Wishes for the Apple iTablet

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Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few months, you no doubt know that tomorrow will be a potentially very exciting day for everyone that has been dreaming of an Apple tablet. Our buddy Steve Jobs will be unveiling something new at 10 AM PST at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco, California. The invites went out last week for the invitation only event, offering only a vague teaser that asked reporters to “Come see our latest creation.”

Even with the never ending juggernaut of hype that we’ve all had to put up with, Dave Rees and I have been praying to the gadget gods that tomorrow will FINALLY reveal the iTablet, iSlate, iPad, iWhateverTheHeckItWillBeCalled. We plan to do a dual review as soon as we can each get our hands on one. In anticipation of tomorrow’s news, we’re listing our top wishes for this fabled device.

Dave’s comments are in Blue italics and mine are in Black.

I’m going to start out by talking about what I hope the tablet will be like physically. I’m guessing that I want it to be smaller than most people will. Some of the rumors have said it will have a 10 inch display and that sounds too big to me. I imagine a footprint in the ball park of 7 x 4 inches and a thickness no more than the iPhone 3GS.

Form Factor: Thin and light. It needs to be a Touch on steriods. Imagine 4 touches setting two by two, making it more or less 8″ wide and 4″ tall. It should be no thicker than a iPhone, leaning more towards the thickness of the Touch. It should weigh less than 1.5 lbs (aka half the weight of the MacBook Air).

I think we’re pretty much hoping for the same thing so far…

Material Types: Aluminum and glass. Apple’s tablet, being an all purpose device, needs to be rugged enough to take with you most everywhere you go. And let’s face it, the plastic back of the iPhone is less than indestructible. It should be as if you ripped off the screen of a MacBook Pro (but smaller).

I’m hoping for the same type of glass display as the iPhone and Touch, but I don’t want it to have a chrome bezel or a chrome back. And guess what? I actually won’t mind if it has a plastic back as long as it’s rugged and not all shiny. Yeah, I don’t like chrome or shiny plastic. Sue me.

One thing I’m really wishing for, but have pretty much zero confidence that my wish will come true is… buttons! What I’m thinking here is that the tablet needs a couple gaming control buttons because I want to be able to play all kinds of games on it.

Operating System: It needs to have an OS somewhere between the iPhone/Touch and Snow Leopard. Its OS (and corresponding chipset) needs to be robust enough to do high end games, multi-task, and some ‘real’ computer work. But not be so top heavy that the device bogs down.

I think we’re on the same page here too. Especially with the multi-tasking comment. But I don’t want it to be a Macbook with no keyboard. No Modbook please. I really wish that the tablet will have access to the existing app store and be able to run the same apps that already run on the iPhone and Touch. I can also wish that Apple isn’t so freaking anal with this device and allows developers to go crazy and not lock everything tighter than a drum. Pipe dream? Sadly, probably.

As far as what will power the tablet, I’m hoping it will be very capable. It has to be fast, but at the same time it has to have a crazy long battery life. If I have to plug it in every 4-5hrs, I won’t be a happy camper.

Specifications: Chip speed and capacity. The device needs to be zippy and have enough space to hold a ton of music, movies, applications, documents, ebooks, etc. Once again, if this multi-purpose device is going to be ones constant companion, it needs the capacity to hold my world within. Like the latest iPhone 3GS and 3rd generation Touch, all tasks need to happen almost instantaneously.

At least 64gb would be nice and while we’re at it, throw in a memory card slot for some expansion. I’ll take a couple USB ports too please 🙂

Connectivity: Choices. Obviously it will need WiFi. Plus I would like to see the ability to choose whether or not to have (affordable) 3G service (aka not be mandated or tied to a carrier). Along with having that capability, service at a reasonable monthly cost is a must as well.

This is where I get worried. I would be more than happy if all it has is WiFi. I don’t want or care if it has 3G. I say this mainly because we don’t have 3G coverage in my area. If we did, I might have a different opinion. I just fear that if it is tied to a carrier, that it will require a multi-year contract and insane monthly service fees. So, just give me WiFi please.

