back to article Apple's iPad - the tablet with the data center soul

The soul of Apple's soon-to-be-unveiled iPad won't reside in Cupertino. You'll find it in Catawba County, North Carolina. That's the whereabouts of the WestStar Mission Critical Data Park, where Apple is busily building its $1bn data center, scheduled to open later this year. Yes, we're fully aware that the iPad is still a …


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  1. Joseph Harris

    More Apple Fanboi Gushing

    Apple could never make a stinker. Oh, wait, shouldn't one of those failed tablets be Apple's Newton?

    Fortunately, Apple devices have become a fashion statement so people will probably buy it no matter what.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: More Apple Fanboi Gushing

      The Newton largely failed for four reasons:

      The first was the expectations created by a short teaser film (made by Spielberg's company for a huge amount of money). In this short film 'Newton' was a protrayed as a human assisting a college professor in his day (ordering flowers for the professor's wife, booking a table etc.). It created a huge amount of buzz about the product, which led to an underwhelmed reaction when it was launched that can be summed up as 'WTF! It's just an electronic diary'.

      The second was the advertising campaign - the TV spots used to be accessible via a couple of websites. One advert summed up how misguided the marketing campaign (rather ironic, given the Newton was the baby of the marketing guru who gave us the Pepsi challenge). A board meeting is show and one fat, balding suit, who hasn't been paying attention and is put on the spot when asked a question… luckily the message appears on his Newton giving the answer, after another fat balding suit beams it across using his Newton. Not only would most viewers not want to be associate themselves with that type of person, it suggested that the Newton would be great from business users… who aren’t likely to use the Mac OS at work, so there was no way of syncing it with your work system.

      The third was the buggy hand-writing recognition. This was fixed quite quickly, but the Newton was dogged with a reputation for not working for then and ever more.

      The fourth was that it tried to offer too much. In terms of a PDA, Palm’s offering did the job. It may not have had all the bells and whistles as the Newton, but it offered the core functionality that business users wanted, it was genuinely pocket-sized, far more affordable and it synced with work systems easily.

      I can’t see the same mistakes being made these days. Like it or not – and I suspect you don’t – but Jobs, whatever his faults are, is very canny at marketing and understanding how consumers will use products.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    iSlate not an acceptable business machine foresay?

    Uh-huh baby, uh-huh.

    iSlate engineer arrives at business, needs other drivers for non-netted device and a couple of hardware queries along with site location and business appointment diary to end user.

    Shame that Tom-Tom dived so low on the iPhone - maybe it will learn by its mistakes?

    So there you have it, it or at least a shadow of it's potential.

    Business diary to the user, clickable links to GPS get you there-isms, online ability to say arrived at site, departed site both with gps confirmation of sorts based on bonjoured location of nearest wi-fi spot and strength, needed a firmware update to a device as part of this onsite service call, acts as speakerphone while enroute no need for bluetooth earphone and also demonstrates on call noise reduction, voice clarity with on the fly diary updates to next adjusted enroute appointments and yes! there has been a delay on gps suggested route so please take the alternative route to next appointment.

    Ah, the cloud, the ever increasingly dynamic cloud?

    1. Tony Hoyle


      So.. you mean exactly like the mobile phone I already have in my pocket, but bigger so it won't fit in my pocket and way too big to be used as a satnav.

      The reason tablets failed and continue to fail is because they have no use that isn't covered perfectly by other devices. If I want to carry a device around I have a laptop that does the job. If I don't I have a phone. There's no space for a 3rd device with none of the advantages of either.

      Apple may be going for the ebook space.. but I suspect unless they've managed something miraculous with battery life and not to mention pricing I'm sceptical even that will work.

      1. Gulfie
        Thumb Up

        Tablets and Fail

        I don't disagree with your point of view (quite aside of the fact that I couldn't grok the original poster's example scenario too well). I think tablets will find their niche - the key as always is to look at the situations where people currently use clipboards, brochures etc and then postulate how the same activities can be performed on a tablet, in such a way that there are clear benefits from doing so.

        So, instead of being handed an expensive glossy brochure when touring a new housing development show home I get given a tablet which guides me of a tour around the house, provides ancilliary information, allows me to enter some basic details of my requirements etc.

        When I get back to the salesperson they can better tailor their sales pitch to the info I have provided. And they don't need to print so many glossy brochures - or can print details on demand instead. If you were to tour the estate itself, GPS can be used to present information relevant to the houses I am close to.

        I can also see a tablet being useful in any situation where the shop has a limited sample of merchandise (furniture for example). As with any device its a question of understanding what it can do well, and how it can support/improve existing business processes.

      2. whiteafrican

        @Tony Hoyle

        Couldn't agree more.

        An Apple tablet that doesn't run desktop software (and is essentially a big iPhone) has no purpose. I would still need a phone and a laptop and then I could buy this Apple tablet too if I wanted it... so basically, it's one more thing to carry around and it adds no functionality at all, but costs a lot.

        Q.E.D. no selling point.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: @Tony Hoyle

          Maybe, just maybe, it would be best to wait to see what the product is and then judge what the selling point - if any - there is?

          Some rumours are indicate that the tablet - or one of them (some reports claim there could be four different sized models - is a gaming device.

          I do believe it's best to wait for six more days, but if we're are going to play a guessing game, then if there was a 6" tablet that wasn't bad for gaming (let's face it, there are A LOT of games for the iPhone and some pretty decent ones like GTA Chinatown Wars), that also users read ebooks, surfed the Web and acted as multimedia device, then I think a few might be interested in it.

  3. Ian Geek


    ...this would basically be an oversized iPod Touch you're talking about?

  4. corestore

    Alan Kay...

    I think the title says it all. Will this be a Dynabook worth criticizing? Kay was talking about the computer as media when the rest of the world thought it was a glorified calculator.

  5. Long Fei
    Thumb Down


    I don't disagree the slate will be for 'consumption', but so are laptops, so whilst your argument isn't wrong, it misses the point.

    No doubt devout Apple fans will buy one, but they won't replace laptops for functionality, and most people aren't going to buy another expensive device when they have a perfectly good laptop.

    It's not about not wanting to have, it's about the practicality and cost.

  6. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    And the Roddenberry fans

    Might as well bring the Jobs fanatics and Roddenberry fanatics together: Who hasn't admired the Star Trek PADD devices? Laptops are clumsy to carry around and anyone who has used one without a table knows the kind of stares generated by accidentally dropping it. There's a business use for a device that could display documents prepared for a meeting and have just enough user input for note taking. Give it the ability to dig through files on your desktop computer and maybe the laptop gathers dust. That's the Monday through Friday use. At home, like you said, it's for massive media consumption.

