×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why Everyone Has High Hopes For Apple Tablet

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the because-the-others-all-suck dept.

Portables 596

waderoush writes "The deafening roar of anticipation around Apple's expected 'iSlate' announcement on January 27 is strange, to say the least, given the public's utter apathy about tablet computers to date. What's going on? Xconomy's analysis makes three points. 1) Previous tablet makers have shown little imagination around UIs and how a touchscreen changes things. 2) With the iPhone, Apple has shown what's possible in this regard. 3) There's latent demand for a mobile computing device that's smaller and lighter than a laptop but has more screen real estate than a smartphone — something reminiscent of a Star Trek tricorder or PADD. Hence the hopes for the iSlate — which are so high that it may be difficult for even Apple to meet them."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

596 comments

FIRST!!!! well almost (2, Funny)

bodland (522967) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694630)

same goes for Apple's tablet

Re:FIRST!!!! well almost (3, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695110)

Hence the hopes for the iSlate -- which are so high that it may be difficult for even Apple to meet them.

Yep. I've been hoping it will be affordable, say $300...$500 or so. I've also been hoping it'll be a wifi/bluethooth machine, not a cellphone machine, as cell companies are notorious for overcharging for bandwidth (and generally lousy at providing it.) I don't think it can balance long battery life with the desired form factor and power requirements if it's a full bore OS X machine, so I anticipate an iPod-like design, that is, one app at a time, not much CPU power, CPU and GPU mostly asleep, or you get battery life measured in very few hours. I don't really mind that idea though... I've got an iPod touch and I am most impressed with what it can do under those same constraints.

Still, the price and communications issues loom large in my mind, and I'm feeling more than a little cynical. I'm sure, knowing Apple, that the thing will be beautiful and desirable, but Apple's been known to make fairly large mis-steps before in other areas (camera in the nano, not the Touch; Apple TV; Newton; one-button mouse; etc) and this may simply be another.

We'll know soon enough.

Re:FIRST!!!! well almost (2, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695176)

...but Apple's been known to make fairly large mis-steps before in other areas (camera in the nano, not the Touch; Apple TV; Newton; one-button mouse; etc)

For the record, I don't see the problem with the one-button mouse.

I suppose it's a problem for people with just one hand, but given that you have control and command and option keys on the keyboard, I've never seen why it's important to put more buttons on the mouse.

Re:FIRST!!!! well almost (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695378)

I've got an iPod touch and I am most impressed with what it can do under those same constraints.

Agreed. I just can't figure out what to do with the earphones when I'm not listening to music.

I usually keep them wrapped around it, but then they're in the way when I want to use it in a coffee shop to look at a map or look up something.

My two 10-year-old cars don't have built-in bluetooth and my touch isn't one with bluetooth anyway, so I use cassette adapters. At work I use the headphones as mini speakers -- good enough to give me some background music without bothering my neighbors. I hate having earphones in and constantly having to take them out to have a conversation with a co-worker.

Rumours (-1, Offtopic)

tsa (15680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694632)

"Rumours" is a nice album by Fleetwood Mac, brought out in the eurly 1980s. That is the only one to take seriously.

Re:Rumours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30694696)

This is true. What Apple Tablet? Shall we just wait for the actual pres release before doing any discussion?

Origami (-1, Offtopic)

p0 (740290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694640)

Does anyone remember those awesome promo videos from the Origami Project? I wonder what went wrong.

1 word. (4, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694672)

Photoshop.

Mac is still, and long will be the favorite computer of most graphicians/artists.

Tablet+screen has some serious disadvantages. You draw in one place, image appears elsewhere.
With a good touchscreen capable of providing precision comparable to decent Wacoms, this can become a dream tool for an artist.

Re:1 word. Niche application (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694716)

The majority of PAD users aren't going to give 2 flips for photoshop, per se. For the most part, they'll be doing what people do now. Email, IM, shopping, surfing. Writing and now, reading.

Re:1 word. Niche application (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694986)

The majority of PAD users aren't going to give 2 flips for photoshop, per se. For the most part, they'll be doing what people do now. Email, IM, shopping, surfing. Writing and now, reading.

You fail to realize that it has an influence on the people who aren't artists. Average people look at Macs and PC's and think that Macs are the fun computers and PCs are the work computers, why is that?

Because the people who WORK on the Macs are the people who draw for a living, compose music, make videos, etc. They are the people who have the jobs Cubible Joe wish he could have (and are obviously successful enough at it to afford apple products).

This "Niche Market" is what drives alot of other people to Apple.

Re:1 word. Niche application (0)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695160)

As someone who has worked as both a graphic artist AND a programmer, I can assure you that I would rather be cubicle Joe. As an aside, I find Macs to be a pain in the rear. I prefer Linux.

