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back to article Apple tablet spooks world of PCs

That long-awaited Apple tablet/netbook/media-pad/ebook/whatever has yet to be confirmed let alone offered for sale, and it's already scaring the bejesus out of the competition. And for good reason. As we reported earlier today, an unnamed "veteran analyst" who claims to have had the rare honor of actually laying hands on the …

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Gates Halo

Meh...crap quality, crap OS

who cares? After a year of using an apple laptop I can honestly say that if the pc manufacturers get off their fat backsides and make a good looking machine, then I reckon that will be on my xmas list.

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Jobs Halo

I'm no fanboi

But since my wife bought an iMac, the scales have fallen from my eyes. Steve Jobs is not only not the devil incarnate, he may be God Himself. Will this always be true? No. Steve is only a secular God, and is destined to fall to the dark reaper's scythe, as are we all. In the meantime, he is influencing some fascinating (and well-integrated) products.

Now let's hear from Bill Gate's fanbois.

Saint Jobs, naturally!

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J 3
Terminator

t/n/m/e/w

Couldn't you have given it a more pronounceable nickname? Something like, say, iThing? :-)

Anyway, looking forward to see what they are up to this time, if anything.

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No fanboi either

But I've been highly tempted now the lowest priced Macbook Pro is around $1200. You can still get a better price on a PC, but Macs offer more of what I want for a travel and home computer. By the time you factor in the price difference of the software I use on both platforms, their cost is almost identical. And I'd be able to get a more intuitive and more stable set of programs because Macs have been in these fields far longer.

As for their new product, whatever it is, if it is anything like the iPod Touch or iPhone, but with a larger screen, more functionality and more processing power, then I'll want one last week.

I use several devices for on-the-road entertainment (another reason for thinking about combining everything into a Macbook Pro or PC notebook) and if this offers what I want I may forget the notebook, continue doing my hobbies on my home desktop and get one of these new devices for my in-flight and layover entertainment.

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@AC

Yeah, whatever.

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Anonymous Coward

Whatever it is, it won't be BillG's vision of a tablet

specifically, it won't be an attempt to entirely replace your laptop computer with something you prod at spastically with a plastic pen because you've watched far too much Star Trek while suffering the delusion that Scotty fixed his dilithium crystals using some elaborate Excel hinge tables.

Of course, one thing is for sure: when it eventually emerges and notably fails to cure cancer, world poverty, global warming and HIV/AIDS, defeat bigotry, injustice and prejudice in all their varieties, save the pandas, whales, gorillas, corals, rain forests and glaciers, solve the P/NP problem, derive the mass of the Higgs boson from first principles and construct a fully quantised theory of gravity compatible with both relativity and string theory, all while simultaneously connecting you via Bluetooth EDR2.0 to a Skype conference call with God, Vishnu, Mohammed, Elvis, Bill Hicks, Winston Churchill, Horst Wessel, Galileo, Leonardo Da Vinci , Albert Einstein, Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart, Henry VIII, Henry Ford, Alfred Wegener, Genghis Khan, Khan Noonien Singh and Obi-Wan Kenfuckinobi, Apple stock will tank.

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Silver badge

Apple should be worried

It's not the device manufacturers that should be worried, but Apple. No other company has such restrictions on the uses of their devices, etc. and once Apple moves into #2 or #1 position as a device manufacturer, expect a massive enquiry, followed by swift and furious justice with multi-billion-dollar fines from the US, the EU, and so on. Apple have methods that would get Microsoft back in the dock in about five minutes. The only reason that Apple gets away with it is that it's not in a dominant position, but as its market share increases, at some point the regulators are going to mandate that Apple separate its software and hardware divisions and they will split up the company into two or three; Apple electronics, Apple hardware, and Apple software. (Maybe two of these would be combined.)

At that point, the entire reason people buy Apple disappears.

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Terminator

Thoreau anyone?

Apple has done well by following the "Simplify, simplify" dictum and having a worringly complicit media well-managed by the PR department. By focussing so obsessively on the delivered product Apple does indeed provide users with wow, wet trouser moments. But it also hides its failures well - the first iPhone was very nearly one of them.

I like MacOS and and I like Apple notebooks (recently got my second) but it was Intel's work that saved their bacon a few years ago. Like I suspect oh so many others, Macs only became really interesting once they approached PC pricing and offered the prospect of virtual or dual-boot windows. Windows 7 works very nicely in Parallels and I can see it getting the kind of adoption that MS has missed with Vista and will give many users a similar good feeling though probably less worringly intense about owning that fanbois seem to get. And getting 7 onto netbooks will probably worry Apple as much as seeing mobile phones grow MP3 players. It responded brilliantly and no doubt whatever is in production is going to be interesting but Apple does also get it wrong at times.

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FAIL

It's amazing

At least since all these netbook platforms became common dozens of manufacturers could have just stripped the keyboard, include a touchscreen and sell tablets. The platform and the hardware is there since years and it's cheap.

That netbooks are mostly used for consuming things (video, music, photos, browsing/reading, email, simple games) is nothing you need a Steve Jobs to realise. That a touchscreen even with a basic on-screen keyboard is enough to type in passwords, credit card numbers, search strings or short text snippets is also evident. But what did all the manfacturers of all this netbooks do? They sat on their hands and waited until Apple just does what Apple always does: Do the obvious and do it good. I can just see even now that the Apple tablet will hit them out of the blue sky and they will start whining and then copying. As if nobody could have seen it coming. It's just pathetic.

Asus, Acer, Dell and so on could have had dirt-cheap netbook-based tablets out for at least a year. You can buy literally hundreds of slightly different netbook models but not *one* that is a tablet. You can see users of these things sitting in trains and in pubs and elsewhere fighting with tiny trackpads and hardly ever using the keyboards, but still every single one of these silly things has a crappy tiny trackpad, crappy hinges and lids and a crappy keyboard that most people only use to hit return instead of having to navigate the cursor to the "OK" button with that bloody trackpad. Or to use the cursor keys for scrolling instead of navigating to the scroll bar.

I'm pretty sure that Apple was praying for Asus, Acer, Dell and others not seeing the obvious in the last two years. Well, they never see the obvious, it's almost as if they have a blind spot in that place.

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Coat

@AC

I was about to say the SAME THING!

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Boffin

Apple are not amazing, everyone else is just rubbish!

Apple Tablet?

Hmm so they made a iPod Touch with a 10" screen!

Well done Apple!

Sigh

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Grenade

tale of two products

The well-reviewed (at the time) Sony Viao laptop and the Mac G4 laptop were purchased at about the same time in our household. That would be about 7 years ago.

The Sony lasted about 3 years before it became pretty hard to upgrade enough to run latest codecs, software, and other items. It just ran out of steam. Couldn't even run linux on it due to various driver issues. It's now pretty much a doorstop, the battery having failed and me being unable to find a replacement in this 3rd world corner of the world I'm currently living in (Canada).

The Mac is STILL in use (albeit occasionally now, but was used routinely until a year ago). It can run up-to-date software, and even though it can't now be updated to the lastest MacOSX, the version it has is current enough that I'm not running into too many problems. I figure its time has just now come up, and it might get retired to a quiet life as a firewall or something.

So, effectively, the Mac laptop had twice as long a lifespan as the Viao. If we'd tried to keep up, we would have needed TWO so-called "Microsoft" laptops to keep up to a single Apple laptop. Which, to me, means that even if a Mac laptop is just under twice the price of its competitors, it's still a better deal.

As for Apple as a company, unfortunately, I probably won't be buying many of their products again. The shenanigans they've played with the iPod / iPod Touch / iPhone have really soured my opinion. When I bought my iPod Touch, I expected all my iPod accessories to work with it. I was wrong - NONE worked. I had to re-purchase several important ones (car charger), but once I figured out I was being ripped off for no reason. For instance, there is NO mechanical reason that the space between the slot and the earphone plug had to be 1mm wider on the iPod Touch, other than to deliberately stop certain accessories from working. Let's not talk about the locking of the iPhone to sub-standard network providers, and their whole App Store attitude.

