Tablets optimize

What are your predictions for the Apple Tablet?

Before the long-awaited unveiling, review all the rumors and scoop making the rounds so far and let us know what you think the Apple Tablet will actually turn out to be.

One thing you can't deny about Apple: they know how to get people talking, hyping, and endlessly discussing their products -- even the ones that don't exist yet. We've been hearing rumors of the mystical Apple Tablet for quite some time now, but it does seem that an announcement/unveiling is nigh.

With all the details still up in the air, I thought it would be a good time to put your own personal predictions about the "tablet" out there for discussion and see just how good a prognosticator you turn out to be by the time this whatever-it-is hits the market in March. First, here's a good source for all the latest scoop at Gizmodo.com.

Let us know what you think about these questions:

  • What it will look like? (form factor, size, general cosmetics)
  • What will it do? Will it mostly combine a bunch of stuff that you now have separate devices for or will it offer something completely new and not seen before?
  • Who will it matter to? Consumers only? Business users?
  • What will it mean to IT pros?

Just for fun, I've included a poll below with a sampling of the predictions that I've seen here and there.

About

Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

22 comments
Chief Bottle Washer
Chief Bottle Washer

Personally, with so many other tablets on the market I don't believe Apple will produce this product. For what? To read an eBook story? My Mac Pro reads the pdf documents the same as those tablets. Send email or text messages? All the smart phones can perform this function. Play games? Smart phones and laptops again. If Apple produces a tablet it's just a waste of time, money and resources. Just "Don't do it!"

tech
tech

It will set the quality standard for reader devices. For those who love to read, many already have a Kindle or competing device. Others have held off purchasing -- like myself -- for a well-designed unit with large color screen. In my company, all the execs (PC users) dumped their Blackberries for iPhones Personally, I'd love to dump my company-issued Blackberry for something I can use without dense reading glasses, even for a grand (the iPhone is relatively too tiny to justify the initial cost plus add'l AT&T bills, on a tight budget.) Prediction: Apple will garner the plurality of the mid-to-high end of the reader market.

Kartetse
Kartetse

...a simple (white) flat pad that has a flush touchscreen. It won't have the book look of current laptops but will have all the power and functionality. Its software interface however would resemble the iPhone in the sense that it is all finger tip pull, push, squeeze and general tactile gymnastics. It would be orientation smart so that it can flip its screen 'upside down' or to the side as soon as you put it on its head (or push it across the table to the customer so that she can lift it her side without trying to turn the thing around). Keypad would be a touchscreen pad and there would be some smarts to ensure you can quickly dim or switch off the pad, or make it insensitive to inputs when you carry it in the hand swinwing at your side. Somethign like that.

jfreedle2
jfreedle2

And the bad thing is that people will buy this simply because Apple made it. No wonder we have all this twits in the world. Apple only make abysmal products at best, but people believe Apple's marketing. Maybe it is because I think for myself that I do not like them.

iamwwei
iamwwei

In fact, it really doesn't matter what it looks like or what function it will combine to some extent. I do not mean that is not important. But that is really not the core of such product. In my opinion, if such product want to success in the market, the key point is in the services it can provide while other platforms can not. Of course, such services should be attractive to the user. if such services got determined. The design and implementation parameters are just skilled work. So as what I can see now, one of the key service is sort of white board. This is very important in engineers' meeting, just as important as voice and more important than video. I say it is sort of white board because I found none of current whiteboard product really fulfill such meeting. A detailed analysis is a little bit too long for such comment. Anyone who is interested can just shot me an email for detailed discussion.

vandalais
vandalais

I think it will contain an e-ink screen that is overlayed an LCD screen. This would allow extended battery life as a reader and still give the functionality of a tablet. I also think it will have an optional 3G chip as well as whispernet for the subscription services. With the use of a bluetooth headset, it will also be able to be used as a hands free phone using voice recognition for placing calls. Or it could never be released.

bradleyj
bradleyj

How can anyone predict what the public will think without knowing what the device can offer. The first couple of posts seems to imply that this is Apple's way of copying something that already failed - which Apple has never done. I expect the unexpected. It will present new things, new ways of looking at familiar things and no one will be able to predict how well it will do (not even Apple).

aaarrrnnn
aaarrrnnn

If rumors are true that it would feature an ARM processor, then it would appear to be an oversize iPhone with more screen space to do more things on it, but still limited to not being able to multitask.