And as far as computers go, Macs are niche market. The majority of human activity has little to do with the direct creation of art.

Re:1 word. Niche application (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695340)

And I understand the first part. I WOULD claim I'm a graphic artist if I were any good at it, but I do dabble in it for some side projects, but all in all I prefer the nice logical problems that programming offers. Macs are also annoying around our office. Why they need to use Keynotes over a power point or even one-note or some FOSS that could do they same task I don't know.

But I'd be hard-pressed to say that Macs are a niche market. I'll admit that when people ask me "Why a Mac over PC" I tend to mention the niche market things, only because they are what set Macs apart. But with their whole iLife system (which I have not tried, nor do I have any intention to) it seems like they have actually made a product with everyone (or everyone rich) in mind. Thats not to say I couldn't find an equally good product system on the PC that will do the same thing, but the point is that Macs are no longer JUST for Artists, even though thats one of the major reasons they sell.

Re:1 word. Niche application (2, Interesting)

evil_aar0n (1001515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695292)

Actually, everything I do for my job - software engineering for the Solaris platform - is done on my Mac laptop. The only exception is Outlook, for which I switch the KVM over to the company supplied PC.

Re:1 word. Niche application (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695408)

How many people do you know with the same position? How many are in the same company and how many are in different companies?

(I'm actually just curious this has nothing to do with point/counterpoints)

Re:1 word. Niche application (0)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695392)

Because the people who WORK on the Macs are the people who draw for a living, compose music, make videos, etc. They are the people who have the jobs Cubible Joe wish he could have

You sure about that? Having known substantial numbers of these people, they don't seem especially happy or fulfilled.

(and are obviously successful enough at it to afford apple products).

Or they have indulgent parents who supply them with money while they work their dead-end freelance graphics designer jobs. Or they're willing to splurge on computers while splitting rent with 5 other "artists" in a run-down loft in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Re:1 word. (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694748)

Interesting idea, but the screen will probably be too small for any serious work! It could be very useful for last minute changes and touch ups when away from office or with a client who requests simple changes-- this could indeed be a very handy tool!

Re:1 word. (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694950)

How big will it be?

If it's equivalent of A4 piece of paper (14" screen) it will be sufficient for most applications, and no, as for Photoshop toolboxes which would occupy half the visible area, I'm sure Apple will have some quick switch (between virtual desktops?) to show/hide them.

It may not replace studio computers where you sit in front of 22" professional screen and use an A3 tablet with 2 axis tilt sensitivity, but it will be something you can take to the park to draw from nature, something to take to school, to lessons, to a presentation and so on.

Re:1 word. (1)

riegel (980896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695232)

It may not replace studio computers where you sit in front of 22" professional screen

22", Seems a bit small. 30", now thats more like it. The "smallest" iMac is 21.5"

Re:1 word. (4, Interesting)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694958)

I remember when I studied graphic design at college... the main point the tutor made was "never do anything in front of the client, this devalues your work".

Basically if you could do something that "would do" for the client in front of them, then they wouldn't see the value in paying you 10x the amount to do the same thing but in "higher quality."

I never went into the industry but I still understand what he meant, but I guess it could be used for mock ups, and for quick changes (as you said); just not done in front of paying clients :)

Of course my tutor could of been talking crap, he seemed to do that alot as well (And hated me for understanding computers better than him, as he had a mac loving complex.)

Re:1 word. (1, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694972)

>Mac is still, and long will be the favorite computer of most graphicians/artists.

What are you saying? That people who engage in fantasy, and who have a preference for style over substance prefer Apple products?

That seems a little infalmatory! :O (I am a [graphic] artist).

Photoshop on Windows does everything that it does on a Mac, except that it generally requires less money to do so (on similar or better hardware). There must be a reason other than 'Photoshop'.

Maybe it's the social-psychological aspect that buying something made by Apple has: perceived enhanced status.

Re:1 word. (5, Interesting)

bhodikhan (894485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694974)

One Word. Cintiq from Wacom. I used the 21" one for over a year. Got tired of my hand covering up the damn screen. I'll stick to a Wacom tablet and a screen. I want to see what I'm working on and not have to deal with digitizer accuracy issues and my hand and wrist covering up my work. I doubt anyone will get much precision using a finger. A Wacom is at least 2400 point per inch. A tablet using a finger cannot have that precision.

Re:1 word. (4, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695266)

I want to see what I'm working on and not have to deal with... my hand and wrist covering up my work.

A problem that utterly destroyed the work of amateurs like DaVinci, Michaelangelo, and Raphael, right?