    1. dogged

      Agreed, but...

      "There's a business use for a device that could display documents prepared for a meeting and have just enough user input for note taking"

      Problem is, a soft-keyboard won't really fill that niche. Youtube for "Microsoft Courier" and you soon start to see that either Apple have to be different market or they're screwed before they even launch.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        YouTube for "Microsoft Courier" and you'll understand the definition of vapourware.

  7. Mike S

    iTablet Subsidized by Tech Press

    With all the rumors flying around that Apple is going to get the iTablet subsidized by carriers, you have to look at who wants this thing the most. Who stands to benefit the most from this (unannounced - but don't let it stop the speculation) hype machine?

    The web-based technology press, that's who. Steve Jobs was getting ready to involve the next iPod, but then all this iTablet stuff hit the wind. If they don't announce something spectacular, half the tech-news websites are going to lose their remaining credibility, and the other half have nothing to write about anyway.

    So, sometime in September, Apple decided to join four iPhones together, originally they would call it the iTablet. It will cost as much as 5 iPhones, have 60% of the battery life, and Tech Crunch is paying half the cost of each one sold - if the consumer had to pay full price, this thing would fail and they'd have nothing to write about for another six months, until Google announces they're going back to China.

  8. Antidisestablishmentarianist
    Jobs Halo


    To all those saying 'my laptop can do all that'. Well for some (i.e. me) I don't want a laptop on me all the time get it? The keyboard is superfluous when watching something or reading something. Get it?

    I would LOVE a bigger iPod Touch*. I use my touch more than my netbook. Netbooks? Now there's a pointless product.....

    * However I HOPE this new iPad thing runs OSX and not the iPhone OS. Not likely though....

    1. whiteafrican

      @ Antidisestablishmentarianist get a tablet PC slate. It'll cost less, do more, and you can install (with proper permissions, obviously, before the Fanboi mods kick me off) OSX if you want to. Or, if you're really determined, you can buy a modbook that already exists in tablet form, is completely legal, and runs OSX:

      A tablet that is essentially a big iPod touch will sell like the Apple TV. Some Fanbois will buy it, but it'll never be a mainstream device, because it has no advantages over the competition. It will be more expensive than a tablet PC, and will offer less.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: "but it'll never be a mainstream device"

        They said the same thing about the iPod - this included what every single Mac hack in the UK, and most of the ones in the States, thought privately.

        The iPod was seen as typical Apple - nice bit of kit, but far too expensive and limited market. Not saying that that the tablet will enjoy anything like the same success - for one thing, I would like to see what it actually is and what the pricing is - but some products get pooh-poohed and then do rather well...

        1. whiteafrican

          @various Anonymous Cowards

          @AC 13:41

          ...except, as with the iPhone, the iPod entered an existing consumer market. There was already a healthy market for personal music players (mp3 players and, before that, CDplayers, MiniDisc Players, Walkmen, etc.) going way back. The iPod simply improved upon the available products, and did very well because it met an identifiable need (i.e. people want to have music with them wherever they go). Same with the iPhone (people needed to make phone calls, have mobile internet etc. and the iPhone does those things well).

          The tablet is a different deal. There is no established market for tablets and, if the rumours are to be believed, this Apple tablet will run the iPhone OS. That means it can't replace your computer because it can't do enough and won't work with existing software, and it can't replace your phone because it's too big. It won't replace your games console because the screen's too small and the graphics are too underpowered, and it won't replace your PSP/Gameboy because, once again, it's too big. What it might replace is the Kindle... except that by all accounts the Apple tablet has an LCD/LED/OLED screen (depending on which rumour you believe), and the Kindle has E-Ink, which is pretty much why the Kindle is ideal for reading books...


          @AC 15:31

          "So far all you have done is make ad hominem attacks on those that disagree with your view and state what YOU do and don't want and therefore by extension no-one wants it!"

          Not so. What I have done is point out that the mass-media feeding frenzy that is accompanying this thing's supposed release is absurd, because the rumoured Apple tablet has some obvious flaws. The problem isn't that *I* don't want it (I'm actually a fan of tablets - my favourite device ever is my HP tc1100 tablet; when you want photoshop in a train/plane/bus, this is the best device for it. Bar none). But there are a lot of Fanbois wandering around saying, "The iPhone sold well, so this tablet will sell well too." And there are also a lot of doubters saying, "This thing meets no identifiable need, has obvious flaws and will cost a lot. Therefore it won't be a big success at all." We would like to be allowed to disagree with each other, if that's ok by you...

      2. Anonymous Coward


        No-one. Knows. What. It. Is. Yet. Not even you...

        You and the other myriad pro/con fanbois need to get that through your respective thick fanboi "my cock is bigger than yours" skulls. So far all you have done is make ad hominem attacks on those that disagree with your view and state what YOU do and don't want and therefore by extension no-one wants it!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I'm no apple fanboi

    I have never owned any apple product (about the only apple product I find interesting is the iphone, but I refuse to buy a device that's so locked down), but the idea of an apple tablet device actually sounds interesting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'll wait for other tablets

      Me too. I've never owned an apple product, but the idea of an internet tablet appeals to me.

      But it's worth waiting to see what other tablets are released, I htink there will be quite a few, based around, was it the freescale reference design reported on the Reg.

  10. Joey
    Jobs Halo


    The Newton MessagePad was before its time. Yes, the handwriting recognition was a joke and Apple's big mistake was to oversell that particular feature. Without the handwriting recognition, the Newton was used very successfully by sales forces up and down the country as an intelligent clipboard where they could make menu choices and use tick boxes to configure systems and take orders. Tapping words in with the stylus and on-screen keyboard was not as bad as it sounds and considerably better than most modern mobile phones. There was no WiFi or BlueTooth in those days, the Newton could only be synced with a Mac by network or modem. So, forgetting all the entertainment uses and even the ability to enter text, a device that can be held and used in one hand has a great many practical uses for which a phone is too small and a netbook/laptop too clumsy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Yes, the handwriting recognition was a joke "

      As I recall, the joke in question was:

      Q: How many Newton users does it take to change a lightbulb?

      A: Two, one to change the bulb, the other to mango turnip lobster.

      (The Newton was indeed fun in its own broken-interfaced, crappy-screened battery-eating way,

      good ideas before the tech was there to pull it off- a brave, but failed attempt)

  11. ian 22


    All this speculation is VERY entertaining. And the <whatsit> hasn't even been announced yet!

  12. Nate1982

    Thank God!!

