By Larry Magid

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)- KCBS Technology Analyst Larry Magid said the competition has been slow to jump on the tablet computer bandwagon started by Apple because it takes a long time to introduce a quality product, and they want to do it right.

”Another problem is the operating system,” said Magid. “A lot of the earlier tablets were kind of shoehorning a version of Android that was designed for phones, before Google finally released Honeycomb, the tabloid version, and now it can be done correctly.”

Magid said that Motorola’s Xoom, for example, looks and feels a lot like an iPad, but uses the Android operating system. However, this is Android 3.0, which means that it’s optimized for tablets. What’s important about that is that a tablet is a different size, and this system scales the image so that it’s appropriate for the page.

”Basically, I found the experience to be good,” said Magid. “It still has a few rough edges though. They haven’t gotten everything working, for example, the SD slot isn’t working yet, and the 4G isn’t working, but those things are coming.”

Magid said that the Xoom is basically a comparable experience to an iPad.

He said that the deal breaker for most people will be the $800 price tag. That cost comes as-is, without a contract. If you want the two-year Verizon contract for the mobile service it’s another $600.

Magid said that many argue that’s not much different from the full iPad package with all the bells and whistles and 4G service, but that it is possible to get an iPad at $499.

In addition, Magid points out that there will be a new iPad released next week.

”I wouldn’t buy a Xoom until I see what Apple’s going to make available next week, so I think that their timing is interesting,” said Magid. “I have a feeling that a lot of people who might have bought one are now going to hold off.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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