A Wacom is at least 2400 point per inch. A tablet using a finger cannot have that precision.

Well, yes, it can, and more -- by zooming in. And also by utilizing technologies such as bezier and spline curves. Methinks thou protests a bit too much. Also, even if you are stuck with the type of drawing you describe, it doesn't mean that others will be.

2 words: handwriting recognition (5, Interesting)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694984)

The reason I want a tablet computer is that that I can write on it with a stylus like a pencil, and take notes, including sketches and mathematical and engineering symbols, on what is essentially a limitless notebook, and on top of this I can annotate my notes with audio, video, and hyperlinks.

And on top of this I would like to store my textbooks in it.

I could go to school with one single item.

Re:2 words: handwriting recognition (5, Funny)

seffala (134325) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695320)

I could go to school with one single item.

If I'm going to choose one single item to go to school with, I'm choosing pants.

Choose pants. It's the right thing to do.

Re:1 word. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695122)

Already [wacom.com] done [wacom.com].

Just very noncheap. Given Apple's enthusiasm for "finger-friendly" but only modestly precise touchscreens, I would be surprised if their hypothetical tablet is an improvement in this regard.

Re:1 word. (1)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695184)

Tablet+screen has some serious disadvantages. You draw in one place, image appears elsewhere.

As a relative new comer to tablets, I'm not sure I'd agree with this. First, when your pen comes close to the tablet, then it acts like a mouse and it'll move the cursor, so you don't ever really put the pen down without knowing where it'll end-up on screen. Also, at least my tablet has a direct 1:1 relationship with my screen, so it is incredibly easy to know where it'll end up, while only looking at the tablet, and not the cursor.

With a good touchscreen capable of providing precision comparable to decent Wacoms, this can become a dream tool for an artist.

Do you know if the touchscreen on this thing is that good? That'd be pretty nifty.

Re:1 word. (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695198)

Photoshop.

Mac is still, and long will be the favorite computer of most graphicians/artists.

Tablet+screen has some serious disadvantages. You draw in one place, image appears elsewhere. With a good touchscreen capable of providing precision comparable to decent Wacoms, this can become a dream tool for an artist.

There's a 64 bit Photoshop for Windows and not for OSX. Surprisingly, it gives serious performance gains over the 32 bit binary, on the order of 20-30%. OSX will get a 64 bit binary before long, I assume, but for now OSX is substantially slower on the same hardware for Photoshop. Also, the same hardware costs a lot more when using OSX now that Psystar is out of the picture.

DejaVu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30695290)

It's nothing new, apple already did this with the Newton platform. That was a cool device. The new inewt looks cool too
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Newton
http://www.theapplecollection.com/design/macdesign/iNewt2.html

I hate fake media hype (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30694706)

"the deafening roar of anticipation" I'm in Australia right, a moderately wealthy fairly technologically developed nation. We're no Japan, but we're no Sudan either. No one I talk to gives a crap about this. My friend is doing a graphic arts diploma and he doesnt even know anyone who cares about this. It will come, if it is good some people will like it. Apple is not a religion, they are a technology company. GTFO with your fake hype.

Re:I hate fake media hype (2, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694824)

Its a slow news cycle, its an apple announcement. Detroit's autoshow is the only other bright point between now and probably February when the NE thaws out in the USA. I too have doubts about this product. Tablets are a pretty small niche market, and even an iPod touch DX may have trouble gaining traction in this market. The only discussion amongst my friends regarding the apple tablet is "$500, $700, or $800+?" and "my netbook + ipod work pretty well already"

Re:I hate fake media hype (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694866)

And it's not like Apple and its pet media does the same damn thing with each product release. I can hardly wait for the testimonials about how the press releases alone cured someone's impotency or hair loss.

Re:I hate fake media hype (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695248)

Apple's "pet media" is no different than any other media. People want to see blood, the 6 o'clock news shows blood. Fox viewers want Obama bashing, Fox obliges (and Bush bashers like MSNBC). People want Apple news, either to bash the company or sing its praises. The media obliges. A gazillion iPhone/iPod sales are a good indicator that if you broadcast it, the viewers will come.

Re:I hate fake media hype (-1, Troll)

HateBreeder (656491) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694870)

It's called astroturfing, and it's an apple fanboi's favorite pastime after ... well, that's NSFW.

Re:I hate fake media hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30694934)

Right on! My inbox is always flooded with breathless marketing hype about 'the buzz' or 'anticipation' for some new piece of techno-crud. The only folks who really get the hots over this stuff are the sales and marketing types. Everyone else thinks 'oh no, not again' as the new stuff will just add more complexity and fragility to the existing support nightmare. Be nice if they fixed their existing problems and made things more stable and reliable -- not just finding new ways to spell 'BROKEN'.

