Building tablet; what features do you want?

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Discussions' started by Servicefly, May 25, 2010.

  1. Servicefly

    Servicefly Member

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    My company is building a tablet to sell to the student market. The prototype dimensions are: 10in x 8in with an 11.75 in (diagonal) screen. We are going away from the iPhone look, closer to the iPad look. We are looking into an Android version as well.

    Do any of you think that an Android version with an app icon to open Windows 7 is a good idea?

    It is a bit larger than ipad & others.

    1st, do any of you think this is too large?

    2nd, what specs do you like/don't like/want to add?

    Specs:

    Weight and Thickness
    Thickness: 0.6in center – 0.4in sides
    Weight: 1.6lbs

    Dimensions
    Tall: 10in
    Width: 8in

    Slightly Rounded corners

    Display-
    LVDS multi-touch display (capacitive)
    Screen Size: 7in wide x 9in wide (11.75in Diagonal)
    Fingerprint-resistant coating

    Wireless-
    Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
    Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR wireless technology
    4g (if possible)/3g now

    Power & Battery-
    Built-in rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
    7Hours of Battery Life (actually means 6 hours)
    Charging via a power adapter

    Processor and Memory-
    1.66 GHZ Intel Atom Mobile Processor (450)
    2 GB DDR2 Memory

    Storage Capacity-
    250GB SATA HDD

    Camera-
    5MP Front Mounted Camera
    5MP Back Center Mounted Camera

    Buttons-
    Power button (on/off/standby)

    Connectors - Right side-
    1 Charger Port
    3 USB ports

    Connectors – Left side-
    SD Card (any size is ok)
    Microphone 3.5mm
    3.5mm stereo headphone jack
    HDMI out

    Sensors-
    Accelerometer
    Ambient Light Sensor
    Built in Microphone
    Built in HD Audio Speakers
    GPS

    Software Pre-installed-
    Windows 7 Touch Edition
    OpenOffice
    Microsoft Security Essentials
    Mozilla Firefox
    Google Chrome
    Video includes 1080p support
    Flash 10.1 and Java compliant

    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  2. MutantCheese

    MutantCheese Member

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    I personally think the iPad is to large to be truly portable. a 8" screen is max IMO.
     
  3. blaer

    blaer Member

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    For the student market huh?
    Well, i think it will need to be cheap.

    With those specs (2x 5mp camera, Windows 7, large HD) i doubt it will be cheap.

    Lose one of the cameras (the external one preferably). Lose some mp's (3 will do just fine). Lose the HD (go flash only). Lose Windows 7. Without W7 you even can lose some RAM. Make shure the screen is readable in direct sunlight.
     
  4. dandroid

    dandroid Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree, lose Windows, go with Android. No need for a large HD.
     
  5. someradam

    someradam Member

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    I agree with blaer and dandroid.

    As a broad generalization, students are:

    1. Cheap
    2. Early adopters
    3. Flexible in their requirements
    4. Not going to have heavy demands out of productivity apps (like a word processor or spreadsheet)

    What this means is that you should be cutting corners on hardware as best as you can without killing the quality. The places I'd shave:

    1. Windows. Why pay a license for something old when you can get something new (Android) for free. These kids are already living in a Google environment, so they'll be wanting to link into Google properties anyway. Android is native for them. Windows is native for their parents.

    2. 4G/3G: I don't think you need it. That's going to add anywhere from $30-$60 at cost, depending on which options you go with. That will translate into more than $120 in the retail price. Students, for the most part, have access to Wi-Fi everywhere they go (except when they're in motion...and how many students do you know that aren't sedentary).

    3. Atom processor: Go for a less powerful ARM processor. So many benefits.

    4. Hard Drive: This isn't a PC...its a tablet. The students are going to be comfortable keeping a lot of stuff in the cloud. If you think that it needs more storage for media, which will take up the most space, then give them something considered high for the media space like 32 or 64 G. Then give them a MicroSD slot so they can add more at their expense (and off the initial sticker price) if they need it. Oh yeah...forget a hard drive; Flash is a much better option for mobile.

    5. Rethink the cameras. Look at other front cameras in the market... they all have a pretty low MP count. You're not taking landscape photos with it, so you could drop it down to 1 MP and still be near the high tier. At 2 MP, you'd be in great shape. For the back camera, I'm not even sure you need it. This is a tablet, not a phone or a camera. Can you picture people holding it up and taking pictures? I can't.

    6. HD: don't need to support 1080p. Too high for such a small device.

    7. Software: Once you forget Windows, you need to rethink this. Give them an easy way to get to Google Apps, Evernote, Dropbox, etc. Perfect for students. I doubt many of them need the power of Office for their studies unless they're doing heavy stuff in which case a tablet form factor won't be suited for their purposes. You also might want to look at e-reader options, because they'll be able to get their text books using that...maybe Kindle? Its expected out for Android in a few months.

