|I have a Xoom
Right out of the box I could use it -- no sync to a computer. And I can download files which are store in a ... wait for it ... file system.
More apps would be nice,
You're saying this product is actually post-PC?
How about cutting/pasting and saving from text? I understand the iPad doesn't let you do that with its iBook app.
Also does it have conventional USB ports?
I suspect it does, but the Xoom updates it's OS over the air? And firmware?
If it crashes, (say, storage card failure) or you lose it, you lose all your data?
That's one reason I was asking about USB ports. With those you could (theoretically) back up to a hard drive. Still don't know why you'd want this compared to a netbook--maybe it's lighter?
It does have a USB port and an sdhc slot. The card slot is waiting for a sw upgrade. I haven't tried the USB port much. You *can* sync with a PC if you want. The atrix can be a USB master, so the Xoom might be able to do the same. Also, the great gazoogle backs up a bunch of stuff if you link and sync accounts.
Updates do come over the air. I've gotten one so far.
How about cutting/pasting and saving from tex
Works okay. I haven't opened the book app yet.
I spoke too soon about files. Atrix came preloaded with a file manager. I had to download Astro file mgr app for the xoom. But that's no biggie.
I used firefox beta last night. The display is twitchy. Loads a blank background for a moment between pages -- jarring bright flash when browsing at night. And builds image on screen, *then* resize. My eyes said ouch. At the moment I prefer the built in browser.
Built in 'gallery' is weak.
Maybe it's a config thing, but unlike most auto correctors, the one that is in the touch screen keyboard doesn't warn you it's about to fuck with your text. Fail.
I don't think it replaces a netbook yet. For consumption, tablets are pretty darn good. They're smaller and lighter, and get the job done. For creation ... uh ... slow and tedious ... limited apps.
Now if everything is in the cloud (assumes constant connectivity), google will say that the apps problem goes away. I don't believe that in the general case. I don't always have connectivity, and sometimes when I do it's too slow for anything complicated.
The input speed issue can be addressed with a proper keyboard and mouse (or trackpad) connected via blue tooth or USB. The webtop is actually kinda interesting in that respect. An atrix in a dock with an HDMI connected monitor plus keyboard and mouse looks a heck of a lot like a real computer. (The "laptop dock" is another way to go.) Apps again. CPU speed also. But those gaps will close over time.
I think there will be many models of computing. Netbooks and lap tops will be geek things for people who do geeky things on their computing devices. Many people will get by with pocket computers and tablet computers, because they mostly consume data, and when they generate it's twitterfacebookflickremail kinda stuff that will be trivial to do on a touch screen. Just a prediction.
I include among the "geeks" writers, artists, designers, etc. who place higher demands on the display, input devices, and/or compute power. An artist carrying a laptop will be like an engineer carrying a scientific calculator in the days of yore.