So, Apple probably has better products at this point, but their marketing people are so evil that I refuse to look at their products any more. I'm tired of getting ripped off. That said, I'll still be having a really close look at the tablet, assuming their marketing idiots can keep their fucking scumbag attitudes away from it and not fuck it all up. Which they probably will.

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FAIL

Fanbois Just Don't Get It

If Apple and Linux actually had decent game development, their share of the market would sky-rocket. Games are the key to opening people's options. Until then, Apple....Linux.... you will always be an extremely radical and vocal "also ran" to the PC.

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app store

you will probably only be allowed to use apple app store apps that apple approves of. if that works for then, they can do it to all macs.

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Happy

@ raving angry loony

I've had a near identical experience; only with 2 Acers and 1 Viao vs a Mactop (which had not been my choice) - the XP Viao's still running fine but that sodding Mac still runs like new, if a little slow by modern standards.

My biggest surprise, after so many extremely Mac-critical years, was the gradual realisation that I'd keep finding little excuses to do work on the Mac in preference to the PCs - In fact somebody else pointed this out and, to my shame, I very angrily and very vocally denied it all (I may even have heard a cock crow too).

Incidentally, I also have an Xplore tablet running XP pro (battery life expectancy truly crap). It was required for work capturing data outside in the field (carried in one hand), often in adverse environments where you frequently needed to let go of it in a hurry (it came with neck straps). I persevered but my colleagues soon dumped it for the tried and trusted biro / Weather Writer clipboard combo and extra work (err overtime?) back in the vehicle/office. Hmm, just spotted a correlation - damn!

Why did it fail? That sodding stylus was just too slow/small/fiddly/inaccurate/tether snagable to get any meaninful work done; in short it was too annoying to use. Perhaps if they'd let Wacom develop the stylus? Its also a pretty hefty slab, best part of 2" thick in its case. Voice control? Not a chance.

The one thing ALL my IT phobic colleagues used regularly to berate me with went something like this: "You bloody muppet, why didn't you just get one that lets you use your finger to write with?". It didn't help that they used to watch News Readers walking around the studio with one reading their Autocue.

It seems to me now that if Apple have researched previous failed tablet incarnations (see above) and can now truly produce a reasonably rugged, slim, touch tablet - there may well more interested business takers than you might realise. Yeah a big iPod touch maybe - but that would have worked just fine for us.

A sleeve/forearm, hands-free mount? Even better - now that would be something.

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Grenade

Archos anyone?

So it's like the upcoming Archos 9pctablet then eh?

http://www.archos.com/products/nb/archos_9/index.html?country=ca&lang=en

Call me when something truly new hits the market.

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Here's a picture of one!

http://danielhilfling.com/index/image/menu%20bar/studio/etch_a_sketch.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

@John Freeman : As if everybody

is a hardcore gamer who would sell his own mother for 2 extra fps just to spend day and night staring at a screen, clicking mechanically and living in a parallel universe, some of them even dying from exhaustion. Sorry pal, you're a minority and you're being abused by manufacturers of video cards, memory, cooling systems etc. Other than that, you're pretty much irrelevant for the computing history in general. I enjoy playing computer games from time to time but I don't let this affect my intellect.

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Go

iTab - iTurns on, iTunes in, iSellout ?

if we're getting an iTab media tablet as opposed to a 'tablet computer', I presume we'll be able to paraphrase Timothy Leary;

iTab - iTurns on, iTunes in, iSellout ?

People laughed when Apple was going to release an MP3 player, they didn't expect the iphone to do as well as it has done. The market does have a place for a easy to use product, people are willing to pay extra for useability, even if this comes with a 'loss of freedom' or tethering to a supplier for media files / applications etc. Until the MS world accept this and deliver products that 'do what they say on the tin' Apple will remain a thorn in their side.