Re:I hate fake media hype (3, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695278)

I am in a CS graduate program, and nobody in our department is talking about this -- not even the dozen or so Apple fanboys.

As for the name... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30694726)

I bet its called the iPad

-Jaguarstrike

LOL WUT? (3, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694740)

I think it's safe to say the Apple Fanboys have high hopes, but Apple has a number of things going against them:

1) Android quickly catching up with Apple in terms of usefulness and it's working across a large set of diverse devices. ChromeOS will only make Apple's problem worse
2) If the expected price of $1000 is to be believed, it'll be a real turn off for anyone looking for a low cost MID. You can buy two (or three) netbooks for that price.
3) Let's be clear, if it's not e-ink or similar, this is in no way competition for the Kindle/Nook/Sony eReader

Re:LOL WUT? (4, Insightful)

MouseR (3264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694850)

Expectations were high for the iPhone and yet Apple surpassed all the wildest predictions.

Expectations are even higher with the slate. but competition is trying hard to diminish any possible announcement (like the no-show of Balmer at CES) pointing to the competition not being ready whatsoever.

As for Android catching up, read up on developer's issues with the Android platform. Google's failure to properly guide the platform has created a slew of inoperable devices having their own software layers on top, and hardware specs that are so far off to each other that developers are having a hard time coping with hardware difference.

Their new phone might help, but Google managed to screw up their own platform to day, further delaying any viable competition for Apple.

So, instead of conjecturing, let's just see what Apple has to announce at the end of the month. It could very well be the next iPhone success story.

Re:LOL WUT? (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695030)

iphone only became usable with the 3G and 3GS added business features

the original iphone only had a real browser while packing less features than cheaper cell phones

Flamebait?!?! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30695100)

You were modded 'Flamebait"?!?!

WTF, there are Google fanbois now?!?

Jesus Titty Fucking Christ, people! It's an operating system. It's a product of a giant corporation. Apple, MS, Google, IBM etc... are businesses!

It never ceases to amaze me how folks can base their identity on the stupidest shit and get insulted because of a comment about a PRODUCT!

Some of you are just as stupid as the "sheepeople" you like to disparage.

Re:LOL WUT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30695240)

Yeah because I coud copy and ...

And I could see the mms my friend ...

I heard lots of buzz about the iPhone in meatspace, I have yet to hear anything about the itablet.

A computer without a keyboard is not going to sell.

Re:LOL WUT? (2, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694856)

The iPhone is a nifty idea with the accelerometer and the gps and the multi-touch.

However, it's locked in a phone form factor that is very limiting.

Re:LOL WUT? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695084)

3) Let's be clear, if it's not e-ink or similar, this is in no way competition for the Kindle/Nook/Sony eReader

Rumor is they might be using something like this technology: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7ZErQ5Kl6w [youtube.com]

Re:LOL WUT? (2, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695206)

Interesting if they do use that. Though this brings up my other issue with the tablet vs kindle (okay, I'm biased) and that is the kindle lasts forever on a battery charge - I last charged mine last week leaving the cell service on and getting a newspaper daily and it's only 50% drained. With the cell turned off, I could easily go three weeks or more on a single charge. A tablet in kindle-only mode might get that, but if you're using it as a MID, the battery life is probably a lot less.

Then again, if you're only carrying one device (the tablet) instead of two (MID and kindle), then you have more space to lug along bigger batteries. :)

Re:LOL WUT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30695238)

1) Android quickly catching up with Apple in terms of usefulness and it's working across a large set of diverse devices.

Yeah, we've heard this mantra for over a year now and yet Android still lacks in market share and it has a far higher percentage of crap apps than Apple's store.

ChromeOS will only make Apple's problem worse

Why? ChromeOS is a joke.

Re:LOL WUT? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695358)

1) Android quickly catching up with Apple in terms of usefulness and it's working across a large set of diverse devices. ChromeOS will only make Apple's problem worse.

Well if Android and Chrome catch up to Apple that doesn't mean it's a negative against Apple; it's a positive for Google. Users may have more choice, but many consumers have no allegiance to any particular brand. At the moment they use Apple because their products work well for them.

2) If the expected price of $1000 is to be believed, it'll be a real turn off for anyone looking for a low cost MID. You can buy two (or three) netbooks for that price.

Apple has never targeted the low end market for computers before and they are still successful. Given Apple's history of targeting the middle to the high-end, I don't see how a $1000 tablet will be doom for them.

3) Let's be clear, if it's not e-ink or similar, this is in no way competition for the Kindle/Nook/Sony eReader

Right now it's all speculation if there will even be a tablet, but how we do know if Apple doesn't come up with something better. e-Readers use e-ink because it meets their ultra low power requirements. But the drawback is lack of color.

Nothing Latent About It (2, Interesting)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694750)

There's latent demand for a mobile computing device that's smaller and lighter than a laptop but has more screen real estate than a smartphone...

Nothing latent about it - this is _EXACTLY_ what I'm interested in seeing. While I would love a high end Mac laptop (among many other tech toys), I really just want an iPhone/iPod Touch on steroids and, from what I'd imagine, the "iTablet" (or whatever it will be called) will almost certainly fit that bill perfectly. The fact that it's from Apple and will surely have some additional surprises along the way is just icing on the cake.

Of course, time will tell if they deliver what I am looking for, but I suspect it'll be another damn cool piece of tech that I try to find a justification to buy.

Re:Nothing Latent About It (3, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694966)

I really just want an iPhone/iPod Touch on steroids

Why? Seriously, I would like to know. What would you use it for? A very large music player? A web browser that has no keyboard and likely is only useable in your house where you (presumably) have a desktop/laptop. Movies might be a good idea for it... I really don't know what this is supposed to be used for.

Re:Nothing Latent About It (2, Interesting)

Sax Maniac (88550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695112)

Sure: a netbook you can comfortably use while laying on the couch.

Really. The clamshell design of a laptop or netbook, fine for a desk, makes it difficult to use when laying on a couch, and nearly impossible in bed. Or maybe I'm just getting so old, that my body can't contort to the require viewing and keyboard angle necessary to use the damn thing. I'd almost rather use my phone, despite the tiny keyboard and difficult multitasking.

Movies, external 3G, and public hotspots (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695216)

What would you use it for?

Movies, as you mentioned. Or games.

A web browser that has no keyboard

There exist web browsing use cases that need no keyboard, but you don't see these if your web use clusters around posting on forums and editing wikis.

and likely is only useable in your house where you (presumably) have a desktop/laptop.

Unless the device has either a SIM or CSIM slot or a USB port for an external 3G radio. Or unless someone else in the house is using the desktop/laptop. Or unless you're at a public hotspot.

Re:Nothing Latent About It (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695284)

Since it's smaller than a laptop, but bigger than a smartphone, maybe we need to give it a new name. I propose the term "netbook."

Who *wouldn't* pay $1000 for something like that?

Re:Nothing Latent About It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30695394)

...but I suspect it'll be another damn cool piece of tech that I try to find a justification to buy.

"Another damn cool piece of tech?"
You talk about it as if it were an object....

Hmmm, I'm not everyone. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694756)

The article is like, "Everyone is waiting for this thing"... I'm not. All in all, I'm pretty happy with my desktop.

Re:Hmmm, I'm not everyone. (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694948)

All in all, I'm pretty happy with my desktop.

I'm pretty happy with my iMac too, doesn't mean I wouldn't like a tablet for surfing the web on the couch. At the moment, I use my iPhone for this and and spend more times browsing the web on that than on my desktop machine, although I'd prefer a bigger screen for this.

Re:Hmmm, I'm not everyone. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695236)

I'm pretty happy with my iMac too, doesn't mean I wouldn't like a tablet for surfing the web on the couch.

You could always use a Mac mini, a Wii Remote, and your HDTV.

Re:Hmmm, I'm not everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30695352)

If all you want to do is "surfing the web on the couch" then buying a presumably $1000 apple tablet probably isn't the best way to spend your money.

Even the Competitors Have High Hopes (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694760)

If the netbook and smartphone markets are any indication of the potential number of sales that exist out there, then I would wager even competitors hope Apple's tablet takes off. Because it's been shown time and time again that once Apple establishes via ads and quality that it's cool to own an iPod Nano or an iPhone or i-Whatever then the competitors step in and scoop up the very large market of people that want a product like it for less. They're not even knockoffs per se but I would bet that on the whole MP3 player manufacturers like iRiver enjoyed unseen benefits from Apple popularizing the MP3 player. The same might be said of the many cheaper smartphones that followed the iPhone--they were there but not 'accepted' as a necessary commodity for a consumer.

I don't mean to sound like a fanboy but the competitors that have been waiting to market tablet PCs now have the luxury of waiting for Apple to either make a brilliant move or blunder (an expensive wager) and then step in to enjoy the market that Apple works to establish with tablet PCs. The great part is that there are so many consumers that will gladly take a second rate device for cheaper money and in their mind think that they not only got a deal but now are keeping up with Joneses who all have iSlates or iTablets or whatever the devil Apple may hold. I actually think it benefits both Microsoft and Apple for them to release their products in tandem. It adds to the rivalry and people love that. Not to mention, they're certainly going to be compatible with only their respective products so a long time Mac user isn't going to be stolen nor will a longtime Windows user go over to the iSlate.

Oh, my poor rotator cuffs (2, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694772)

Tablet shmablet. Do you see the ads on TV for the Dell computer with touchscreen? Can you imagine the hurt you would be in after an hour or so with your arm raised up off the desk to reach the screen?

Re:Oh, my poor rotator cuffs (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694900)

Sit it on your lap at an angle. It's a self contained unit like a phone so there
is no need to have a bulky monitor mounted vertically that's attached to some big
box on the floor. You don't use this sort of device like a PC. It's not a PC.

Re:Oh, my poor rotator cuffs (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695048)

I suppose that'd be a benefit of having a hand-held device like a tablet? Or one you could place on your lap, or on your desk....

Re:Oh, my poor rotator cuffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30695202)

Have you ever used a laptop on your lap? It's not a fun experience. The few times I've had to do it on flights, my penis has ached after 10 minutes, and then for the rest of the day.

It's not at all enjoyable when you're on a 15 hour flight to Japan, and you've got to work 8 of those hours with your penis irritated.

Lenovo Thinkpad X41/X60/X61 Tablet (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30694798)

No, people haven't liked tablet PCs because what they've seen are useless tablets that can't convert to laptops. Others have seen too many heavy tablet PCs by companies like Acer that suck. Lenovo Thinkpad tablets are the best the industry has to offer.

For this new tablet to succeed, it will need to be lighter, yet allow people to install third party applications.

Re:Lenovo Thinkpad X41/X60/X61 Tablet (4, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695188)

For this new tablet to succeed, it will need to be lighter, yet allow people to install third party applications.

This could hang it, I think.

If I'm right, and the buzz sort of supports this, then it will be a larger iPod. That means your only hope of getting new software on the thing will be the Apple store. And while there are a lot of apps out there, those certainly do not encompass the entirety of what I'd want ever want to do with a computer. Which is okay now, because an iPod is clearly not a computer. But if this new device blurs the line too far away from 'throwaway gadget' to 'computer' Apple may run into trouble.

Gestures on the web? (2, Insightful)

dintlu (1171159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694828)

One think I've noticed is that websites are poorly optimized for gesture-based navigation? If any novel UI implementations are going to come out of an Apple tablet, this is probably the place to look.

too big (1)

fortunatus (445210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694830)

I doubt there's "latent demand for device bigger than smartphone smaller than laptop". It either fits in a pocket or doesn't: IPhone already fits in, netbooks & laptops already fit "out".

Re:too big (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695410)

When I'm on my couch, things in my pocket make for uncomfortable sitting. And I spend leisure more time on my couch then I do off of it. So while you may enjoy using your iPhone on the bus, train, or what-have-you, I am driving while in transit and can't spare the attention required. Once at work, I have a workstation to use, so my phone stays in my pocket. The only time I use internet on a phone is to check weather and/or movie show times and other location-time sensitive information. Occasionally email. That's it.

So while you see the size as a deal-breaker, I see the smallness advantage as nearly worthless. Meanwhile, being able to watch TV and surf the internet simultaneously would be pretty cool, especially if I could do so while reclined and without the neck strain a laptop would cause in that position. Especially, especially at a low price-point. I would likely leave the device at home, or I might bring it to use in the break room at lunch. But not while driving, I assure you.

If it can't fit in my pocket... (3, Insightful)

McNihil (612243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694832)

Ok here is my take on it...

If it can't fit in my pocket then I won't be buying it. I would like a device that is like old scrolls and roll out. Folding it neatly into my shirt pocket when I don't use it. At most four times larger than a ball point pen.

Anything else is stone-age.

Re:If it can't fit in my pocket... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30694940)

As opposed to 'new scrolls'?

Re:If it can't fit in my pocket... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695172)

I don't really agree. Devices small enough to fit in one's pocket have serious disadvantages. Even *if* you designed one with new technologies allowing the display to unroll like a scroll, you'd have limited battery life issues, and probably lack a good method of input too. (They're just starting to release touch-screen displays with tactile feedback, but doubt we have any way to do tactile feedback with "electronic paper" type displays that could roll up and unroll, yet.)

I carry around, and really like my iPhone, because so far - it lets me do more with a pocket-sized device than any other single device I used to take with me. But I'd still be interested in a well thought-out tablet computer. It wouldn't replace the iPhone, but might serve a different purpose.

(Imagine, for example, a tablet that had a fold-out stand in back so it could sit upright on a desk like a photo frame? It could serve as a secondary monitor to a desktop PC that way, via USB connection and the right software drivers. Then, when you wanted to take it with you, just disconnect it and go. It could serve as a really nice universal remote control around the house, via bluetooth and/or wi-fi, and allow comfortable web-surfing from the couch or what-not. Maybe even put magnets on the back so it could be stuck to the fridge in the kitchen, if someone wanted to look up recipes and use them from it, or watch video on it while cooking? Depending on how much typing I expected to do, I could also use it in place of a notebook computer. It could easily slip into one of those "sleeve" type notebook cases, keeping it less bulky than a traditional laptop bag - and could be used, standing-up, as well as sitting down, with equal comfort.)

Re:If it can't fit in my pocket... (3, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695218)

I want voice operated wearable wi-fi enabled computer whose semi-transparent color 3D display is worn as contact lenses.

Anything else is stone age.

Hype and Results (2, Interesting)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694928)

For all the bitching and moaning that a lot of the Slashdot crowd does about Apple and how overhyped/overrated/overpriced/over-everything their products are, I think most would have to grudgingly agree that Apple has driven innovation in the marketplace. This is a story that has been repeated a number of times:

1) A class of product exists in the marketplace, but has only received lukewarm adoption for a variety of reasons.

2) Apple enters the market with their own device, which has a bunch of features that may or may not have been seen in other devices, but on the whole is a very well integrated package. Somehow, they saw a way to make the product work.

3) Consumers see Apple's product, like it, want it, and buy it in large numbers.

4) Profit for Apple.

5) Competitors see Apple's success in that market segment and begin to rush in with their own products. Some are just copycats: adding or removing a feature or two from Apple's benchmark. The smart ones see what made Apple's product a hit, absorb the new technological paradigm, and introduce their own innovative take on it.

6) Consumers see the competitor products, like (some of) them, want(some of) them, and buy (some of) them in large numbers.

7) Profit for competitors, maybe.

8) Profit (continuing) for Apple, maybe.

9) Consumers have many choices or amazing gee whiz products that are vastly superior to what existed before Apple's entry into the marketplace. Win.

It certainly doesn't always happen this way. But it has happened often enough.

Re:Hype and Results (0, Redundant)

frozenray (308282) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695058)

We are now in the "As Macworld or the Worldwide Developer’s Conference draws near, the chatter builds to a fever pitch. Rumor sites jockey for position, posting a new unverifiable, contradictory rumor every hour or so. eBay is flooded with six-month-old, slightly used gadgets as college students, underemployed web designers and independent musicians struggle to clear credit card space." phase.

Click here for the rest of the Apple life cycle [misterbg.org]

Re:Hype and Results (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695208)

I believe that the sequence I laid out and the hilarious classic Apple Life Cycle are not mutually exclusive.

Re:Hype and Results (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695234)

A class of product exists in the marketplace, but has only received lukewarm adoption for a variety of reasons

To call tablet adoption "lukewarm" is quite an exaggeration. Tablets have bombed every time someone has tried it. A lot of that has to do with poor implementation, but the fact of the matter is that the tablet form factor can be very awkward in a lot of cases, and that's the first hurdle to get over.

Not to say that Apple's tablet won't be the most wonderful thing ever, but IMO there's no comparison here to smart phones or even MP3 players.

Microsoft seems to be a fan (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30694942)

Steve Balmer seems to be naming everything in sight "Slate". I heard he named his cat Slate. They definitely seem convinced it's going to be named "iSlate". It'd be the greatest hoax in history if Jobes came out, held up a mini chalkboard and chalk and just said "got ya!" The flying chair would cause a sonic boom.

iPhone causing low hopes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30694982)

The iPhone is why I have low hopes for an Apple tablet. Apple has demonstrated that they're willing to turn computing back 30 years and put stupid restrictions on their devices for the sake of control. I don't trust them to make a tablet that's open and has all of the capabilities that a device like this should have.

Re:iPhone causing low hopes (1)

kuzb (724081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695308)

Exactly!

They made a fantastic device, then went ahead and wrecked it by trying to be the Darth Vader of our cellular generation. Apple is evil, so it should come as no surprise - but I had held out a little hope.

Re:iPhone causing low hopes (1)

Rikiji7 (1182159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695364)

Agree, a tablet should be able to run a full OS, i'm not interested in a 10" gadget that doesn't support multitasking.

Kay. (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694996)

My iPhone just isn't that big a deal. I don't understand why everyone thinks the iSlate will be.

I'm using a convertible tablet right now, and I've been using them for ten years. Big whoop, Apple's making one.

Yawn.