    Finally, someone that knows what they are talking about. I've read so many high expectation blogs/news feeds that are just wrong. If an iPad is announced this next week it will be more for what this article is speculating than anything else. It shouldn't surprise anyone if this pad is HD compatible for video playback, can be used easily for reading, and will be able to do word processing. Who knows the shear gaming possibilities! Additionally, I'm sure that it will be able to WiFi sync with apple computers and Apple TV.

    The price point is going to be the make it or break it deal for them though. Much over $600 and I cannot see people running out to buy these (I'm sure they will have two or three price tiers). This is because it needs an entry price point similar to Amazon's Kindle DX to utterly destroy its competition. Of course this will also decimate profit margins but long-term this would be the best way to market this type of product.

  13. Ty
    Jobs Halo

    Hello? Where is Rik??

    Am I in a parallel universe?

    This article actually has merit and accuracy and is well thought out. Well done.

    Now who is this imposter who wrote it? It can't be Rik as he has NEVER EVER written anything that is worth reading in his entire career! How bizarre!

    Please keep this Rik 2.0.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I was under the impression a chimera was a hybrid animal, obviously not.

    1. Chris Parsons


      But don't forget, no-one knows English any more, it's just not cool - whatever that is.

    2. justsaying

      Words can have multiple meanings


      1, ( Chimera) (in Greek mythology) a fire-breathing female monster with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail.

      • any mythical animal with parts taken from various animals.

      2, a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve.

      I suspect the author was referring to the second definition. The first definition is usually abbreviated as "Vista".

  15. J 3

    I saw the iPad...

    ...on Avatar, and it's transparent and stuff.

  16. jake Silver badge

    I find it amusing ...

    ... and somewhat scary, that nobody has comment(ard)ed on the concept that this thing will probably come with built-in advertising.

    That one "feature" makes it a "not on the things to get" list, at least for me & mine.

    1. It wasnt me
      Thumb Down


      Really ? Do you really find it _scary_ that no-one, not a single person, has commented on a message board about a feature that might (or might not) exist, on a device that factually doesnt exist yet, and hasnt even been announced?


      And youve already put it on a "dont get list" based on lack of speculation about speculation. More wow.

      Ill suggest that it probably wont come with built in advertising, as none of apples other products do. (Apps yes, Apple products no). How does that shift your future parallel speculative non-existent universe?

      You might have to cross it off that list. Unless its just the apple logo that got it on there.

    2. Euchrid

      No one?

      If you look at the other stories about the tablet and about the ad-supported OS, you'll see that quite a few people have commented on it.

  17. wsm


    Pure and simple, the iPad will be the combo device to sell songs, movies, and now books through the iTunes store.

    I have to agree it's the ultimate channel device for Jobsian marketeering.

  18. blackworx

    I really hope it fails

    And before all you fanboys jump to "downvote" I'm not saying this because I'm anti-Apple or anti-Apple-fanboy (although I have to admit I pretty much am) but because I'm really REALLY not looking forward to the chattering twits asking me, as the LFG, what do I think about this new Apple iThingy and do I think they should buy one and ooh look you can read books on it and it's apparently ever so easy to use.

    Here's a hint: if all your friends buy one why don't you just go ahead and buy one.

    Ok fanboys, downvote away to your little iHearts' content.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just answer the damn question!

      What DO you think about this new Apple iThingy?

      1. blackworx
        Jobs Horns


        Lol let me see - perhaps that it's annoying as hell despite the fact that it doesn't even exist yet.

        Argh! Steve's evil genius knows no bounds!

  19. Mage Silver badge



    There are lots of tablets. A bigger iTouch or keyboardless iMac locked to subscription services. No thanks.

  20. Andy 79


    Sorry its the "ludicrously successful iTunes store" bit that Ive got an issue with... doesnt even turn a profit does it? If it does then its a new thing... to me that doesnt seem successful?! Yes it helps to keep people locked to iPods and paying for tv (I dont really get that - I have several tvs/pvrs/laptops/consoles) but surely to God if it doesnt make money its not THAT great?

    1. Gulfie

      iTunes IS profitable

      You could even liken it to the goose that lays the golden eggs.

      THREE BILLION apps downloaded in less than two years? And Apple keeps a third of all app sales revenues? And Apple captured over 99% of all mobile app downloads last year? (See for details). And the market just keeps on growing? I suspect that the iTunes store will be Apple's main source of income within three years.

      The only questions in my mind - how long before there is a serious legal challenge to the closed store with its obfuscated approvals process and Apple self-protectionist practices? Competition is a good thing, application approval or rejection should be from a technical standpoint only (i.e. software using non-public APIs or working in a way that could cause the phone to malfunction). If you allow applications that compete directly with the Apple equivalents this can only be good for everybody.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In the past maybe

      Afaik, the iTunes store has always made a profit, only it wasn't very substantial relative to turnover when it was only music that was being sold. Films and TV, might have increased it a bit but I doubt that it was by much. However, the App Store has probably increased revenues and profits from iTunes by a massive amount. Add in another distribution platform for Apps and media content, and it might become even more substantial.

    3. justsaying

      "iTunes doesn't turn a profit" ?

      A source would be welcome. Everything I've read seems to indicate that iTunes makes a stash of cash. The iPhone is probably a big help there.

  21. richard 69

    shut the fuck up!

    i've had it! silence! enough!

    just wait and see what they do - if anything.

    interesting article but my ipod touch does everything i need - or so i think.....this tablet must have a killer feature.....a giant ipod touch? no thanks.

    now please, no more analysing, no more guessing, no more 'in-depth' reports, no more whispers.....let's just wait and see....and then be massively disappointed.

    1. whiteafrican
      Thumb Up

      That's right!

      Nobody should ever be allowed to speculate about anything ever again. From now on, if you can't back up a statement with empirical facts and peer-reviewed analysis, then you shouldn't be allowed to make that statement.

      ... now, where did I put that new sarcasm punctuation mark?

  22. stu 4
    Jobs Horns

    I reckon your right - unfortunately

    consume rather than create - yup - you are probably spot on.

    Which is a real pity - I am still hoping for a device flexible enough to run a finger version of iMovie that I can use to edit my HD footage wherever I am - that's the killer for me. At the mo - I either have to have my 17" MBP with me, or I suffer long renders and poor playback on my hackbook netbook.

    Most of the iLife suite would need minimum tweaking to work nicely with touch - and with a decent amount of power inn a tablet, it would be just the job for me on the move, holidays, etc.