    At the same time you have to look at how they'll be using it. At cost, switching to an 802.11n Wi-Fi solution shouldn't have more than $5 impact. Since the students are going to be using campus (or public) access a lot, you should consider their need for range and efficiency. 802.11n is the way to go.

    Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me directly if you want to talk this through further.
     
  6. Servicefly

    Servicefly Member

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    Thanks for the input so far!

    Here is the good news, the tablet is cheaper than half the tablets coming out! We are investigating dual boot style system. This means it is an Android tablet the majority of the time, but the student (customer) can boot into win7 to make use of the productivity side of the house plus the multimedia options of Win7.

    Android is running constantly, so no boot time there, only when shifting from Win7 then back.

    SSD storage is so expensive, we can't hold our price point low enough. Our tests so far show the HHD 250GB as of now to be rather fast on the Android interface and the usual on the Win7.

    Market research with students points to the need for good note taking software plus office like software for college environment. College students are our true market segment, all other markets will fall into place.

    Screen is vibrant and easily viewed in sunlight.

    I personally have been in the tech industry since the beginning of the Internet and have overseen many market studies; focus groups etc. to dwindle down necessary unit costs etc. My college experience not withstanding, our focus groups so far request office productivity because colleges are not up to date and still assigning Word doc and Excel like assignments.

    I want to give the choice without sacrificing functionality. Removing Windows 7 does not make anything faster or allow major cost reduction.

    That said, 3 models exist:
    1. $499 - Above specs minus 3g
    2. $599 - Above specs with 3g
    3. $699 - Above specs with 3g, plus Wireless keyboard, carrying case, extra battery w/ external plugin.

    More feedback is welcome!
     
  7. ronj75

    ronj75 Member

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    I agree with everyones input on this.
    Your size is probably a bit too big but if you dont save any cost by reducing it a little then its fine.
    Is the atom processor your running single or dual core?
    Could you use a stylus on the screen and how responsive would it be?
    *i tried a stylus on an ipad and it worked but was very laggy*
    I do agree if you could just use flash the performance and battery life would be a lot better. 32gig would easilly fit android and windows 7 together.
    But if you Have to use a hard drive the size could be dropped a bit to maybe a 60 to 160 gig to save cost.
    802.11N would be a great upgrade for this.
    If possible make sure at least one usb 2.0 socket is powered so it would also allow the user to have a portable hard drive if they needed the extra space aside from the sd card. *some photoshop files would kill a small sd card*
    Is the battery replaceable by the user? and how much would an extra battery cost?
    Is this going to run android 2.0 or 2.2? and will it access the app store?
    Lose one of the cameras. if you do you could do a swivel cam on the top so they can use it for front or back facing.
    definitely keep the hdmi :)
    If you could get the cost down a bit i would love to have one. 500 is still a bit high for me. If im going to spend that much ill get something that can run all my main programs like photoshop/illustrator/etc..
    Thanks and keep us informed.
     
  8. ronj75

    ronj75 Member

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    have you had any progress on this? any pics or ideas?
     
  9. pawnslinger

    pawnslinger Member

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    I would steer clear of Win7 on a tablet. Make sure that it meets the requirments of the upcoming Android 3.0. I would go with the Tegra 2 type stuff from Nvidia, it looks to be economical and speedy. Plenty of RAM is also important, especially with multi-tasking becoming more and more important. A good strong WiFi connection is also important. For connectivity, of course, the more the merrier, but an SDHC card slot would be very nice, as would a standard USB port or 2. If the budget will stretch, I understand there is a dual-core Tegra 2 available - it would be the best. Access to Goggle App Marketplace is also very important... and personally I wouldn't go beyond 8x10 form factor... otherwise too big for mobility and classroom use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  10. Snoopy

    Snoopy Member

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    As a recent college graduate I'm pretty close to your target market with this tablet. I am in not as versed in the technical side of the tablets but I thought I might be able to help with a different perspective.

    Servicefly you said this tablet is cheaper than many of the upcoming tablets. However with your pricing so close to the iPad you'll lose a lot of customers because of the brand loyalty college students have with apple. So I would caution you to evaluate the pricing carefully!

    On the Spec side of things the students/customers will (for the most part) use the tablet for 3 things. 1) surfing the net, 2) taking notes/writing papers, 3) streaming videos (hulu, netflix, youtube).

    With that in mind USB ports are a must, good streaming possibilities, and a wide availability to opening documents. I don't believe the tablet will need two camera's the one facing the user will/should be the only one needed. An eReader would be a greatly appreciated app to include.

    The battery is also something else to look at. how many charges can the battery expect and how easily/cheaply can it be replaced, I'm currently on my 4th laptop battery two of which i burned through while in college. Also the durability and ventilation of the tablet should be of high consideration. this tablet will likely be placed in a backpack with textbooks and calculators.

    Hopefully this has helped! I'll say I'm definitely intrigued by your tablet.
     
