It's called a web browser and it provides just as much info as "the store".

If you put it that way than obviously everything is tethered, if you had a Nokia 9000 but were on the moon and out of battery it wouldn't work because it's not "tethered" either.
But there is the issue of degrees, and I think that we can all agree that having to create a physical link between your tablet and your desktop computer (and possibly having to install a whole bunch of software) is a hassle.
And creating a Gmail address is hardly a hassle, you don't even need to use it as a mail-address as the mail-client will accept any pop mail address you like.
Finally I would like to point out that the Xoom is apparently unbaked because certain features are not yet activated, features that the iPad 2 will never get...

Cookie dough doesn't taste as good if there are < 100 apps that actually take advantage of the platform it runs on.

It's not about the number of apps, it's about how many of them have real-life use...and that goes to both iOS and Android. But if numbers and useless apps are important to you, just remember iOS had a 2 year head start and a year on tablets.
After playing with the Xoom and iPad2 for two days (each for an entire day), I am shocked at anyone's stupidity and utter ignorance for not admitting that Honeycomb is a far more superior OS and a billion times more user friendly.

In a way you are right. However, it does become about # of pad-specific apps when it comes down to those that become important in the usage of the individual. I don't want to buy a tablet to run a smartphone designed interface. I wouldn't want to run smartphone apps on my Mac or PC. If the "important" apps you use are available and have been optimized for a tablet interface, that's great. However, right now the apps count being as pathetic as it is, there isn't much chance that the majority of your favorite apps being there yet.

And BTW, your comments of "stupidy" and ignorance doesn't mean much from someone who claims they "played" with each device for a day.

Actually, if you bought an iPad 1 you did just that! [bought a tablet w/ smartphone app experiences]
See, iPad users sit on high right now because they have a year head start on apps. iPad 1 scaled up iPhone apps...remember? If not, check Google. That's all the iPad had.
Bottom line, I'm willing to wait on some apps. Meanwhile, I can view the majority of "my internet" [pages I visit] w/ no problem. The only sites I can't view are w/ plugins other than Flash. I'm good w/ that.


Actually, my nephews/kids figured out Android just as fast as iOS. Why don't you let her try instead of assuming she can't use it.
LMBO @ using caps lock. haha...good one. :)

I can see where it would matter how well a 3 year old or 90 year old could use the device if it's being bought for a 3 year old or 90 year old. You have a child and therefore both of you benefit from the simplicity of iOS. Since I'm not in that situation, I think I prefer Android. Although I own an iPad and love how sleek it is, I prefer the organization, widgets, customization, and - yes - flash capabilities of Android. Once a device comes out that I think truly challenges the iPad in every way (looking at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 at the moment... better display, thinner, same price structure, etc) I'm pretty sure I'll switch over. Right now, I agree that all of the non-iPad tablets just don't seem to get it right in as many ways. About the Playbook - it took me about 5 seconds to realize it's not for me. And I don't know how these manufacturers are justifying charging $500 for a 7" tablet!

I have used honeycomb on 3 devices, and I just sent along the xoom I used for app testing for a week. Also have an ipad1 and an ipad2, palm pre, droid, iphone 3gs. Currently using droidx and wife is on iphone4. I also have a bunch of other computers and electronic toys. Honeycomb has the most refined notification system (webos is second), ios is at the bottom of the stack for notifications. Home screens are more flexible in honeycomb, this is a matter of taste. Some android widgets are usability enhancements. I would love to see some type of widget api / osx dashboard ui implemented in 5. Flash isn't as paramount as it once was. Im not addicted to flash games, and the vast majority of video content I want is available to me. Ios has netflix. Multi tasking is won by webos. Yes, I understand why apple implemented just specific apis... but, in real world usage, the webos implementation more capable, and to me; fluid. All in all though. Ios wins out over android for tablets, because of attention to detail. Attention to detail from both the os producers, as well as the application producers, makes the difference. I honestly can't understand how after using an ipad2 with the smart cover for a day, and a xoom for a day; you can claim the xoom is more user friendly and not half baked. I for one, don't want to be a fan boy. I want a tablet that has honeycomb notifications, webos multi tasking, ios attention to detail and app selection (as in, the apps that are available), and swype as the keyboard.

