My buddy Brendan has some thoughts on tablet computing (disclaimer: AdvertiseHereForever.com sponsors our YouTube videos, and I just purchased a flag on Clickashamrock.com):
No inside info at all here, just an educated guess. As a creative person, I always have ideas.
I think Apple will do a tablet @ or before Macworld 2009, possibly in 2008. I’d be very surprised if it happened as early as Macworld ’08, but I wouldn’t be shocked. And I think it will their genuine attempt to make usable, efficient, ultra-portable “computer” (10″ or 11″ display) that uses only a touch-screen for user-interface interaction. As in, no physical keyboard, no trackpad or no mouse. Like the iPhone, but a full blown computer this time.
The first step to surpassing the mouse and trackpad in my opinion. A new paradigm?
I think this will be about; no compromises, and about inventing a new way to have “a true computer experience” in a touch form. Files, folders, desktop etc. All menus and the menubar etc. would be finger-sized.
I think the solution to making this product “valid” is to make it as slim and as light as possible, and to provide some type of pop-out stand on the back that enables this device to rest at about 20º on a flat surface, for typing and looking at the screen at the same time, but which when popped back in would be flush and virtually invisible. Press it in to pop it out. Press it in to pop it back in. Just like a lid on one of those touch bins.
Carry it around, use it on the couch, use it in class, use it everywhere! And then when you want to type an email, a note, an article or something large, you pop out the stand and type away on a table, a tray, a desk etc.
This device would come with a dock, could be used as a digital picture frame, and would be aimed at desktop users, or people who owned just a notebook as their only computer. It would be designed from the start to be your second computer, and would sync with your main one – as it wouldn’t have its own optical drive for repairs or maintenance of the OS. And the price of flash storage, which it would have, provides other limitations. The tag-line could be; “Take some work with you”.
Glass screen, iSight, chrome trim, silver aluminum back, pop-out stand, very very light, thin and portable (much more so than any notebook). Possibly with two, subtle, rubber (light-gray) hand-grips on its rear for easier holding, great wifi reception (hides antennas) and protection from scratches when resting on a desk.
That’s what I believe The dock and stack(s) are just begging to be touched.