Predicting the Apple Tablet

The computer press is buzzing with rumors of an Apple tablet computer.  I don’t think anyone knows anything for sure, and I expect Steve Jobs to wow people when he finally announces whatever he plans to show off as his next big product.  It may be a tablet computer, or it might be something surprisingly different.  Most people speculate it will be something to compete against netbooks and ebook readers, both of which are hot products that Apple currently doesn’t compete against.  A lot of rumor sites show an artist conception of a giant iPod touch like device.  Some sites are even predicting it will cost $800-900 dollars.

Well, if the Apple tablet is to compete against netbooks and ebooks the price needs to be a whole lot closer to $400.  I do think a touch screen tablet is the perfect competition to a netbook, but I’m not sure about such a device replacing ebooks.  Maybe for reading magazines, newspapers and web content, but not for reading fiction.  Think about it, reading fiction is something people do for hours on end, and imagine holding a heavy device that long?  I think the Kindle and Nook are too big.  My ideal ebook would be mostly screen, about the size between a mass market paperback page and a trade paperback page, weigh next to nothing, be extremely durable, and cheap enough so I wouldn’t be afraid to carry it everywhere I go.  That doesn’t describe any of the Apple tablet rumors.

If a new Apple device is going to be rolled out it must not compete with the iPhone or the MacBook, and that puts it squarely into the netbook space.  Netbooks have keyboards and work just like bigger computers.  A tablet doesn’t.  So how many of your everyday routines can be enhanced by a 10 inch touch screen?  For me, that would be something to replace magazines and newspapers.  If bookworms balk at paying $260 for an ebook reader to make novel reading easier, will newshounds accept spending $800 to make reading the news easier?  Not me.

You can get a 22” LCD monitor for around $200, and sometimes a lot less.  For reading the New York Times, magazines and blogs, I’d love to have a monitor I could hold in my lap and read while sitting in my La-Z-Boy.  A 10-12” screen would probably be ideal, but it must be thin and very light.  It doesn’t need to be a computer, but just a reader, maybe just a portable Acrobat reader.  And I don’t want to pay more than the cost of a monitor to have a monitor I can hold in my lap to read.

I’m not sure I’d even want video and music from such a device, especially if it will raise the price significantly.  I just want to read what I normally sit at the computer and read, but in a comfortable chair.  My Zune, iPod Nano and Sansa Clip are perfect for audiobooks and music.  My iPod touch mostly goes untouched.  My netbook mostly goes untouched.  I just don’t do that much on the go computing.

The iPhone was brilliant.  The iPod was brilliant.  Do we really need the iTablet?  How many more useful devices can we use?  Steve Jobs does have an amazing track record of creating devices we didn’t have before but can’t live without now:  Apple II, Mac, iPod and iPhone.  But I prefer a PC to a Mac.  The Sansa Clip is easier to carry than my iPod Nano or touch, and even though I’d love an iPhone I won’t spend the money.  The $64,000 question is whether or not Steve Jobs will announce something I will run out and buy.  I’d own a Mac if they were cheaper, so I’m guessing I’ll be waiting on the HP tablet computer.

JWH – 1/7/10

One thought on “Predicting the Apple Tablet”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Where one line can make a difference.

Engaging With Aging

As long as we're green, we're growing

A Deep Look by Dave Hook

Thoughts, ramblings and ruminations


A story a day keeps the boredom away: SF and Fantasy story reviews


Pluralism and Individuation in a World of Becoming

the sinister science

sf & critical theory join forces to destroy the present

Short Story Magic Tricks

breaking down why great fiction is great

Xeno Swarm

Multiple Estrangements in Philosophy and Science Fiction

fiction review

(mostly) short reviews of (mostly) short fiction

A Just Recompense

I'm Writing and I Can't Shut Up

Universes of the Mind

A celebration of stories that, while they may have been invented, are still true

Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Make Lists, Not War

The Meta-Lists Website

From Earth to the Stars

The Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine Author & Editor Blog

SFF Reviews

Short Reviews of Short SFF

Featured Futures

classic science fiction and more

Sable Aradia, Priestess & Witch

Witchcraft, Magick, Paganism & Metaphysical Matters

Pulp and old Magazines

Pulp and old Magazines

Matthew Wright

Science, writing, reason and stuff

My Colourful Life

Because Life is Colourful

The Astounding Analog Companion

The official Analog Science Fiction and Fact blog.

What's Nonfiction?

Where is your nonfiction section please.

A Commonplace for the Uncommon

Books I want to remember - and why

a rambling collective

Short Fiction by Nicola Humphreys

The Real SciBlog

Articles about riveting topics in science

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

The Subway Test

Joe Pitkin's stories, queries, and quibbles regarding the human, the inhuman, the humanesque.

SuchFriends Blog

'...and say my glory was I had such friends.' --- WB Yeats

Neither Kings nor Americans

Reading the American tradition from an anarchist perspective


Speculations on the Future: Science, Technology and Society

I can't believe it!

Problems of today, Ideas for tomorrow


Peter Webscott's travel and photography blog

The Wonderful World of Cinema

Where classic films are very much alive! It's Wonderful!

The Case for Global Film

'in the picture': Films from everywhere and every era

A Sky of Books and Movies

Books & movies, art and thoughts.

Emily Munro

Spinning Tales in the Big Apple


hold a mirror up to life.....are there layers you can see?

%d bloggers like this: