I want a PADD!
We keep courting the true desire of geeks everywhere in a personal device, but for some reason the companies keep shying away at the last minute... I want one of them to have the b@lls to put out a PADD. That's right - Personal Assistant Digital Device - the "clipboards" from Star Trek.
1. Complete multi-touch interface. A large enough screen can hold a simple touch keyboard interface similar to iPhone, but same "size" as netbook (unfolded flat). Same accelerometer for always-right-side-up viewing.
2. Adequate screen size. Somewhere between 6" and 11" mark, I would think. Large enough for bespoke touch keyboard, large enough for perusing video or e-books, small enough to keep it portable in weight and width.
3. This is what will make it (sexy) portable - EXTREMELY thin, and I am talking 12.5mm (1/2") or less. This is where Apple does magic (and ASUS already succeeded - see below). This is achievable through not slapping on the fat like a Florida tourist at a China buffet... No optical drive (pull movies from wi-fi), no speakers(!), keep all ports in-line (3-4USB, 2 Firewire/e-SATA, SD Card, stereo audio input/output), front-facing camera and microphone for voice recording/recognition.
With this you wouldn't even need to worry about removing the battery, further reducing size/weight. The ASUS EEE ACROS 10s clamshell netbook already has this, but goes for hardware keyboard (and you can fold it in half). Having a simple, SECURE latching for power/umbilical cord (instead of dedicated docking station) would allow for convenient charging and wired communications. Hell, why not have it the same as the iPhone? That's already USB compatible. Standardize on that, and you could put out a couple different sizes, like 8" (notebook paper, anyone?) and 6" to bridge to the Touch. We *have* the technology, just need to show the business case... which I think the last two years have shown we (alright, maybe just me) are clamoring for.
The only reason this didn't catch on before was the issue of the screen costing too much to keep it scratch proof. Apple proved they could do it with the sapphire screens, and that people would swallow the price, too.