Leaks build expectations and... (4, Insightful)

alfredo (18243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695052)

Apple knew they'd be releasing after CES, so they had to play the expectation game to depress sales of competing products. Would you buy a tablet now if you knew that a company that has a track record of being a game changer is going to release a tablet? We know the design will be elegant, and we know through patent searches their tablet could have some interesting features. What will it do? Think of what market they haven't disrupted? That is a clue to the possible functions of the tablet. Will they even release a tablet? We won't know until the Steve says "one more thing."

Enough already (1)

daemonenwind (178848) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695054)

Can we wait with more speculative crap "stories" until there's more substance to this tablet rumor than there is to Duke Nukem Forever?

Paper replacer (2, Insightful)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695120)

I am completely on board with this concept because if it is anything like what I imagine I could use it to replace the reams of worthless legal pads and loose note papers I have strewn all over my desk. I need to take notes on something the size of a pad of paper, preferably be able to use a pen/stylus to freehand, and now with the ability to easily catalog, date, and label the notes this is a dream come true.

As a bonus I imagine you could pop up a little virtual keyboard on it and use it to work on little side projects on a train/plane/etc. I would also not be completely honest if I didn't acknowledge the star trek TNG angle and the warm fuzzy feeling it gives me...life imitates art.

20 years too late (1)

wrencherd (865833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695142)

Bill Atkinson outlined a plan for a "magic slate" in his "HyperCard Handbook" over 20 years ago.

The Newton was a step in that direction, as was Sony's MagicLink; after that (about 1995) nothing happened.

I agree with those who say that the smartphones have made such devices seem to be too little, too late.

At this point, what would a "magic slate" do that a smartphone with a larger screen, larger hd, and wifi capability couldn't/wouldn't do?

Re:20 years too late (1)

NCG_Mike (905098) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695374)

A friend of mine got a MagicLink in the US. It was amazing and I was very jealous. Shame it didn't really catch on IMO.

Article is myopic, overlooking past examples (4, Informative)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695144)

No mention of Go Corporation and PenPoint (Jerry Kaplan's _StartUp_ should be required reading for everyone who writes anything about pen computing). The NCR-3125 came out in 1991, running one's choice of Windows for Pen Computing or PenPoint.

Fujitsu in particular has been doing pen computers running various versions of Windows for a long while, w/ models of the Fujitsu Stylistic ranging from the 500 (1993 or so) to the contemporary ST6012.

William
(whose NCR-3125 was donated to the Smithsonian by the guy he sold it to)

eInk + LCD iSlate? (1)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695318)

Pixel QI (combo LCD & eInk screen) is supposedly shipping screens, but nobody's announced that they're using them. A brand new ultra-cool technology that seems almost custom made for the Jesus Pad. It also makes sense as a way to one-up everyone else. Why buy a $300 Kindle or Nook when for $450 you can buy an iSlate which has color AND month-long battery life if you so desire it.

Of course, I'm personally still hoping it'll have 2 cameras and videoconference capabilities. I'm using a netbook for something like that now, and it needs some work. Done right, it could be a killer app. (But then again, there's a reason we don't have videophones now...)

what's possible? God help us. (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695356)

about tablet computers to date. What's going on? Xconomy's analysis makes three points. 1) Previous tablet makers have shown little imagination around UIs and how a touchscreen changes things. 2) With the iPhone, Apple has shown what's possible in this regard

Yeah. As a 2-year+ iPhone owner:

  • An annoying keyboard (made slightly better by its activation in landscape mode now in more screens.) A larger screen would mitigate this somewhat.
  • A physical UI, impossible to use with many (but not all) gloves on. Not everyone lives in California, some of us live where it gets cold in the winter (less of an issue with a tablet, more of an issue with a phone.)
  • A multitouch UI which is great for playtoys, but useless for getting actual work done. Example: A UI with a slow way of positioning the cursor in text and no cut/paste. Ooops, I take that back. A cut+paste that thinks cursor repositioning is an attempt to cut. But hey, if you want to rotate or resize photos, that's a piece of cake.

For all the uneducated jokes about 1-button mice, the touchscreen UI is even worse. I like the trackpad swipe shortcuts on my MBP for home/end and back/forward, but I have yet to use a single one of the multitouch actions (the stretch/rotate ones, for example.)

Windows is Bad for Touch Interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30695362)

My buddy has a WINCE cell phone. It sucks ass because you need to touch it with a stylus, and because you can't find anything through the 7 levels of menu hell.

My iPhone seems to have everything I need no more than 2 fat finger touches away. There aren't any flyout menus.

This exact same problem is why Windows tablets suck and will continue to suck. WINCE is just WINDOWS writ small.

PS I know it's not WINCE anymore, but it makes me WINCE to look at it.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...