You could have setup your Google account via Exchange on the iPad in the same amount of time you did on the Xoom while in your car; assuming you had the 3G model.

Nice try, but you can't do ANYTHING with an iPad after you take it out of the box until you plug it into iTunes. You can start using the Xoom right away and after you log in with your google account, it automatically downloads all of your data, including apps, wirelessly.

im an android fanboy i suppose, cant stand ios in fact id say i hate it. but i agree with rene. i am getting kind of sick android products being released trying to sell them to customers and then saying it can do this, but not yet it will but youll have to wait. and judging by how long some people waited for simple things like 2.2 on their fascinate who knows how long we'll have to wait for anything. i believe both ios and android have pros and cons, i personally prefer android but polish it up and quit rushing things

I agree to an extent. Honeycomb needs more work, for sure, but even w/ the imperfections it beast iOS for me. So a menu doesn't slide as smooth as it would on iOS and I don't have folders on my screens and there are more iPad apps. What I do get is Flash, full customizations [widgets, blank spots on my screens if I so desire], amazing Google services integration [which I solely use], widgets, voice actions, settings directly accessed from my apps [not close my app, open Settings, select app, update settings, click Home, go back to app], and excellent multitasking.
That's enough for me.

hell yeah i mean im with you on that, id never buy an ipad or iphone unless it could do all the things i need for it (basically everything you mentioned) i guess the difference is i sell them and most androids that come out like tbolt or even the xoom at launch. tbolt: customer says "now this has a front facing camera so it does video chat" yes technically skype will come later, and xoom tab at launch did not support flash, cant use sd, not 4g among other things. those things will come BUT from a selling standpoint id be nice to tell people that it can do all that stuff right off the shelf AT launch. STILL id take xoom over ipad anyday

+1. If Rene said "4G isn't there, etc" is why it is "unbaked", I'd agree w/ those points. They absolutely should have completed that before launching but I prefer the device now rather than July when 4G is available.

John, your comparison of the Xoom to iOS was infinitely more useful than Rene's fanboyish drivel. Thank you.

Guess we'll see. Unfortunately HP made the same mistake as a lot of these other companies: big press event only to tell the world it'll be available months down the line. No better way to kill hype and ensure the world has forgotten about you when you launch these days IMHO. Still I will definitely be interested in seeing the reviews since webos definitely has potential to be a contender.

I'm waiting on the release of the Touchpad. I'll grab one when the reviews start coming in. Let's see how long that takes...

Honestly the ipad is over hyped. Sure it has lots off cool apps, but without those apps. Its just so useless.

Sure you have a lot of strengths, but without your strengths, you are just useless.
Sure Bill Gates has a lot of money, but without his money, he is just poor.
Circular logic.

"unbaked". I'm sure the iphone/ipad came right out of the box with copy and paste, don't forget the fake muiltask. Lol I use to like coming to tipb, don't get me wrong. I own a whole bunch of apple products, but tipb is just starting to piss me off. Its so "I am apple fan boy" trend nowadays.

Really? What did you expect!? It's tipb!? Would you expect anything different going to crackberry with them saying "We have the playbook, it's awesome, but the iPad is better!" each forum site has its founders and they have to be fanbois. That's why when I open my browser the sites open: tipb, crackberry, berryreview, xda-developers, youtube, etc. But yeah, I'm tired of the iPad 2 hype. It's a giant iphone!

Peep Android Central. They are honest about the failings of Android devices. They have also stated iPad is still king of tablets. Some sites [bloggers] are actually impartial.

I owned a Xoom for 7 days. After I learned its system, (I have a Thunderbolt phone and like Android a lot.) I realized that the App developers are lagging with the Honeycomb large screen programs, 155 at this time, many other apps work also, but many don't. So I took it back and ordered a 64gb iPad2, black. I also own a Touch 4 and have discovered that Apple makes magnificent devices. I will never use 60,000 apps and will probably add the ones I already use on my Touch.
But apps are a big deal. So are accessories by the way. No other tablet will ever have the variety of accessories that the apple devices do.