Unless I am mistaken, I've not seen an embedded XP / win CE / similar cut down M$ OS tablet. Why not? is it simply because the M$ camp are lazy? and feel that if people want a media player they'll get a laptot? as we HAVE the OS market anyway people will come to us. So, maybe it's time for M$ to stop whinging and re-design an OS from the HCI perspective ? as Apple realised years ago?

I believe that Apple's success now can in part be linked to their changing of processor families - 68k to powerpc to intel or ARM. Sometimes you need a break from the ties that bind you with 'legacy' computing - this hasn't been acted upon by M$. They simply bolt OS 'development' and GUI 'refinement' onto a shaky superstructure and then confuse you by selling 4 versions of the same. Why? because they think they can.

What storage will we see in the iTab? 256Gb SSD anyone? will we get a new Apple tv device to go with this product as it's 'home media server' ?

Go - and get your market share, cause it's yours for the taking.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Messrs Malefant & Raving Loony

Same experience as my buddy at work. Generations of Windows laptops provided by the company have come and gone (died, ran out of puff, whatever).

His 17" G4 laptop just soldiers on. I'm looking for an old cheap G4 laptop just to play some old games which aren't supported on the Intel Macs but they don't seem to be available at a price equivalent to 6 year old Dells or HPs.

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Anonymous Coward

@ John Freeman

Believe it or not, the most sophisticated game the vast majority of Windows machines out there will ever play is Solitaire, which hasn't required any significant amount of computing power in, ooh, at least 15 years now.

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Bronze badge

And mobile broadband?

OK, I don't do much mobile computing anyway, but mobile broadband in the UK looks a bit old-fashioned on the marketing side. The PAYG model is badly behind the equivalent for standard mobile. Use the paid-for data volume within a month, or lose it.

We lost landline service here, over the weekend. I dug out an old mobile phone, popped a free SIM card in, and did a top-up in the village shop. I'll not lose that money when September comes.

Add the 3G coverage problem, and if this new machine is dependent on Mobile Broadband, if it's a super-iPhone, then no.

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Flame

Re-posted from a previous iTablet article

There is DEFINITELY a market out there for this thing. You are looking at (potentially) a DVD Player, Browser/mail client, remote control/media centre, eBook reader and games console in ONE sexy, useable unit that doesn't require a minimum level of technical expertise to master.

Unlike most IT professionals who hang around here and know their way around the NT Registry and don't get intimidated opening up a PC most people in this world don't want to understand how it works to use one. Your average Joe/Joanne just wants nice shiny icons that tell him/her what it does, an interface that is a genuine pleasure to use and the ability to download new apps without piddling around and having to rely on PC World/vendor helpdesks when it doesn't work. Done, done and DONE.

And since when did the app store become a bad thing anyway? Half the time this site is running stories covering the latest M$/Mozilla/Adobe vulnerability/bloatware instance. With the App store you have a genuine attempt to impose some standards plus the democracy that comes with ratings and reviews. Also ANYONE can develop for the iPhone/iPod Touch and profit from it with the product price genuinely pegged to its quality and desirability due to market forces. Sure, this isn't the freeware utopia the open-source party were after but it sure beats a handful of complacent companies taking 80-90% market share and abusing their position by selling us crap for the rest of time.

I would buy this thing in a second. The irony being I would earn the money to do so by supporting Wintel systems/architecture!

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WTF?

How old is El Reg audience?!

Has everyone forgotten that Apple was the first company to manufacture a tablet PC ages ago, with the Newton. They had the skills long ago and now they see that the market is ripe for the introduction of a very usable device. That's what Apple does: design, engineer and sell usable devices... now if you need something that it's going to be unusable, feel free to buy Windows.

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Tablets ahoy!

I have been hoping for a laptop for awhile and felt that many people who want to surf the web, watch media etc., don't like computers because they don't like typing. Many people who don't have computers - yes there are alot of them - are waiting for something like this.

MS can't do it. They don't have the culture or DNA to do it and so it doesn't get done - just like IBM couldn't come up with a laptop.

