What an Apple Tablet Must Have


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 (s aapl) 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.



Thin and light, yes.
And good battery life–even if it is thin, nobody will carry one if it dies after an hour.

But for me, there are three other must-haves:

1. It needs an easy way to get files in and out. The file transfer only over a wireless network used by the iPhone/iPod Touch just doesn’t cut it. An SD card slot, and/or USB is a must.

2. It must ink. I use a Tablet PC in the Windows world. It is heavy, burdened by Vista, it crashes regularlyis and slow. But I am hooked on ink. I can write on the screen, save notes in my own handwriting, correct, edit and mark up text (I am a teacher), and doodle. It is my yellow legal pad, and I save paper (some 4,000 pages per year).

3. It must have an external keyboard (USB or Bluetooth) for the creation of long text. Remember, some of us don’t just consume content, we create it.


It will be easy to make it as thin as the iPhone.

It’s running ARM core. You can easily cool it passively. No need for bulky cooling system that X86 devices require.

It WON’T be less than a pound.

It’s got a 10″ screen. I see it almost impossible to make this thing lighter than a pound. Even the Kindle DX with it’s smallish battery (thanks to E-Ink display) is over a pound. The iPad/iSlate is going to carry much bigger battery for the sake of the color LCD and the much more power hungry ARM CPU (probably dual core).


“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.”

What? I wasn’t aware that your beloved Viliv S5 was an inch thick or over a pound in weight!


I don’t think the S5 counts as a tablet.. more like an oversized phone.


I use a tablet in slate mode all day – at least 8 hours per day. It does get put down but I tend to carry it and hold it for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day without putting it down. A tablet or slate just happens to be what works best for me. It is a much more natural way of working with a computer for myself. Weight is important but battery life is the most important. I will give up some thickness and weight to have at least 4 hour battery life so it can charge during lunch. I would prefer the 8 hour battery life but to keep thickness down and weight down I don’t see us having it all unless Apple developed some natural energy that may emanate off my body. Maybe some sort of Starbuck’s coffee drink that I can fill up and charge up my Apple Tablet! BTW, I use the HP 2710 P with the extra slice battery. I can tell you that is a heavy 4+ lb device but manageable for my use. Let’s hope that Apple blows our thoughts and socks off. Again, I hope they include the magnetic personality card inside the box for us poor individuals who don’t have the natural energy emanating from our poor souls!


What with all the battery talk ?

I have such an electrifying personality that I won’t need a battery for my new Apple tablet, it will just feed off of my natural energy emanating from my body at all times.

P.S. An optional battery must be offered since many unfortunate individuals are not blessed with an aura such as mine. Yes, there are even people that do not have enough personal energy to power a flea. (too bad so sad).

B. Obama

Let me make this perfectly clear, the new Apple tablet must come with a Jobs button. Lord knows we need it. No, it is not a direct link to Steve, instead it will automatically locate all jobs you are suited for and instantly offer you an employment offer after you decide which one you like the best!

Also, this device should NOT have a power button anywhere on it. It should be smart enough to automatically know when you want to use it and turn itself on.


I agree thin and light. I agree battery life.

But if I can’t take notes with it unobtrusively in a meeting, VGA out, Bluetooth a keyboard, and probably USB in and out, it isn’t for me. Much as I admire multi-touch on tablets running Windows 7, if it were between touch or stylus (like a Wacom), I’d go with the stylus.

I understand the cult of Newton, but if I couldn’t get to work standing in the store or borrowing a friend’s, I couldn’t justify buying. I could get Palm devices to work. Didn’t buy a tablet until XP Tablet 2005 because the previous OS couldn’t read my handwriting. Now I won’t leave home without Win7 and a stylus, even if the touch is resistive.


How about 8.3″x4.7″x1.1″ weigh 1.4lbs and cost under $1000. Oh wait a minute that is a newton 2100 from 1997… well maybe we can improve on the past…


I’m going 10.6″x8.2″x.55″ and weighing in at 15.2 ounces.

That sounds just about perfect to me.


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


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.


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!!!!!


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.


Chris Smith

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.


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.

Udit Mathur

Even here is some different picture of tablent is avaliable



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.

Bonnie Engadget

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) !

James Kendrick

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.


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.


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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