+1 on the accessories. :) I loathe this cover for the XOOM. The iPad 2 cover is the best feature of the iPad 2. lol.
Apps matter to an extent but rest assured, just like the iPad, Honeycomb will get there pretty fast.

Getting a product in this unbaked state as you call it I have a chance to tweak the final result to suit MY needs and not ones of Steve Jobs. Android can work exactly as I need it, iOS can only work exactly as Jobs needs it.
Unbaked state allows easy preparation of delicious, rich in flavours dish. Baked state from the shop - well, usually it hurts bad my digestion.
So following your logic the choice between iOS/Android is like choice between blunt fast-/microwave-food damaging your brain and body and homemade, tasty food based on healthy ingredients.

im agree with u rene, playbook not have email and bbm must use bridge and just have wifi version only, RIM too imposing an unfinished product to be released. RIM create ipad copycat with QNX OS copy cat from palm webos, that cause stupid old jvm OS cant be compete with ios and android OS.
i love playbook real time multitasking and that flash support
motorola Xoom releasing products too early and still have a defect at there honeycomb OS and touch screen is not responsive as ipad 2 and the system of rotation of portrait mode to landscape android honeycomb is still laggy and appnya not as much ipad 2
i love xoom browser speed and flexible storage and can download anything and with flash support i have better browsing experience
ipad 2 need improving flash support and flexible storage and flexible download file like music, office file, etc and maybe need real multitasking like playbook
hope steve Jobs improving that on iOS 5.

Rene, I have to agree with a couple of post above. Other than the obvious (missing email, ect...) what makes the devices feel unbaked. Is it the implementation of the UI or something under the hood? The lack of usable apps or the lack refinement in the OS code?I'm curious to hear how you came to these conclusions. I have never used an android tablet but I have an Evo Shift and I love the OS and Sense. Would a better skin help to pull it all together and "bake" it a little? Thanks.

Sounds like Rene is just bing a parrot. I used a Xoom and currently use a iPad. While the iPad may be fully baked, it is lacking in so many ingredients. It's like a done sugar cookie compared to double fudge chocolate chip sweetness that the other tablet makers are putting out with OSes actually built for a tablet. Sure they may need some further development or "baking," but their already so much better than that stale old sugar cookie that hasn't changed much in years. iOS is extremely limited and it's really showing. I will be picking up a honeycomb tablet, just not the Xoom.

What I don't understand, is why everyone is talking down on RIM. They came straight out of the gate with a great hardware which is the playbook. The software can always be updated anytime, they can add and improve and push the update and we can download it over the air. We can't update the hardware over the air. So at lease they got their hardware right out of the gate...

1 if numerous reviewers are saying negative things about the playbook, that should tell you something.
2 if you really wanted to have updates over the air, then switch to the playbook, no one is holding you back.
3 RIM did not come 'straight out the gate' with great hardware. They showed bits and pieces of the playbook for 10 months...10 MONTHS before even shipping one. Not only did Apple release theirs in 3 months, they released their follow-up BEFORE RIM released their first. No one is being hard on RIM, they make some ok phones, but if they are going to enter the tablet fight, at least bring some experience to it, not just some over-inflated promises.

Don't forget, this whole "unbaked" issue has an underlying evil to it. Just look at all the past products from RIM, HTC, and more notoriously, Samsung. By the time they decide to do something right in the OS, so much time has passed that a new device is due out, and they would obviously would want to put more time and effort into selling new hardware to customers.
How many devices were denied an official upgrade from Windows Mobile 2003 to 5.0?
How many devices were denied an official upgrade from BlackBerry OS 4.3 to 5.0?
How many devices were denied an official upgrade from Android 1.6 to 2.1?
I don't know about you, but getting burned enough times from these companies made me go with a company that puts out a decent OS from the start, and doesn't abandon you six months into the product's release date.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm "baked", but I find this post to be lacking substance and evidence for the argument being made.