Apple can, does and will in the future do this. Anyone who is just a MC fanboi is simply too entrenched in legacy to understand - kinda like people who really like Buicks.

Anyway, Steve Jobs will school Steve Balmer again and everyone will be happy.

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Anonymous Coward

@Youngdog: Average Joe/Joanne...

"Unlike most IT professionals who hang around here and know their way around the NT Registry and don't get intimidated opening up a PC most people in this world don't want to understand how it works to use one. Your average Joe/Joanne just wants nice shiny icons that tell him/her what it does, an interface that is a genuine pleasure to use and the ability to download new apps without piddling around and having to rely on PC World/vendor helpdesks when it doesn't work."

Actually, after 35 years in IT that's what I would like too. Command line tools and registry patching aren't an indication of hairy-chested IT virility, they're an indication of a failure in the tools.

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Paris Hilton

Take a Bite of the Apple* .... for the Pleasure of Eve's Desires.

"If Apple and Linux actually had decent game development, their share of the market would sky-rocket. Games are the key to opening people's options." ..... By John Freeman Posted Tuesday 4th August 2009 00:39 GMT

John,

It would be "illogical", although apparently perfectly normal for the poorly educated and oppressed human being and their oppressive and unimaginative sub-prime Control Program Units, to think that Apple and Linux have not developed a Game Changing Great Game which sweeps away All Dodgy Opposition and Pervasive Subversive Competition with a Unique IT Stealth Strategy to Crash the Mocking Markets Ivory Towers and Steal away All of their Investors/Stock Market Gamblers/Money Junkies.

And you don't even have that as a blip on the Markets radar screens yet, which is Proof Positive of the Efficacy of Advanced IntelAIgent Design Systems and NeuReal Internal Security Protocols.

"Sorry pal, you're a minority and you're being abused by manufacturers of video cards, memory, cooling systems etc. Other than that, you're pretty much irrelevant for the computing history in general. I enjoy playing computer games from time to time but I don't let this affect my intellect." .... By Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 4th August 2009 03:30 GMT

AC,

Game the Capitalist System and you will Control IT with Access to All of the World's Banked Wealth, which is Daily ZerodDaily Gaily Abused by the Old School of Bankers who Imagine that IT is All Theirs to do with as they wish, crashing businesses and systems which threaten their house of cards. Retiring Gracefully out of the Picture and ITs NeuReal and SurREal/Innovative Radical New Novel Great Games, will save them more than just Pain, if IT be True. And now that it is so Transparently Registered on the World Wide Web, have they no possible excuse to plead that they didn't know of A.N.Other and Beta Way of Doing Things.

And if they are as SMART as they need to be to Survive and Prosper in the Greatest of Greater Games, and are Determined to Remain on the Bridge as Control and Power take a New Course, then the SMARTer ones will Invest and Rest their Treasury Futures with Leading Players, for that is where all the SMART Money is Lodged for Spending and Reviving Fortune.

And what you may/will have to consider, because it is an option which you cannot deny and which will not be denied, is that Virtualisation XXXXtraordinarily Renders ICTechnology, AIMethodology, which dispenses with the normal hardware, software, electronics divisions, preferring instead to morph them all together for the Global Operating Device Driver which Uses the Internet as a Simply CompleXXX Virtual Machine and Virtual Machine Operating System.

It is certainly Spooky NIRobotIQs Territory whenever IT is Alien to Most Others, which puts it well within Reach of All with more than just the Average Low Intelligence.

And Paris because the Intelligence of Women is Virgin Territory and AIMagical Mystery Turing Trip for MachoMan, who are Weakened and Defeated to Further Follow Other Fools as Stupid Tools that Deny Themselves their Fervent and Passionate Wishes/AIdDVentures.

Maybe it is High Time that IT Created a His and Hers Markets System to Break the Present Disastrous Monopoly of FUDdy DUDdy Old Codgers Pwning and Pawing at the Merchandise?