    I dunno, maybe I should have compromised and got a 13" MBP, but I love the screen (matte!) and the power. And after 6 months of iphone usage, I really reckon photo, video and music creation are within reach of a touch pad.

    However, they don't make money for apple... and the way Jesus Jobs has been going recently - 'if it don't make extra revenue for us, why bother' seems to be the mantra.

    If they just build a consumer device it will be a pity - it will miss the real possibility of bringing creative apps into a new realm. All we get is more brain dead muppets leeching content from the creative mind. - the tv for the new age - sit and be entertained - no need to think - no need to learn.

    - stu

    1. StooMonster
      Jobs Halo

      Create creative stuff

      I can totally buy into the idea of a content consuming device, it has no reason at all to be a netbook or notebook replacement and be able to run Excel or Powerpoint.

      The iPad is a consumer device, not a business tool.

      However, what will make it different from a giant iPod Touch?

      I reckon it will be able to create things that others can consume. i.e. I think it's likely to have iLife support, so that: GarageBand one will be able to use a virtual piano keyboard (rather than typing keyboard that might be used in email) to create music with; iPhoto will support simple photo editing and creation of either photo-albums that one can print-out (paying Apple) or upload to Flickr etc.; similarly iMovie to edit simple video sequence and publish then on YouTube; plus maybe likes of Photo Booth too, and if it has a forward facing web-cam then iChat too.

      The kind of stuff that people use to make social networking content, that's what it will help one create or manage.

  23. Ascylto
    Jobs Halo


    The iSlate/Pad/Whatever is needed because ...

    POOR PEOPLE are getting the iPhone! I've heard that some are even UNEMPLOYED!

    This state of affairs cannot continue.

    My street 'cred' is disappearing!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      This is very true

      I'm starting to see iphone usage across a wider demographic too. My only hope at the moment is to pick up a Nexus One directly imported from US. I reckon I'll get 12 months or so exclusivity before the great unwashed latch on.

      Either that or Apple need to start bundling iWork with the iPhone. That may act as a deterrent.

  24. lukewarmdog


    All back to the apple forums now pls.

    A giant iPhone for £500? Pass.

    1. Gulfie

      As opposed to a PAYG iPhone for £450?


  25. Anonymous Coward

    Bewildered of Tunbridge Wells

    Please please please can someone explain why this is the next big thing? I am so confused! I can see there being a niche appeal for this thing but where is the mass market? It'd be too big to carry around in the pocket, too small to "devour content in big chunks" when you're at home and have a big tv in the corner, and harder to use than a laptop for work stuff. Can anyone give me some plausible reasons that Joe Public (and not tech enthusiasts) might part with hundreds of pounds for this when they already have a laptop and an iPhone, because I am really struggling...

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Jobs Halo

      Shiny stuff!!!

      Because there's bugger-all else going on in the world of consumer tech right now?

      Everyone has a phone, PC, media player, huge Wanker-Vision(tm) HD TV, Blu-Ray, SkyBox, Ooja-Wotnot box that makes the tea and scratches you in awkward places....this is something new and shiny...must have the shiny thing....must get into debt for shiny thing....shiny!

      And so on....

  26. John 158

    If you blog it, it will come.

    And if it doesn't, I will be laughing all the way to the imaginary bookies where I placed the imaginary bet with the money I don't have.

  27. Charles Calthrop


    I think that Apple will use this new data centre to power an online version of spotlight. I think when you search a mac in the next year or so, you'll be searching your mac and apple's data centre all at the same time

    1. Gulfie
      Thumb Up

      Nice concept...

      Of course it might be possible to hook into spotlight already by mounting a virtual drive that 'maps' to one or more web sites - Spotlight would then search it automatically...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think I agree that most people won't want to have both a laptop and a tablet with them. So how about making a laptop with these features:

    * A reversible screen/lid so you can close it up with the screen visible and the keyboard hidden behind it.

    * A handle so you won't drop it.

    You then have a device that can serve as a laptop or a tablet, as required.

    Maybe Apple are aiming their new product at people who don't have or need a laptop and can't type. But is it a big enough and rich enough market?

    1. markp 1

      we already have that

      It's called the OLPC-1...

      Or "gluing a handle onto the side of a <insert name of one of tens of extant convertable tabletss here>"

      Or "hacking a touchscreen into an Apple Deskmate"

  29. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Fitaly is an onscreen keyboard...

    Fitaly is an onscreen keyboard (for Windows PC and mobile devices mainly) that for me, groes about half of previous touch-typing speed (20 vs 40 words per minute, not world class, good enough). Since typing is now a short road to agony for me, I use Fitaly for almost everything, including this paragraph.

    Fitaly is also better with active detection of the stylus (so you can see where you're hitting before you do), with a separate clicker instead of a delicate pen-based contact switch, and with keystrokes spoken back to you so that you hear mistakes and can correct them. But maybe on headphones so other people can't hear what you're typing (p, a, s, s, w, o, r, d, 1, 2, 3).

    Handwriting input is way slower, speech is faster - if the hardware and software support it. Re speech, possibilities have been discussed to receive speech without you talking aloud. I wonder if we'll get to lipreading...

    1. markp 1

      how about...

      A webcam, appropriate motion-detection software, and BSL?

      'mon the nonconventional touch-screen text input methods btw. If only TextEase (a fitaly-esque thing but more compact IIRC) wasn't so utterly unreliable I'd probably have gotten proficient with that and shifted on to a completely boardless slate, instead of reverting to the physical one.

      I fail to see the logic in transferring a flat, non moving facsimile of the qwerty board onto touch-screens, particularly when they're designed for one or two touches. The legato, largely continual-contact speed and smoothness available with a "proper" keyboard is completely lost and the shape and layout then serve only to frustrate, slow you down, and get in the way of other onscreen items. The aforementioned textease took up about a 120-pixel square in the corner of the screen that your hand would often be getting in the way of anyhow. A series of very brief, chainable gestures with the stylus marked out each letter with hardly any arm or hand movement being necessary - a minor flick of the wrist combined with deft finger movements instead. Without necessarily recommending that exact product, thats the sort of thing we need to be looking for. Predictive keypad typing works vaguely well, does it not? (Though I must give the caveat that my speed has noticably dropped on newer, fashionable completely smooth-and-flat keypads vs the old tactile seperate-keys ones - it'd probably be hopeless for editing on a touchscreen unless you kept your eyes locked to the pad at all times; even Palm Graffiti would win against it)

  30. Cliff

    Oh fuck

    Another round of sugar-rush fanbois queueing up to be the first to own something with a picture of an apple on it. With the related media masturbatory frenzy. Give me a launch date and I'll avoid TV for a week.