I think his whole post was designed to explain what he meant by unbaked, if you actually read it, you would see that. Oh and by the way, this is
A. An editorial on an iPhone blog, and
B. An editorial about user experience and how these devices "feel" which is a totally subjective concept
Therefore, asking Rene to prove his claims or anything similar is just silly. You can't objectify "user experience"

Does Renee not know the difference between the words "it's" and "its"...the former is a contraction of "it" and "is" and the second is possessive.

The confusion between it's and its occurs because on virtually every other word 's indicates possession, so English speakers naturally want to use it's to mean "something belonging to it." But it's is only used when it's a contraction of it is or it has.
The ironclad rule - no exceptions - is that if you can replace the word with "it is" or "it has," use it's. Otherwise, it's always its.
Taken from: http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/difficulties/its.html

I still just see a jumbo-iPhone, jumbo-BB, and jumbo-Droid when I look at all three. I also don't understand why everyone wants bigger, normally stuff gets smaller. A device that fits in my pocket and does all the things that the big version does is ultimately far more impressive to me. I thought the point of these smart phones was so I no longer had to lug around something else.

And BTW, when one talks about being "baked" or UI polish, one just has to consider the little things (and big things) that make the user experience. For example, on the XOOM, the App Market does not change orientation when you move the device from Landscape view to portrait. Sorry but might seem minor to some but that's a big fail for a modern tablet device.

And one could argue that the less than 1MP cameras of the iPad 2 might seem minor but are a complete fail on ANY modern device.

Really? I don't know anyone who walks around with any tablet holding it up to take pics. Nobody really gives a crap. You are going to compare that to the market not responding to orientation? Please.

Hm. What's been this big running theme just after release of the iPad 2? Oh right, the "iPad tourist".....
Does the market orientation switch on the iPad? Can we get that feature on the iPhone and iPad nano please? I'd like to be able to see more info of an app without having to click into the app info screen plz.

Humm...when a fanboy like Rene looks at the Xoom and the worst he can say is "unbaked", to my ears it means that the Xoom is awesome and completely blew him away.

I don't even need to use it or "experience" it. I'd just look at who makes it and set it back down on the shelf. This article could've been one sentence.

I agree that Honeycomb is "unbaked" to an extent. It was definitely rushed out for the Xoom, and has its share of bugs, but if I remember correctly, my cousin's iPad was a bit buggy when he bought it a year ago. The iPad also had a year to "bake" and have the problems fixed, as opposed to the Xoom/Honeycomb being out for only a few months.
I'm not using the 1 year vs. a few months as an excuse, since honeycomb is new, but somethings should have been taken care of before release. One of those was the lack of sdcard support. Until a couple weeks ago, the sdcard wasn't even read by the Xoom. Recently though, a few developers released a kernel to get the sdcard working. It is a a two edged sword having developers fix problems that should have been working since day one. One side is that Motorola couldn't get something simple working, while the other is the developers could do just about anything, and we don't need to wait for an update to fix something. I have also read Honeycomb doesn't fully utilize the dual core processor.
When it comes down to it, it is just personal preference. I'm sure the iPad2 will work great out of the box, like all of Apple products, but when it comes down to it, I enjoy getting my hands a bit dirty, and plugging my Xoom, running cmd and abd, and flashing whatever fixes the dev community has put together. Sure, the Xoom isn't nearly as polished as the iPad, but it still is a great device despite a few flaws.

You know the iPad is not a finished product either... if it was then why update the OS or the hardware at all... I wont lie the I love my iPad but this is a stupid argument...

I played with three different tablets at best buy the other day, and they were all choppy as heck and not at all intuitive to use. Same thing with the android phones I played around with. The non-apple phone/pad I was MOST impressed with? Windows 7. They've come a long way, too bad it already has such a bad rep that it'll never recover.

