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Summary:

It’s getting closer and closer to the expected announcement by Steve Jobs of the Next Big Thing (NBT) from Cupertino. It’s pretty much a given we’ll see the most discussed unreleased product of our time, the Apple tablet. There have probably been hundreds of items appear […]

apple-tablet-big_01

It’s getting closer and closer to the expected announcement by Steve Jobs of the Next Big Thing (NBT) from Cupertino. It’s pretty much a given we’ll see the most discussed unreleased product of our time, the Apple tablet. There have probably been hundreds of items appear on the web that discuss what it will be called, if nothing else. The fascination about this mystery gadget has been nothing short of phenomenal, especially given that tablets have been around for a good while. My experience with the tablet form for years has led me to understand what this mystical, magical tablet from Apple better have to be the gadget that will revolutionize our lives.

The expectations over this as-yet unannounced gadget are as high as I’ve ever seen for a new device. That puts a lot of pressure on Apple to meet or exceed those expectations if it will be the NBT as we’ve come to believe it will be. I have used a lot of tablet devices over the years and there are a few simple physical traits that this new tablet must have or it won’t get the acceptance that everyone expects.

First and foremost, the new tablet had better be thin. I’m talking iPhone thin, and not much thicker. There are already quite a few tablets out there, but they all exhibit one trait that makes them not so easy to use — they are thick. Handheld devices are held to a higher standard than other types of devices, and comfort is the single biggest factor that determines whether a user will actually pick up one of these tablets and use them for extended sessions. Thicker than an iPhone and these tablets become unwieldy and worse, uncomfortable to use for more than a few minutes at a time. The NBT must be comfortable enough to pick up and use for an hour or longer.

Secondly, yet just as important as device thickness, is the weight. The rumors have this Apple tablet equipped with a 10-inch screen, but even if it is smaller than that it cannot weigh more than a pound. This comes from my own experience using handheld gadgets, once you exceed a pound in weight they become uncomfortable quickly. A tablet is by design to be used totally in the hands, and it better be light enough to make it feel right. And that’s what this tablet will be totally dependent on, feeling right while being used. Too heavy and users will stop and think before they pick it up for extended sessions. Less than a pound is a must, and the lighter the better.

I have used tablets as small as 5 inches, and they’ve all been at least an inch thick and over a pound in weight. This makes them harder to use for more than a few minutes at a time. This won’t work for the Apple iPad, or iSlate, or whatever it’s going to be called. Thin and light it must be, no matter what other goodies Apple puts inside.

Photo of the iPad, courtesy of Gizmodo.

  1. I recently was give an ipod touch from a friend and have the ipod nano too. I love the apps and the games but I might as well have the iphone, it is not exactly convenient due to its size. Have you guys had any success with selling the ipod touch, would ebay be the best option. Really need the money before the weekend to pay some bills.

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    1. Tweet pulled from the Internet by German electronics chain Media Markt(but screenied before it disappeared) shows the pricing and name of the new Apple tablet.. iPad actually and 499e with contract and 899 without!

      http://www.shanzai.com/index.php/market-mayhem/news/643-breaking-news-apple-ipad-it-is

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  2. It wont be as thin as an iphone cause thatd be too fragile

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    1. I’m not sure about that. I don’t find the Kindle to be too fragile, and it is as thin as can be. Comfort during use is paramount, even more than the durability impression, I believe.

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      1. Agreed, if they get the design down with aluminum and a solid plastic this thing can be super thin and super strong.

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    2. If the people behind the JooJoo can make a 12″ tablet that is 18.9 mm thick I have every faith that Jobs and Co. can produce a 10″ tablet that is roughly 2/3 the thickness and just as sturdy.

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  3. Bonnie Engadget Monday, January 25, 2010

    Agree with Thin and Light. Hopefully with aluminum shell it will be light and sturdy but I also wish for a battery that will last at least 12 hours in real world use. This battery requirement may put it overweight but I could live with that. I am also looking for a very unique input method for this device, hope the Cupertino experts have come up with some mind-blowing new gesture based input scheme or something.
    It would also be great if the iSlate had built-in 3G subscription like the Kindle. I can’t be bothered with telecom hassles, just need and always connected device where new content “arrives” automatically daily to my tablet for my viewing pleasure. Gaming would be a nice addition but not really necessary for me. Already have money saved up for this jewel and would totally be gobsmacked if they announced immediate availability of this tablet from the heavens. This is definitely the most exciting consumer electronics event of this year (maybe even decade, who knows) !

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  4. A couple of my hopes for the new tablet:

    1. It shouldn’t be a finger print magnet. It isn’t too difficult wiping down a smartphone but a much larger version of the iPhone would be horrible.
    2. It should have a rubberized back and edges to hold on to it better.
    3. It shouldn’t require a plan with any carrier.
    4. It must be reasonably prices. Netbooks have set the price mark in the $3-400 range. I don’t see much take up at $800-1,000.
    5. Needs to have reasonable battery life.

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  5. Even here is some different picture of tablent is avaliable

    ud-creation.blogspot.com/2010/01/apple-new-launch-on-january-27.html

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  6. I had two NEC litepad tablets, which I loved before each of them burned out. The screens were 10.4″ and the weight was a touch over 2 lbs. I didn’t find the weight a problem but I have little doubt that Apple can pare a pound off of what NEC made ten years ago.

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  7. Battery Life!

    You know the 1st gen tablet the NEC Litepad was thin and light. In fact, I don’t think any company has ever surpassed it but it was considered flawed ultimately because of battery life which was less than 2 hours. I had three batteries.

    Steve

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    1. I think that will depend on what type of processor this thing uses. Remember, there is SO much unknown about this tablet. The newest Intel Penryn chips are getting phenomenal battery life in the Asus 1005PE (almost 10 hours of high use). That said, battery life is going to improve significantly with these new types of processors and even displays.

      I am sure that Apple has taken battery life into consideration.

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  8. I Agree with the comments about battery life. I would like the iSlate (or whatever they call it) to be thin and light, but I will give those up if the battery can get me thru a full workday (10 plus hours) without me having to think about it.

    I am very curious to see 2 things about this Apple Tablet.

    1. Does it exist?
    2. What will it do?

    In the back of my mind, I am still remembering when the Macbook Air was introduced. A lot of folks that that was gonna be the Apple Tablet. A great device was introduced, but it wasn’t the much desired Tablet by Apple.

    Come on Wednesday!!!!!

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  9. Really? That’s it? Just that it must be thin and light? Such insight.

    I was looking for things that it must do. I don’t see how this is device is useful on an everyday basis. For most people it’s just going to be the most expensive media remote control ever.

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    1. No, but if it’s not thin and light the other won’t matter. That’s the point of this.

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  10. What about an AppStore? Won’t application distribution be a deal-breaker as well?

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