  31. Tony Paulazzo

    Pointless point

    >How does that shift your future parallel speculative non-existent universe?<

    As Arthur Dent once said, 'It must be Thursday...' Thanks for the Thursday morning chuckle. I'm trying to quit smoking, so every little helps.

    As for the coming iThing (which, I could be wrong, feels like the rumours have been tightly controlled from head quarter from the start), the same people who bought the iPhone n iMac will see the Jobsian need for the iThing -

    Especially as, upstream noted, poor people are now buying the iPhone.

  32. uhuznaa

    Get real...

    One thing that professionals and geeks will never understand is this: The majority of people now use computers mainly to consume anyway. They hate PCs, they hate keyboards, lids and trackpads, they can't touch-type, they hate buttons, they hate complex operating systems, GUIs and software and they are perfectly willing to use crappy keypads on mobile phones to type billions of text messages each day. Between all this they will LOVE tablets. Anyone doubting this is part of a small minority. Anyone even bothering to write comments on articles in the web is part of that minority. The majority does not think that writing coherent paragraphs of text is fun. That's hard work to them and they like to avoid it and to have an excuse to fire off a short half-sentence instead.

    People want to consume music, videos and the web, and they want to play games and use simple apps. They buy PCs because there is no other option, not because they like anything about these PCs. In fact they hate most of what makes up a PC, both in hard- and software. As a personal or home computer tablets will be what comes after the desktop PC and the laptop. The keyboard will go the way of the floppy and the contemporary UI with overlapping windows will go the way of the textmode interface. The very same people who always use the mouse to click the OK button instead of hitting return will be happy to do away with the mouse and tap the OK button with their finger instead. And they also will be happy to not have to click the maximize button on every window anymore, since every app will use the full screen anyway.

    And there is nothing wrong with that.

    1. whiteafrican
      Thumb Down


      "They buy PCs because there is no other option, not because they like anything about these PCs."

      Nonsense. Whether you admit it or not, PCs allow people to do things that a keyboardless iPhone OS-runnnig tablet doesn't. For example, writing a letter in Word (or OpenOffice, or whatever) is a vastly different experience to writing a letter in a compatible iPhone App. Sure, the app has *some* of the functionality of Word but it's useless for anything beyond basic text editing.

      The fact is, for most of their free time, people only want to consume media, and in that respect, you're right. But the other 10% of the time, they want to do a few extra things (like write letters). Some of us also want to use software like Photoshop, Dreamweaver or whatever. If people only wanted to surf the net and watch videos, then linux would have dominated the netbook market, as price would have been the only differentiating factor. But the point is, people want a device that does useful stuff (like real document editing) for when they need it, and in a format they can understand.

      The point isn't that the Apple tablet won't have uses. It will. The point is that those uses are already catered for by existing devices, and that there are additional thing that users need, that a tablet running the iPhone OS can't do. Therefore, the Apple tablet cannot replace the laptop or the mobile phone. Consequently, it fits into a niche. Some fanbois will by it but, like the Apple TV, most of us will probably never even see one being used.


      "contemporary UI with overlapping windows will go the way of the textmode interface"

      This is a joke, right? I mean, it's actually *really useful* to be able to use multiple windows of different sizes. Like when you have to do real work for example... oh, wait, fanbois don't actually do work! That's for Windoze types, right? Silly me. (Yes, I realise the irony is that I am posting comments on a forum while I'm at work...)

      1. Michael C


        Apple spent more than a year with a whole new team porting iWork into web apps. If you think you won't be doing document editing, even web site design in iWeb, photo management, and more on this pad, then you missed the clues...

        This device is MUCH more than the device, it;s a platform to cross integrate your desktops/laptops and your multimedia life, and put it all into the web. The iPhone didn't include editing features because to add the toolbars and guestures needed would have complicated an already cramped display into near uselessness. Double the screen size and you can have bttons to push and do real content editing. Cloud integrate that experience with their new billion dollar datacenter in NC, and you have something truly powerful, and well worth a $400 premium over a netbook. (even less once you include all the software the netbook needs, including AV and backups, to compete).

      2. Bit Brain

        Multiple windows…

        ""contemporary UI with overlapping windows will go the way of the textmode interface"

        This is a joke, right? I mean, it's actually *really useful* to be able to use multiple windows of different sizes. Like when you have to do real work for example..."

        While I agree that multiple overlapping windows is really useful, in my experience doing tech support most non-geeky users tend to have all windows maximised anyway and just switch between them via the taskbar.

        1. markp 1
          Thumb Down


          how do they easily copy files between devices?

          also task switching is only viable if you have a good, speedy way of doing it, and typically that means a preemptively multitasking environment so stuff can churn away in the background if needed - or be ready to go at the drop of a metaphorical hat even if it's idle. you need to have some kind of windowed-esque UI, particularly if it's touch-only, to allow access to the switching feature.

          mind you, given my comparitive experiences with Windows and MacOS (v7~X) so far, it just wouldn't be Apple if they didn't take an otherwise perfectly good, potentially excellent UI with some neat features over MS, then spoil it by dropping some absolutely fundamental clangers that boil the blood and make you wonder if they were smoking crack. Exiling the concept of multiple windows or tasks would be a good place to start, this time round.

          (hopefully they don't ban tabs? hmm, there's an idea - every program runs near-full-screen in a tab, except for the file manager which could float freeform co-existing with other programs and copies of itself...)

          1. Bit Brain

            Re: how do they easily copy files between devices?

            The same as every other non-techy user. They call tech support and ask them to do it for them. ;-)

            1. whiteafrican

              Overlapping Windows

              @Bit Brain

              haha... tech support...


              @markp 1

              You're right - sometimes it's useful not to maximize every window.

              For instance, if I'm looking at stuff in firefox, spot an interesting image and want to drop it into photoshop and mess about with it, letting the photoshop window sit slightly below or to one side of the firefox window lets me just drag and drop the image straight across. But if you force people to maximize both windows, that means you have to copy and paste, or worse still, save the image somewhere and then try to find it and open it with photoshop. This whole "Lets make everyone maximize everything all the time" idea is a disaster from a usability perspective.

              Also, what about those of use with two monitors? Would this "one window fits all" mentality mean that I now have one window split between two screens? Or will I be allowed to maximize one window per screen? The typical Fanboi will point out that he, like most other fanbois, doesn't have two screens, and neither do most of his friends, so it's not a problem. But it is. This is exactly what Apple has done for years, and it's exactly why they continue to have about 5% of the computer market - they unilaterally decide that if most people don't need a feature most of the time, then it gets dropped. Examples:

              - one key for backspace and one key for delete; they are two different functions, they deserve two separate keys.