All that being said, cost is an issue as well. If Apple’s iTablet costs too much it will forever remain a niche product for the Mac-fanboys. If Apple wants the iPad to reach all facets of society, like the iPhone has, they must make it priced for the common person during lean times.

I agree with you. The rumored $1000 price tag that we’ve all seen mentioned is crazy in my opinion. Yeah, I’ll buy one anyway, but that’s because I’m slightly deranged and I want to review it for you guys. 😉 I think the perfect price would be $549 for a 64GB device. That’s about $150 more than the high end Touch. Again, pipe dream? Probably, but it’s my dream.

When it comes down to it, I want to use the tablet as an eBook reader, magazine reader, couch surfing device and gaming device. Basically everything that I’m already doing with my iPhone 3GS now (except for surfing, which I don’t use it for) but with a bigger display, added horse power and hopefully some really cool surprises.

This may sound lame, but it almost feels like Christmas Eve night as a child. What will Santa – I mean Steve bring tomorrow? I for one can’t wait to find out. 🙂

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21 thoughts on “Wishes for the Apple iTablet”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. IHYPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    the hype behind this product is incredible, the only product I own from apple is the iphone which I didnt rush out and get as soon as it came out, I got mine in 2008 to be exact

    I thought the iphone was a bit over the top when it came out but noticed how quick it became something, as for the tablet, its looking more like hype than anything else at the moment.

    1. @Mycroft awwwww 🙁 Sure, chrome is pretty and eye catching, but blink two times and it’s smudged and scratched. Then your brand new gadget doesn’t look so brand new anymore. If the back of the tablet case was made of the same type of plastic as the Kindle (not in that milky color though), I’d like that.

  3. everything the iphone has without a contract that is mandatory. I dont need another cellphone bill. I dont think anyone does.

    GPS, wifi, BT, app store, hmm.. front and rear cameras, speech to text, BING MAPS.

  4. Even though rumors about the Apple tablet have been around for a long time Evidence indicates that it will be announced in January 2010 and that it will go on sale March 2010.

  5. Still trying to find out what it’s niche will be…
    big Touch?…can’t put it in my pocket…
    touch screen laptop?…so just bring my 13″ macbook; more power and flexibility
    e-book reader?…lots of them and they are probably cheaper than this unit

    Maybe it will be so obvious what you can use it for that we’re missing it, but I’ll wait and see what this afternoon brings. 😉

  6. Have you seen the number of e-ink eReaders lately ? They retail anywhere from $175 to $800, with the key ones such as Nook, Kindle and the Sony eReaders being $199 to $399, with screen ranging from 5 inches to 7 or 9. But they have limited ability to cut and paste annotations to transfer to Word on a PC for example – either limited ability or awkward – and of course you are limited to what you get. Try studying Bible texts that you can jump from one verse to another in a different book, or translation. For that you need a computer or an iPhone / iTouch. But then you are limited to screen size.

    I think Apple can take the bottom out of the eReader market with a 5 to 7 inch screen Super iTouch with the ability to run all the programs that the current iPhone OS can. This may also encourage eReader manufacturers to lower their prices for people who just want to sit and read for hours on end (oh the luxury and joy) – which is where the e-ink screen really comes into its own regarding reducing eye strain.

    Well only 2hours 45minutes to go.

  7. My wish for the iPad? To be able to figure out what I’d actually use one for, given that I can’t use it to write or code, most likely can’t run the one killer app I do everything in (and it’s entirely keyboard driven anyway), etc. It’s too big to carry as a PDA or in addition to the laptop or netbook I will still have (because of that whole “keyboard” thing). It might be okay as a casual e-book reader, but my eyes will still prefer a reflective e-ink display if I’m going to sit down and read for a few hours (yes, I sit in front of LCDs all day, but reading is, among other things, a way to give my eyes a break from that!).

    So why do I want one again? I guess I’m just too old and set in my ways.

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