I'm actually aghast at the tone of this article.
Apple doesn't "nail the fit and finish" most of the time. They nail it all of the time. Point to one instance where Apple has slipped up in this regard. Go ahead. I'll wait.
Oh wait. You can't.
"They don't provide all the features everyone wants." I have never in my life been unable to do something with my iPhone or iPad (or Mac for that matter) that I wanted to do. This seems to be just silly pandering to the whole Google crowd.
"...they try to control the experience to a sometimes untenable degree..." Unbelievable. This isn't control. Its protection. Get it right. Apple is getting it right and I can't believe that a blog that I trust is getting this so wrong.

Ok fanboy, I'll pretend my iPhone 4 does not take bluish pictures indoors, and that it does not have to live inside a case because it has antenna issues and drops calls all the time.

Hey don't bring that up! Apple is perfect.
They said they spent so much money and time into the iphone 4 antenna design.
Your just holding it the wrong way, suppose to hold it with your right hand.

Its all good. There's a whole bunch of apple fan boys going over to crackberry.com for the past couple of weeks, creating new usernames and post counts are at like 2-3 posting crap about the playbook.
At lease rim is doing something right, that's why they hateing.
Like I said before, I own apple and berry products. I love both, but I just see pure apple fans bashing on the berrys and playbook like no tomorrow.

so are you saying what came with the playbook isn't fully operational? I mean how many times have you used the native client on your ipad?
I mean without the calendar and the millions of apps that usually doesn't occur on a new platform. It's done pretty well for itself.
I mean did the PS3 and the 360 come with an awesome amount of games? luckily for them two, they had an archive of previous generations.
The ipad is great but it's so much like an iphone, I do wonder what the point of it really is - a bigger screen doesn't justify me buying product especially with a 3g plan tact on.
I really hope the iPad OS needs a overhaul and I honestly can't see it grabbing even bigger chunk of the pie when Android 3.0 continually gets updated and the playbook finally comes with a calendar, has 3g connectivity and has those apps that will soon follow in droves, even the android compatible stuff.

Lol it's funny to see how much you Apple loving fanboys argue between yourselves, at least us Android lot are civil with each other, knowing how much better our mobile experience will get and at a much faster less costly rate that the fruit name stealing company can do :P accept your fate people, Apple is losing and no they don't innovate anymore, nor did they invent the touchscreen. Good day :)

NO. Android does not give you dough instead of the cookie. Apple does by releasing minor features and upgrades once a year you fcking idiots. We're already running dual core and we have quad core phones being released late this year. While you fanboys talk sht about Android. You don't even have hdmi out..lol thats last years news. What a joke Apple is.

You guys can fight amongst each other while were having productive conversations over at Android Central. Losers lmao.

Rene your such a douchbag. Your article stink like the tip of your nose that was just pulled out of Steve Jobs's a*s. Trolls will be trolls, hating on Android all day.

I bought a playbook on launch and had it shipped from Canada to Japan where I live. Out of the box, I could set it up over wifi and downloaded the latest software update. No need to sync to mt laptop. With in minutes after that I was streaming live currency trading charts from the browser and logged into my trading account in another page. Both were running and switching back and forth between pages that are running in the background means real multi tasking. I opened up a 1080p demo movie and need for speed and while everything was running in the background, the tablet was running incredibly smooth and lightning fast. You might be right about earlier software, but what I have is very stable and not half baked. I would have been angry if RIM made me wait until the summer to buy the tablet with native email and other things. Everyone who bought a playbook was aware of this and still bought one anyway. RIM will update the software and until then I have more than enough value from what I have so far to justify the purchase. The ipad2 can not even come close to what the browsing experience is on the playbook. Every page renders the same way as if I was on a macbook. Why wont apple use flash on the ipad? ...and don't say it is a waste of battery. Ipad owners are half baked for believing the excuses of why it is not there. Nice design, nice packaging and lots of apps in the app store, but what is under the hood is surely not the best apple could do. I am sure that by Christmas the ipad3 may answer this, but without full browser experience I think apple owners are getting the shaft.

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