              - a mouse with two buttons. It's actually useful.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    "low-electricity-costs North Carolina"

    Around 56% of which is generated from burning coal, although around 29% is from nuclear power, apparently:

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love the way..

    ..all the mini-Clarksons rush to any article about this as yet unannounced iThingy to scream repeatedly about how they don't care even slightly. Methinks they doth protest just a teensy bit too much.

  35. uhuznaa


    I think you're just a victim of selection bias. Most people don't write much and don't enjoy it. And most people even don't like to have several windows on the screen, they find it confusing and, well, ugly. They want to see what they're looking at and nothing else. They don't enjoy to stare at complex technology. Again, if I say "most people" I don't mean "most professional IT workers" or "most secretaries" or "most programmers". I mean "most of the about 70% of the population that uses computers at home".

    People care a fuck about "computers". They want the Internet, music, movies, porn, games and straight, inexpensive, single-purpose apps that are fun to use.

    1. whiteafrican


      [Sarcasm] I'm sure you have surveys and studies to back up your analysis, and that the 30+ years of research that Xerox, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, the various Linux Communities, etc. have put into development of interfaces was a complete waste of time. I'm also sure your 70% figure is in no way something you just picked at random. [/Sacrasm]

      All major consumer interfaces have overlapping windows because they're useful. Your argument about what people want is complete nonsense. Sure, that list of entertainment is a lot of what they want, but it's not *all* they want. They also want the ability to occasionally do stuff that might actually be useful. For instance, at some point, they might want jobs (Fanbois aside, obviously). That means they probably need a C.V., which means they need to type one up. Since space is limited on a CV, you need the best formatting available. Try doing it on an iPhone app and then try using Word, and then tell me which one's easier... Is a C.V. something people type every day? No. Is a C.V. something that people want to be able to type up when they need to? Yes, of course. It's just one example, but it demonstrates that people want computers for entertainment *and* functionality. If all you want is entertainment, get a games console.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Rolf Howarth


        "All major consumer interfaces have overlapping windows because they're useful."

        Is that a typo... do you mean "consumer" or "computer" interfaces? Apart from my computer, NONE of the user interfaces on consumer devices in my house have overlapping windows. The menu on my TV doesn't. My mobile phone doesn't. My DVD player and PVR don't. My microwave doesn't, nor does my dishwasher or washing machine. My radio alarm clock doesn't. The dashboard in my car doesn't either, and even though my sat nav will occasionally pop up alerts on top of the map warning me about speed cameras, that doesn't really count as an overlapping window either.

        The point is, for consumer devices the user generally wants them to be as simple as possible and focused on one particular task at a time.

        If all the speculation about the tablet is correct then clearly it's intended as a consumer device for the masses (to browse the web, watch movies, and subscribe to electronic versions of Hello magazine), not a general purpose computer for technonerds like you and me.

        1. markp 1

          depends what you want to do at the end of the day

          Being able to see both the EPG _and_ the list of queued/recorded programmes on my PVR _would_ be very handy when running thru the week's schedule looking for things to record (though it would need smaller fonts installing and it gets around the issue with a system of cryptic icons). As would having a resizable EPG on the TV as it overlays the entire picture for no good reason. I don't even HAVE a pixel display anywhere in my car, just dials and some 9-segs for the radio/trip computer. The thing with all these are they are radically different information presentation and access paradigms to television or guages. The older ones are a lot simpler and inherently serial. Internet browsing and computer applications very much are not.

          My first computer was single-tasking, if you were lucky you could use a few persistent TSR-style desk accessories inside of your seperate word processor, art package, spreadsheet, etc, one of which might be a persistent clipboard. Moving up to Win 3.1 was an absolute revelation and I suspect this may even be the case for non-geeks. I still have an intractible habit of running everything maximised, but am up to speed with multi-tabbing, task switching etc. And having multiple tiled windows is good for shifting files whilst making notes and calculations (or whatever) or having a small media player window open on e.g. a footy match, which you don't even have to be a geek to do. Just someone with a lot of files to shift and the ability to mentally multitask.

          (Male, btw, if the name wasn't enough of a giveaway)

          I do wish my phone had multiple window ability. Having to use special keys to slowly and unreliably switch between various programs with next to no clipboard facility - just when e.g. taking the postcode from a website or someone's address entry and shoving it into google maps (no its not a bloody iphone) - is an utter arse. Particularly when the thing has about the same screen rez (when taking subpixel rendering into account) as the old single-tasker and easily more net computing power and storage than the old win3.1 rig. Though it would have to get a touchscreen or trackbally thing to work efficiently.

        2. whiteafrican

          @Rolf Howarth

          Fair point, I was just considering computers, not every household appliance.

          That said, there's a fundamental difference between a computer and your tv, microwave, etc. Those devices are set up to provide a specific set of functions, mostly pre-determined by the manufacturer. Computers, on the other hand, are just a platform. They are there to provide whatever services the user desires, whether it's sending emails, writing letters, editing photos, watching movies, playing games, etc. And the user is free to install additional tools and applications if he so chooses. By trying to reduce the computer interface to the level of the microwave interface, you are ignoring the purpose of buying a computer in the first place.

          As for the tablet, the point I have made is a simple one: yes, it will have a function, but no, it won't be able to replace a computer unless they put a proper OS into it. People bought iPhones because they needed a phone and the iPhone is a good phone. There was a pre-existing market and Apple exploited it. But there's hardly any pre-existing market for tablets, so Apple need to create this market from scratch. That's not something they have a good track record at...

    2. markp 1

      i wish i could disagree with you on this...

      ...but even as a fairly dyed in the wool geek, the love for doing things on the computer just _because_ it was "doing things on the computer" died sometime in the mid-late 90s. So long as I can get the task done easily and to a high (or hell, halfway acceptable) standard, I don't really care too much how that's acheived. It's no longer a cool new way of doing things, it's just a gateway device to tasks happening in cyberspace.

      .... still not sold on the whole cloud and virtualisation thing, though. There's a reason we ditched the mainframe in the 80s. What's ultimately "best" from a business perspective is not necessarily good at all for the user. iPhone > ChromeOS right now, though not a huge fan of either. Windows and other smaller, more dedicated devices are where it's at right now. Hopefully the ultimate convergence can spit out something better and entirely unexpected.

  36. Michael C

    No Imagination...

    Look, this thing is NOT going to be a netbook with a phone OS. It's not a simple communication device for simply accessing information and running tiny apps like an iPhone is. It's SO much more....

