Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Android Tablet Is Dying, All Hail The Chromebook (and iPads If You Really Need The Tablet Form)

I'll get right to the point - get an iPad. And if you really adamant about staying in the Google ecosystem, then get the apps you need on the App Store because most of all the Google apps you need are there. But if you really insist, likely because you detest Apple so much or you have spend a lot of money on Android apps, then perhaps a Chromebook is the best choice.

The last Android tablets I own was the Nexus 7, a wonderful tablet, and then when Google stopped selling their own branded tablets, I with an Asus tablet that looks similar to the Nexus 7. Since then, I've stopped dabbling with Android tablets and decided to just stick with an iPad mini.

Now, the suggest I made above is not one I made lightly. Here is a bit of how I came around to the Chromebook as a better option than an Android tablet. First, I am not a fan of Chinese branded tablets. I just non-Chinese ones but there are just not a lot of them. Samsung tablets are awesome when it comes to hardware, it's top notch. In some ways, they're better than Apple's iPads. However, the software...meh right? Google has done a lot to improve the tablet experience on Android but Apple is light years ahead. At this point, I'm not sure Google will be able to catch up for these reasons - Google is all over the place with it comes to Android tablets and I'm just not sure Google is committed to the tablet as I think they should be. If anything, I feel like Google is just doing it to satisfy Android fans until it's ChromeOS experience with tablet features and UI improve enough to keep them from going over to the iPad side.

Now, it seems like with Android 12L, Google is finally taking tablets more seriously. If Google releases a Pixel tablet, then I'll bite. Maybe. But for now, I believe the ChromeOS experience if further along and has more to offer than Android for mobile users - consumer and business both. 

I had seriously considered the HP's X2 detachable Chromebook when it went on sale at Best Buy last year for around $400, a great deal from the $600 price point. I was very close but I think given this is HP's very first decent try with a detachable, I think they'll do better the next time around. I told myself I would get the next update as a reward if I become better as coding.

And speaking of coding, it would be what I want a Chromebook for. I am on a very old 12" MacBook and I need an upgrade eventually. I'm not took keen on carrying around a $4000 machine all the time so a Chromebook for coding Python, SQL, and doing Web stuff would be perfect.

However, for day to day stuff like writing, reading, and gaming, I am still on my iPad mini. In fact, my wife who is an Android fan recently got an iPad mini herself because there simply was nothing on the Android side where she could get a similar experience. It surprised the heck out of me. I threw Kindle tablets at her. I took her to stores to show her shiny Samsung tablets. But she ended with the iPad.

She did consider the X2 but it was not as sale at the time. And there are no updated Pixel tablets from Google to choose from.

Look, as a regular consumer much like everyone else, competition in the market place is great. I feel Apple does not feel any heat from other tablet makers even though it does not dominate the market. I feel Apple is making different models of the iPad compete against each other and eventually, it might mean iPads will compete with the MacBooks directly. 

When that happens, what does that mean for Android tablets then? I think Chromebook experience is further along and feel more natural to Google. It's Linux and Chrome is more Google's game. And this is why I would recommend Chromebooks that can running Android apps than Android tablets themselves.

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