There are certain things that you will never forget. For me, a website breaking down because they've been advertising selling iPads for $10, "One day only, so don't miss out!" is something that I'm going to remember for a long time. Not because I really wanted an iPad then (I did, but it was more of the frugal person in me being able to save $500 on a tablet rather than really wanting the iPad for it's own merits,) but because of the brand hype this sale had generated.
Twitter became an underground message board for mentioning this sale - it only happened between friends on DMs. If you mentioned the sale on your twitter feed, you would be scorned for talking about it to the general public by those already in the know, which was silly when the company had an outreach of roughly 3,000 at the time and was tweeting about it constantly.
The thing was, we all knew that there would be limited stock. If iPad suddenly had a SMRP of $10, everyone, including your ten year old, would be out there buying two.
What no one knew though, was how many iPads did this online store have in stock. And how were they going to go about selling it? (You'd think that answer would be easy.)
Turned out, they only had ten available (which was a lower amount than even the most cynical of forum users had guessed the day before.) And instead of putting everyone out of their misery at 12:01AM by selling all ten at once, the site would randomly choose, at any given time during the day, to sell ONE iPad. You can probably picture the mass hysteria as their site continually crashed throughout the day. They got the ton of publicity that they were hoping for, a bucket load of scorn, and managed to accumulate $100 in sales for that day.
I think I held on to the hope of purchasing an iPad that day for much longer than I should have. You just have to look at the top of my home page to realise I'm 1. a tech junky, 2. an extreme couponer, and 3. an event addict. This one event pinged me on so many of my levels, I just had to try to buy one throughout most of the day.
But the whole incident was a bunch of crazy.
So, why am I bringing this up now?
At Blissdom Canada, there was a company that was giving away an iPad to one lucky winner. (Please note here, I am not bashing Blissdom Canada, nor the company that held this contest. I have so much respect for both, and I have nothing but ♥♥♥♥ for the whole experience.)
A few people were shocked that I was not excited for wanting to try to win an iPad. The odds were good too, at roughly 1:200 - you're never going to get better. And regardless of the brand, my DH needs a tablet asap. He is an extremely generous fellow, and lent his laptop to an international Master's student for their studies at the beginning of September, and probably won't see his baby again until July (I'm hoping 2012, but it might not be until 2013, when he'll need a new one anyway.)
He and I are now sharing a computer (for the first time in a decade) as well as *my* HP tablet for the on-the-go surfing (he'll say it's *our* tablet, but we both know who the one true master is!) He doesn't want a smartphone/blackberry ('cause his company would expect to be able to reach him more easily on "off hours", lol.) and I'll admit, we have had a few skirmishes to determine who has access to either the desktop or tablet in the past month and a half... so essentially, I probably should have entered that contest to win an iPad.
But that's not the case I'm trying to make.
My point being for all of the above is that there is so much more than just the iPad out there for portable surfing boxes. You have to respect Apple's marketing team. I mean, they made Geek into Chic... I don't have to hide the fact that I'm a total, absolute GEEK at heart anymore and I will cherish the memory of Steve Jobs for that alone.
And there are the other top players, such as Blackberry with it's Playbook, and Samsung has it's Galaxy... HP used to have one too until they decided not to play in that sandbox anymore. I would hope that you've at least heard one of these!!
Side note: When a brand like HP decides to jump ship because their brand isn't doing too well on the market, this should be a clear ringing bell that there is company out there with AMAZING marketing skills, 'cause there is nothing much wrong with an HP tablet.
So I've decided to give the other other brands a little "air" time, with the help of CNET...
Here are 5 Other Other Brands that Create Tablets for Your Portable Pleasure
In no particular order, and by no means the full list of other tablets available. Each link will bring you to a video review created by CNET. I wish that I could personally review all of the tablets myself... and who knows, perhaps in the future I will! But I want to introduce you to a site that has some authority on tech matters while I'm still working on talking with brands to allow me to play with their gadgets for personal reviewing.
Without further ado...
- 1. Sony Tablet S
- 2. Lenovo IdeaPad K1 (Remember IBM?)
- 3. Asus Eee Pad Transformer
- 4. Acer Iconia Tab A500
- 5. Even though this isn't a Top 5 list, I do have to mention my personal favourite tablet of all, which is currently the Toshiba Thrive... Funny enough, it's the only one that had a YouTube video available with CNET TV.
So the next time you're looking at buying something portable that will make your internet addiction a little bit more manageable, at least consider giving another company a thought before visiting your local Apple store! You might be pleasantly surprised with what you find.