    1) not a media player, a media control system. Wirelessly connected to your TVs and integrated into your home network. Play video from the device to the TV while surfing the web and checking alerts. It;s both a portable media player and a replacement for a boxee/appleTV, possibly even a set top box entirely.

    2) Apple hired a whole team of people to develop their iLife and iWork suite into web enables and iPhon/iPad integrated application suites. This thing IS going to do couemtn creation, collaboration, sharing, and publishing, and most certainly will be fully integrated into iWeb and (if they don't have a whole new solution for it).

    3) NFC, one of the lesser rumors. If you have a Mac (and possibly a PC) and bring the pad near it, it could easily become an extension of that machine, becoming an additional input device and extension of the screen display.

    4) it's more powerful than most netbooks and can play lots of games in addition to all it's 1080p glory. It will also run all the apps you already own for your iPhone (without additional licensing) since you can have up to 5 devices per iTunes Store account that can all (automatically btw) share apps and media files. It's also a fully multitasking iPhone.

    5) its so much better of a form factor than a netbook, with the same or better usabiltiy, for only a few hundred more (unsubsidized anyway), and with native cloud integration local storage of just 32-64GB should be completely sufficient. Full usability should easily exceed 8 hours with the screen on in wireless productivity mode (4-5 hours on 3G with screen on), and should be able to run screen off for more than a day easy as a media player.

    6) the interface is going to be amazing. Managing photos, working with web sites, editing documents in the port of Pages, navigating will all be simply wonderful to do with guestures. Since it;s big enough to cross your knees, of stay in place on a table, the virtual keyboard should not be an issue either (though i suspect a portable keyboard WILL be an option with this device for added functionality when you need to work heavy.

    Will it replace a full featured notebook, especially in a business environment? no. Could it be used on the go in place of a notebook? Easily. Will it consolodate your home theatre and other media experiences more completely? Absolutely.

    Oh, and it's more than an ebook reader, it's an ePeriodical full color reader, RSS integrated, system capable of experiencing interactive works web sites in their full easy to read glory, and it's still got all the power of an iPod Touch app platform and the pricing that goes with those apps. If you have an iPhone or other 3G capable device nearby it should tether as well, and I'm sure they'll be options for integrated 3G as also.

    1. Mike Hanna

      letters and/or digits

      Finished? Got rid of the sock?

      I was getting really excited about the iThingy (working out if I could remortgage my house and get one) though obviously not as much as you. Now I'm being put off it by fanboi over-hype like yours. You don't know what it can or can't do, so best to say so within your...

      What's the opposite of diatribe?

    2. whiteafrican

      @Michael C

      Oh, this is just too funny. They finally announced the silly thing. Let's see if you were right, shall we?

      1. Wirelessly connect to your home network? Nope. Needs iTunes, so stuff on external networked PCs (or Macs), PVRs and storage drives is...err.. no good here.

      2. Content creation? You need to buy a separate physical keyboard to type comfortably, and it has no pressure-sensitive input, so there goes the art/graphics market. No camera either... Exactly what are you going to create on this thing?!

      3. Yeah, so that didn't happen.

      4. "it's more powerful than most netbooks and can play lots of games in addition to all it's 1080p glory."... lol - not even close. More powerful? It runs the freaking iPhone OS, with NO MULTITASKING! Absolute joke. Games? How long could you play accelerometer games (supposedly the iPhones big seller) before your arms cramp up from holding the iPad out in front of you and twisting it? Also, better have good insurance, 'cos you'll drop the darned thing by doing that.

      5. "its so much better of a form factor than a netbook, with the same or better usabiltiy" How so? You can't use it with both hands unless you're prepared to deal with horrendously bad neck cramps. You can't type on it on a flat surface and see the screen comfortably unless you pay for an external keyboard... Epic fail.

      6 "the interface is going to be amazing. Managing photos, working with web sites, editing documents in the port of Pages, navigating will all be simply wonderful to do with guestures." Surely even you didn't ever actually think this would happen? The interface is basically the same as the iPhone's, just bigger (oh, and you can now add your own desktop background - welcome to 1993!). How are you going to "work with websites" exactly? Edit them in Dreamweaver, hmmm? Add flash graphics? Add Java? No, thought not. Editing documents on this thing will be funny. You won't be able to touchtype (unless you buy a separate physical keyboard, in which case, how is this better than a laptop?), there's no handwriting recognition, and the word processing apps for iPhone are all useless. Enjoy.

      "Will it consolodate your home theatre and other media experiences more completely? Absolutely." This is my favourite. Home theatre? If you're already at home, you probably have a tv. Why would you watch media on a 10" screen if you have a tv?! ... I mean, you're joking, right?

  37. Prag Fest


    Endless comments from experts, gifting us their wisdom, pointing out a product that hasn't even been announced is doomed to fail and they would never buy one.

    Keep up the good work, it's a matter of time before you convince yourself you're successful and attractive to women too.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whether it exists or not...'s not going to be called the ipad, as Apple owns the domain names, and (and redirects them to their main website), but doesn't own

    1. markp 1
      Paris Hilton


      it's the secret ID of the iPhone 4G?

      you do your phoning via a bluetooth headset with the device itself sitting in your pocket... well... OK, handbag/manbag.

      Paris because I have similar opinions of both at this point. IE, couldn't really care too much, I came here to make a different comment :)

  39. olli

    what my daughter could use

    My daughter's most beloved possession (except for her MLP's) is a portable DVD/DivX player. But it could be improved:

    * Wireless networking to connect to our NAS and all movies stored there.

    * Internet connection and web browser for YouTube and online games.

    * A touchscreen could be useful for interaction, currently only has DVD-specific navigation buttons

    * VGA or HDMI output (currently has only composite video) for connection to TV or projector

    * USB connector(s)

    We solve some of the deficiencies by complementing the DVD-player with an old laptop with WiFi-access but it is heavy and the battery is dead so difficult to move around.

    What is does not need:

    * Keyboard

    * Harddisk or any other large internal storage

    * Probably don't need that DVD-ROM any longer as everything would be ripped and accessed from USB or network.

    * General purpose OS (Windows or Linux)

    Think of current intelligent TV's but portable and rugged.

    1. markp 1

      don't put too many eggs in that there pudding

      I dunno, I'm sure your daughter is just fine with the player as it is. What would probably improve it is a higher quality screen than the pixellicious 320x234 it more than likely currently has.... Me & my contemporaries were perfectly chuffed with our gameboys & gears as lads. Very few even bothered getting the TV tuner or link-up cable (well, ok, they were pricey, but hey). The only problem tended to be the squinty screen. We had a magic box that played games... it didn't need chucking all that other stuff on.

