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Hey Apple –here’s what I wantin a tablet

January 20th, 2010

I’m sure you’ve seen several a bucket full of rumors about the Jan 27 Apple announcement of some kind of tablet device. 10 inch screen? 7 inch screen? Included Wi-Fi subscription? (US only, I’m sure) Is it just a larger iPod Touch? An iPhone? A whole new way to have fun? Does it come with a magical unicorn?

You know I’m an Apple fan. My first programming experience was a Logic class on an Apple IIc when I was in grade 3. And you know I’m going to drool over this tablet, whatever it turns out to be.

For me to drop $1000 on this, many things would have to happen. (Sandra would have to have a full time job, for one!) But mainly, it would have to be able to function as my primary computer for 90% of what I do. Maybe not photoshop or pattern production, but certainly everything else; surfing, emailing, listening to music, tracking my runs and my ww points, blogging, uploading photos to flickr, updating my ravelry, etc. And I’d really, really, REALLY love it if I could use it as an eBook reader as well.

Just cause I can, here’s my own (very reasonable) wishlist for the first generation iSlate:

Integrated WiFi and 3G
Probability: High

I want a device that can get online anywhere. Granted, this is going to be a little more complex in Canada. I’m already paying Rogers for my blackberry and my home internet. I’d love to share a data plan between multiple devices, an idea that’s not that far from reality.

Mostly, though, I want the 3G connection to either be free (like the Kindle) – highly unlikely – or optional. Can I get the tablet and just have it connect via WiFi? Can I then start paying for 3G without a hardware upgrade?

Functional Dock with Keyboard and Mouse
Probability: Medium/High

A keyboard – an actual keyboard – is a bit of a must for someone who writes as much as I do. (Code, patterns, blog entries, even fiction.) While I’m pretty adept on my blackberry, I’ve never really adjusted to any speed with the iPhone’s keystroke model. I want a real keyboard as an option for times when I need to do a lot of wordsmithing.

Hear me out on this one. Docking the tablet would take down it’s portability, for sure. But what if the dock could work like a laptop, with the tablet as the screen? I’d be able to use it around the house, or take it with me if I needed more writing ability. Having a dock that allows the tablet to be propped upright, much like the iPod docs, would make it a better system for home multimedia as well.

Speakers – decent ones
Probability: Medium

I’m sure some kind of speaker will be included. There’s already one on the iPod Touch, but the quality and amplification leaves a lot to be desired. From a bigger device, I’d expect bigger sound.

USB – Just One Port Please
Probability: ?

I haven’t seen many rumours around the ports available on the tablet, but I’m really hoping for a single usb port with device support. I want an easy way to get files onto – and off of – the tablet. I want to sync my iPod. And upload photos.

eReader Functionality
Probability: High

Apple’s dumb if they don’t use their highly successful iTunes model to electronically distribute books and periodicals. What they need to make it competitive is a great user experience for reading the material, though. And I’m betting that – if they wanted – they could do it better than the Kindle or the Nook.

My Media – Everywhere
Probability: ?

Now that I’ve got the AppleTv up and running to serve up movies and tvs from iTunes, I really want all my stuff everywhere. That may be more of an AppleTv request than a tablet one, to be clear. Why can’t it function as a server that broadcasts to every one of my iTunes instances? This could work with the eReader concept too. Imagine if I could use my tablet to read in bed at night, then pick up my iPod on the bus the next day and be able to start from the same page?

I don’t know. It’s not much of a list, really. The USB port is probably the only feature not super likely, although maybe not. It would be great to be able to connect and charge existing devices.

Mostly though, I want Apple to totally surprise me next week. I want this tablet to redefine portable computing the way the iPod did portable music. I’m ready for it. And you know I’ll be watching closely next Wednesday to see what we can expect from Apple’s “newest creation.”

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3 Responses to “Hey Apple – here’s what I want in a tablet”

  1. Cullen Says:

    I think you’ll be out of luck on the USB port. My guess is it’ll have an SD-card slot for your photos but that’s it, any other device (mouse/keyboard) will need to have a Bluetooth connection.

    I also believe that Apple will be pushing more for wireless data transfers on the iPhone for contacts/calendar, and this will work the same.

    The closest thing to a USB will be the iPod charging port. This _might_ give you access as a USB, but I doubt it. The future will be less tangled… I welcome our new wireless overlords.

  2. SamLaTricoteuse Says:

    Urghh.. got my Kindle just before Xmas – which I loooove by the way. Funny somebody said to me the other day – yeah, but you should have waited for the Apple Tablet (after I had shared that I couldn’t wait) stating that, well, you can continue reading your Kindle in Black and White.. Well, I told him that all the reading I do is done in B&W as whatever I read do not have images – I am past that stage ! ah! ha. In short though, I was contemplating buying a MacBook so when I saw this, told myself I am sure it will be way more than just a tablet. So I’ll see. But have to tell you that the WiFi 3G thing on the Kindle is amazing and the books selection amazing. My only complaint is that I would love to have a French selection as well (being French-Canadian)… BTW took my decision for the Kindle based on web reviews. Did not regret it. Read 8 books on it since Dec. 16 !!!! Was worth everything for me – my house is full of books and I will still continue buying the Classics, but the paperbooks and all can go on my Kindle !

  3. indigirl: a life in stitches » Blog Archive » Meet the Apple iPad Says:

    […] over my wish list, I’m actually pretty pleased. The iPad has ways to do all of these things via accessories, […]

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