  11. mattgsx

    mattgsx Member

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    As another college student, I'm going to have to join the choir here and say that you're trying to add too much into a device that doesn't need it. If I wanted 250gb, win7, Windows software, etc I'd buy a Lenovo Tablet/Netbook for about $350 and have an actual notebook with a swivel touch screen. That way I could actually type when I want to and use the touch screen when I want to without having to carry multiple devices. At the university I attend, its either iPod-size or a notebook/netbook. Though Apple markets the iPad to all markets, a device that large is going to be more suited for older buyers who don't want the complexity of a laptop. Not college students. We want something very mobile.

    Instead of win7 and Office, run Word2Go and Sheet2Go with Android. Now you don't need the big processor or the high memory. Or embed gOS instead of win7. The win7 design principles come from the Linux/Mac/BSD world anyway, so it will still feel familiar to Windows users, it has a lighter footprint, it has Wine for Windows software, already optimized for web-apps, etc, etc.

    I agree with everyone else that the front camera is probably unnecessary. The device you're conceptualizing is too big to hold up to someone to snap a picture anyway. 2MP is fine, as well. Most college students that care about photo quality have real cameras.

    USB slots are essential, at least 2. A kick-stand or something similar would be sweet, as if I'm using this to "write papers" at my desk, I'm going to want to be able to see it. TV out would be neat. Expandable media is a must, and I'd rather have max 32gb solid-state flash memory + SDHC over a 250gb hdd any day, but I also have a media server, so I'm probably the exception that proves the rule.

    I'm going to say, honestly, that an iPad-sized tablet (even if it doesn't look anything like the iPad), no matter how you market it, isn't going to actually steal market share from Apple unless your device is either half the price (which it can't be the way you're pitching it), extremely original (which it isn't), or from a very strong brand (which I'm doubting). Sorry.
     
  12. cheekymcgee

    cheekymcgee Member

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    Those prices are the main reason I'm looking at the Android Tablets. What you're proposing sounds awesome but, a bit overkill and just out of my reach. I'm in the $100-$300 market. Anything more, I'm getting either an Ipad or another Laptop. Just sharing my 2 cents.
     
  13. Mikerla

    Mikerla Member

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    Blue tooth, Webcam suppport, 7", Tegra 2 proc, USB, SDHC, and the price under 200. Android is a must. Kick stand is a great idea for watching movies. I am not a student but travel a lot for business. Focus on a battery that can last 6 hours for at least 720P video so after it gets old it will last for at least a full movie. Replaceable battery would be great also. Get rid of the hard drive.
     
  14. bumpychef

    bumpychef Member

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    Also a college student, i really just want something that will run the software well (600mhz-1gighz) with 256 ram to back it up. Android 2.X, bluetooth or usb so i can use a keyboard with it for taking notes(a must for me) and 7inch screen,battery that will last at least 3-4 hours on wifi,camera would be nice for skype but not a must, and a price around $200. Resistive screen is fine as long as it actually works.
     
  15. SDInvestor

    SDInvestor Junior Member

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    My preferences (wishlist)
    - Android of course, latest edition
    - 2gig on board RAM upgradeable to 4gig
    - 1.4+gHz processor (dual core would be nice)
    - 2 Cams 3mp facing you and a 5mp facing your group, swivels are not a good option for conferencing and they tend to stop working, if not in 12 months, they will with in 18months.
    - 32gig, 64gig options or a (32gig upgradeable to 64gig) just to compete with the iPad, however it would be ideal to have 256gig, however you would find most would be very happy with 120 or 160gigs, at least for about 18months.
    - Directional microphone option (or plugin directional)
    - accelerometer for page positioning and 2-5 millisec save in the case of a drop
    - ability to remote in to it if the screen dies to retrieve your data, USB external program would be good
    - Full Wi-Fi Support on any network, meaning not locked to Tmobile, Sprint, At&T or Verizon
    - Physical Network jack supporting 100/1000 networks, cause sometimes its faster when you have a cable!
    - 11+ inch diag screen, with multi touch, a very responsive onscreen keyboard that can be called from any app, must be Hi-Def (1024 x 768) or better
    - GPS functionality, hopefully a clean integration to apps or at least good api’s to get access to it.
    - USB 3.0 (2ports)
    - SD Card slot
    - HDMI in/out, many people haven’t thought that HDMI in could be useful, but it is!
    - Battery 8hours minimum
    - Solid feel construction, with non slippery grip areas (especially on back) so it won’t slide off conference tables when the idiot in front of you gets his BIG ASS up to get more Free coffee.
    - Price point Max for all of this 5 retail
    OverKill, but would be nice
    - Thumbprint reader for access to device
    - Bar code scanner application, or the api ability to make the camera used as one
    - Bump file transfer (there might be an app, but if not, this natively would be great) you know tap two android devices together and the file marked to transfer transfers to a list of available devices in the area, via blue tooth or wi-fi
    I know that is some list, but this what the “on the move” business person NEEDS now, not just wants, but NEEDS.

    Thanks for taking my input,

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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010

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