Sunday, August 1, 2010

iPed versus iPad: The Issues with Knockoffs

Nope, the iPed screen doesn't rotate (no motion sensing)

It doesn't operate a Mac OS, it doesn't have a USB port, it doesn't have a webcam, it has no native video out and it doesn't support Flash in its browser. So, why do I still want an iPad?

Being addicted to tech means you want the next thing that is out. Well, this is it. However, after much contemplation and debate with myself, I knew I had to have the $699 model with the 64GB of memory. Right?  I mean, 16GB is just too little and the 3G wasn't for me (thankfully - don't want to foot that bill monthly).

So when faced with the $700+ tax price tag, that I clearly couldn't afford, I turned where so many others turn, the knockoffs, and hit up a pretty robust Chinese knockoff site, China Grabber. They have a whole category devoted to the iPad knockoffs, and that is wherein lies the initial problem.

1. Too Many Choices.
When examining which version of the iPed resembles iPad closest, it quickly becomes an exercise in futility. Choosing from the categories on the left presents me with everything within that category, accessories included. So I thought I'd do the next smartest thing, a search with just iPed as the keyword. Success! Well, not quite. Although that did narrow my choices, I'm still presented with an overwhelming amount. So the best bet was to just look through all 46 choices. By comparison, Apple has six - three for WiFi choices with expanded memory and three with WiFi + 3g with the same choices of memory. Simple. As. That.

After reviewing all choices, I could eliminate many by finding the commonality between them that closely matched an iPad. I ended up doing another search to bring the choices down. iped 10". This brought me down to four that had a 10" screen (iPad has a 9.7" screen, knockoffs have a 10"). But only one closely match the technical specifications. Hey speaking of...

2. Tech Specs.
This is the part where you'd expect the knockoff to cheap out and lose the war, but surprisingly, they only lose it in a couple different categories. Check out the side-by-side comparison below:

Feature iPed iPad
Price $299 $499 - $829
Processor 1 GHz 1 GHz
Display 10.2" TFT, 1024 x 600 9.7" LCD, 1024 x 768
Memory 2 GB (up to 16GB - external microSD card +$49) 16 GB - 64 GB
OS Android 2.1 or Windows CE 6.0 iOS 4
Microphone Yes Yes
Stereo Built in speakers Built in speakers
USB 2.0 None
Max Battery Time 7 hours 10 hours
3G USB dongle (+$79) Built in ($629 model)
Web Browser Safari Internet Explorer

So as you can see, there is some give-and-take. And since the iPed can only boost memory up to 16 GB from the on board 2 GB of memory, it's fair to compare the pricing to the 16 GB models of the iPad. So what's the final price for a fair side by side comparison?

Feature iPed 16 GB iPad 16GB
No 3g $348 $499
With 3g $427 $629

So, as expected, there is savings to be had by purchasing the knockoff. Did I mention there is free shipping for either? So that doesn't play into the cost.

3. No Access to All Things Apple.
So this is really where it may all come down to, whether or not you care if you are part of Apple Magicland. There were mp3 players long before the iPod. There where phones long before the iPhone. And there was touch pad computing long before the iPad. Yet, magically, Apple has found a way to lead in every one of these categories. Why? Simplicity, my dear Watson.

I was talking with a friend the other day about Apple, how they have really built a business model around giving consumers what they are looking for. I told him, Apple really listens. But he persisted that Apple wasn't listening, they were anticipating our needs and delivering to us what we didn't even know we wanted. A point I was quick to call bullshit on. There I was with my Creative Rio mp3 player in the day, with my clunky-ass interface, ripping my music to mp3s and trying to get them loaded successfully onto this little device, all with the WORST interface you'd ever used. I complained and complained, but nothing changed. Was I alone? I was the ONLY person in the world who thought this was crap. right?

The iPod is nothing without its big daddy, iTunes. Those two work harmoniously together and I've never looked back. I thank Apple profusely for listening to my whines and moans and I concede nothing to my friend's thoughts about Apple's ideology. I think that's all they do is listen. Watch a product line and learn how to make it easier for the consumer based on the consumer's needs. Why do you think they are late to market with their wares? They don't need to be the first to market, they only need to watch their competitors missteps and then seize the opportunity. Pretty easy to do in many cases.

What's a Boy To Do?
So, I still have neither an iPad nor an Iped. I'm leaning towards the 16GB iPad though, just to give me the new tech fix I need. I'm sure I'll love it for what it is, but I do realize it has its shortcomings; normally I disregard products that aren't robust. However, I do love Apple Magicland. I'm not a fanatic, like some, but I do appreciate the simplicity of their products and their support for expanding applications. Maybe my next post will be from my shiny new iPad. Only one problem...where do I find that $499 I need to make that happen?

What a Waste!
Okay, so you got through that long, opinionated article, so how about a reward. Although, does anyone else think this is a travesty?

I get it, humor...but still, makes me sad.



  2. Mate, the iPad has thee safari browser, while iPed (this is not the right name) has depending on what you install SkyFire,light version of Chrome, Opera mini (android) light versions of IE or Opera (windows CE).

    The iPed costs like 200-250$ (depends how far are you from source).

    The iPed has ARMv6 (ZT-180) procesor and ipad has ARMv7 (cortex A8 to be exactly) processor, which makes it 50%-100% slower (still the iped tend to have dedicated DSP procesors and graphic units so that might no affect you).

    Ipad has multi- and capacitive? touch screen. and iped has resitive screen (I works ok though, in the eken tablets this was slugish and unresponsive).

    iPed has android market (depends on the ROM). It also out of the box supports many (most) video file formats. Windows CE supports full multitasking (for like 8-10 years now).

    Please note that for 400-500$ you can by 10'' tablet PC with atom 1,6 GHz, 1GB ram, 160/320 GB HDD (4 times faster,4x more ram, 4x more storage)

    " all with the WORST interface you'd ever used " - wow, so copying mp3 from folder A to folder B (the technique that most not apple mp3 use) is the worst interface you can use (man using your computer must be a pain in the ass for you). Common... riping CDs into mp3, mate, the last time i did it, it was 1999.

    The real issue is what for you want your pad:
    - movies (iPed)
    - reading pdf (pdf on android sucks, on Win Ce it is ok), doc (win CE wins -> MS Office mobile)
    - internet (would go with android for browsers)
    - games (iPad wins for now)
    - apps (would go with iPed)
    - configurability (iPed wins, android wins)