.Martin.
.Martin.

will slink back into the shadows like they do everytime they pop up. if a product is made, it will be a huge fad (like 7" netbooks) but then will fade away.

adakar_sg
adakar_sg

Whats the purpose of a tablet PC for the everyday user? Must admit i can't see why i would need one..

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

My old LG phone did all of the above, but did nothing very well. Of course it was a windows mobile instrument so I was glad for the "reset" button on the back...

darpoke
darpoke

is a very good example of something already existing that would work really well on a tablet. I have one concern, though - there is a strong reason why the Kindle, Sony's offering and the various Irex and other models all use electronic paper. It's to prevent the torturous effects of reading for long periods from a backlit display. I read for short periods from my iPhone but even this is uncomfortable. Anything hoping to establish itself as a long-term reading device will need to address this, and I confidently predict that a colour LCD tablet is *not* going to pose a threat in that market. First-time buyers may be fooled but will not return for the experience. And word will quickly get around that it's not for people who wish to replace their Kindle. My bet? Based on the unexpected success of the iPhone and App store, the best thing Apple could release is a strong gaming platform. Whatever the tablet does support, it'll be a real own goal if it doesn't mirror the current App store's offering of games, and a rich development ecosystem.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

> run anybody's software > be system - independent > have interchangeable battery w/internal backup for swaps > come with a reasonable assortment of accessories, i.e. AC charger, 12V charger, case, et c.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I've never used an iPhone. My impressions are based on my clumsy manipulation of touchpads and my limited experience configuring Blackberry Storms. I dislike a touchpad to the point I won't use one. I either wind up double-clicking something I didn't want to, or find myself moving my finger but not getting corresponding cursor movement. I'm sure it's not the hardware, since I've seen others use the exact same unit and operate it effectively. I gave up long ago and just add a conventional mouse. My Storm encounters frustrated me with the lack of tactile feedback, and keys that I felt were too small. I also --hate-- fingerprints on my display.

jgeis
jgeis

Nice opinion, jfreedle2! Apple defies the recession, makes products that the whole world buys... and it's all because "the world is full of twits"! If you truly do "think for yourself", then you would TRY THEM, and start to understand what it is about the products that so may people like. But NO, you are the only smart person on this planet, and everyone else is a sheep! (sure, they are!) Marketing alone does not make Apple successful. It just gets the 'windows-centric' "sheep" and "twits" to give them a try. After that, Apple gains market-share on it's own merits!

adakar_sg
adakar_sg

I agree, there are similar products out there, but as far as i can see there is no viable reason to get it except if you really love items with half-eaten apples on them.. These kinds of things have existed for a while, but for regular people they serve no real purpose.. If anyone could list some good usages for everyday use for this product i would appreciate it, because i really don't see why one would want one.

techbyed
techbyed

and other people who don't actually need to use a computer to do things. To me the iPad seems to be just a bigger iPhone.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I believe it's requires less power than conventional LCD displays, so it extends the battery life.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

It appears to me that most Apple users do so for the same reason Linux is gaining so. It's not M$. And the the "whole world" won't buy it, only yours.

darpoke
darpoke

- that's an added bonus to the technology. In fact i believe it only consumes power when refreshing the screen, which vastly extends its lifespan over LCD-based devices. I seem to recall battery life being expressed for one device in terms of tens of thousands of page turns. Obviously, other operations such as downloading via whispernet or using a browser, which some support, would significantly impact this. But still. It's a strong argument against convergence where this particular market is concerned.