      The PSP and DSi _do_ include some of this, unfortunately i'm too strapped to sample them and say whether the additions are good, or if they're like trying to put marzipan and icing on a creme brulee. I would hope they can do useful additional things, but are ultimately unneccessary; the device offers perfectly good entertainment in the form of pocketable games. Just as the DVD player gives you handbaggable movies (and DVD's own limited interactive "fun").

      And I know too well which has won the sales battle out of the relatively crippled, pure-function iPod, and my own featuriffic rival mp3 device :-(

      Mine's the one with the cassette Walkman in the pocket, with the somewhat spurious built-in radio and alarm clock.

  40. uhuznaa


    The 70% number is not picked at random. Statistics for most countries are a few years old, but most come up with about two thirds of the population using a computer at home. In Germany it was 70% in 2007, three years ago. It's not geeks and professionals shaping this anymore. It's consumers and casual users who care not at all about "computers". But you're right, almost nobody in the industry understands this. As I always say, they don't even understand the problem.

    Then, yes, people *have* to type now and then, if they like it or not. But a 10" virtual keyboard is not the same as an iPhone and there is also room enough for an office type application. And you might be able to attach an BT or USB keyboard anyway. Or just use a PC for that if you have to.

    Another number: In the US alone people send 4 billion text messages each day. From cellphones. With number pads (most of them). Do you really think people need PC keyboards for writing?

    1. whiteafrican



      Please learn to use the "Reply to this post" button (it's the purple one under each post). Trawling through the posts to find your comments directed at me is a bit of a drag.

      As for the 70% thing, you could have added your reference source - I'd be interested to read it.


      "As I always say, they don't even understand the problem."


      And yet somehow, the people who design these interfaces (Apple & Microsoft in particular) are making money hand over fist. I think from their perspective (and the perspective of their shareholders) they don't see a problem because, until it starts affecting their bottom line, there isn't one. Of course, if you disagree, you could always write your own Linux GUI that complied with all the design elements you are espousing, and then see if it could out-sell Win7/OSX, but somehow I have my doubts...

      As for the 4 billion texts a day, do you suppose that people send them because the phone is the best thing to type on, or because the phone is the most convenient device they have with them at the time? The fact that lots of texts are sent is not evidence that phone keypads are the best input devices. Of course, as you point out, people don't *need* PC keyboards for writing (really, all you need is a cave wall and some charcoal) but the bottom line is that it's easier, more comfortable and faster to type on a real keyboard.

  41. Ian Ferguson

    Why Apple will succeed where others have failed

    Anyone who thinks an Apple pad will fail because other manufacturer's pads have failed;

    Try using an iPhone to compose an email. Then try using a Blackberry Storm to do the same.

    You'll see why Apple made a keyboard-less mobile phone succeed where others didn't.

  42. heystoopid

    Latest Uncool device is it ?

    Replete with the usual APPLE up your posterior DRM , only tools and Apple Fan boys will buy one to appear to look cool , never mind the fact that all the real cool people are using Android instead .

  43. markp 1

    Uh, did you miss a generation?

    Tablets / pads coming out before the rise of digital audio and video? Not so... once again I come to the defence of the convertable tablet I own. Bought because it would be working in tight spaces or classrooms where using the keyboard and mouse wouldn't always be an option. Soon the original hard disk was weighed under with MP3s and (largely failed) captures from the DVB-T card bundled with it. Today, it can still happily grind through HD-lite (720p / 25fps) MPG4 video streaming live from iPlayer, and when new made a perfectly good portable 12" digital TV, particularly with the screen twizzled round into Slate mode.

    Also has built in Wifi and bluetooth (for getting stuff direct off the web and sending it to wireless headphones, communicating with "real" mobiles, or using remote KB/mouse) for anyone who was about to raise a point such as that... and USB sockets, VGA out, SD card slot and an expansion port.

    However, what may be killer is the applepad.... wait a minute... PADDLE's* use of capacitative touch. Most devices I've used so far are either Wacom pen-sensing (my tablet, graphics pads) or resistive touch (Palmpilots/iPaqs, Whiteboards) or use some other esoteric sensing method like an array of nearly-1D infrared cameras (other whiteboards). None of them work fantastically. Given how much raving goes on about capacitative, multi touch devices, they may finally work for the most basic of all reasons - the haptic interface is no longer horrible. I'd love to give it a go, being an iPhone virgin, and see if it actually can act as a proper keyboard/mouse substitute, rather than as in my case, an input method of last resort.

    * I think I just discovered it's name in my brain. Or possibly Papple - if Nintendo can get away with the Wii, then...

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    To replace my paper sketch book or not.

    Been waiting for a replacement for my collection of sketchbooks since I saw the original Grid computer in the 80's. Have tried various models in the intervening time but haven't found one that reads my (block printed) handwriting, translates drawings into an editable format easily, organises everything into a searchable format, OK paper doesn' t do that but is easy to search. Being one of our modern computers it should also allow for media manipulation, video, audio and graphics of all flavours.

    Last one I tried was the little HP flip screen, we have some at work, running tablet XP. Handwriting recogniition was as good as the Speech recognition, barely above the original Newton standard.

    Have owned and worked with all brands of hardware and don't care who makes it as long as it works. If the Apple tablet is primarily for consumption and not for creation, wait a week to find out, then I'm out of luck again.

    Mind you, no one sees what's in my sketchbooks unless invited.....

  45. Pat O'Ban

    Interesting Address

    Right near a place called "Newton". Coincidence? I think NOT!,-81.219778&spn=0.051321,0.07699&t=h&z=14

  46. Terry Cresswell

    For all those complaining about a lack of decent keyboard...

    Just one question.

    If it is going to be a tablet device, how do you know it won't have a keyboard, or a USB port to plug one into?

    Isn't a tablet just a more portable touchscreen version of an iMac? People seem to manage to work on those just fine.

    1. StevieB

      My 2c

      Me, me, me I know!!!!!

      I think :- a giant 10 inch iPod touch with 256Gb of flash, a little stand to prop it up on a desk, iPhone Os with a shared application storage area, something like AirSharing Pro to put that on a network as a WebDav disk, iPhonied versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote and lots and lots of Bluetooth to hook up with the existing wireless keyboard and Magic mouse (which I reckon with access to its secret workings could function a a standalone multitouch trackpad). At least that's what I want.

  47. Anonymous Coward

    watch video iPad

    If you want to watch video, but not the image of a live broadcast can be seen here:

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