* In a Orchard of Fresh Luscious Fruits, why would you Deny yourself Natural Bounty?

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Flame

New crowd might take to it....

The Newton? I owned one, nice little gadget for about 5 mins of play but absolutely useless for anything serious though. Palm came along and buried Apple in the dust for years. Palm didn't try to be too clever, they didn't bother with handwriting rubbish, just click the icons and use the on-screen keyboard, K.I.S.S.!

Anyone remember the big fuss when Compaq tried around 2002 with a tablet? I saw one person with one on a train once. They seem to be struggling, it was like someone had simply taken a laptop and flipped the screen around and glued it together, it looked ugly, it looked like it weighed a good few pounds too. The screen appeared to do that thing LCDs do when you lean on them, the rainbow effect as you crush the crystals. Too bulky, Windows support was a bit naff for tablets. Lack of K.I.S.S.!

I always hated tablets, they seemed fragile compared to a nice beefy laptop with a solid clamshell, but given the fact that more of these book readers and flimsy netbooks are appearing and the mobile internet revolution is in full swing, I think Apple might stand a slim chance of making it work gievn their cachet, but they have the battle to convince the old crowd like us that this will not be just another failure, but the new IT tech users may take to it, providing it works like the phone and the MP3 player, a lot of the usual Apple type K.I.S.S. they may make it work!

Personally I always hated the Apple brand, Jobs, fanboi freaks, iphoneys, iplops, the lot. Then one day my old man, sick and tired of his brand new HP Compaq 3.2 dual core falling over and crashing on both Windows XP and Vista at least once or twice a day, he raided his piggy bank again and bought an iMac. After badgering me about how great it was for months, bought me one. I hated it, repartioned it with bootcamp immediately with XP! Some mornings when everyone else was in bed, I would sneak down and secretly boot it into OSX and play for 20 mins, my own dirty, sad little secret....I wanted to hate it, but I just couldn't anymore! You cannot deny, at a premium, they make very usuable products, but it's easy to get carried away and turn into a fanboi, that's one thing you have to fight, very hard!

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Happy

Only product with 2 or more easy markets?

(a) - a toy thing that does what iPhone and iPod do along with apps - lots of apps

(b) - a work thing that extends what iPhone and iPod can do along with apps - lots of apps

And I suppose there is a third sector that does a bit of both?

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Linux

Keep taking the Tablets

Archos has nice one already.

Primarily such a thing only has use in specialist markets. It can't be used as easily as an iPhone as it's too big for holding in hand or pocket. It can't be used a usefully as netbook as no keyboard.

It may be successful in Archos's Media Tablet and Portable DVD player market but it's not going to hurt Netbooks or pocket mediaplayers/smart phones.

It's also going to be twice the price it needs to be if it's $700. It really needs to be under £250/€300/$400 to have much traction. Actually usually Archos are overpriced (French for Apple should be Archos, not Pomme). I'm amazed at their 160Gbyte HDD Windows and 250Gbyte HDD Linux 10" netbook prices.

The Apple FanBois will all buy one. But having worked on tablet design concepts for 20 years simply having a multitouch GUI and OSX is not enough.

http://www.archos.com/

(Mines the one with an Archos 605 ripping the pocket)

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iPad

iPad sounds the best name for it, sounds like iPod.

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Happy

Shall we call it the iPad® ?

I love my asus 1000 notepad, but I really liked my Palm Pilot III & Handspring Visor (the really slim silver one).

I would like an A5 or A4 'pad' on which I can use cursive script, block letters and, prefereably Palm Grafitti®.

I won't really care what the underlying Os is, as long as it can browse the web and you can write on it. ebooks would be really great.

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Grenade

Workflow

The more I use my android phone (I am sure it'd be the same with an iPhone), the more I think the PC/MacOS workflow could be seriously improved. HP has done some work around that with their touch screen all-in-ones but it's just an overlay on standard Windows and it's an example of what the PC industry has done for decades : a bit of window dressing here and there, but typically, same old stuff.

The Apple tablet should be a much deeper effort and has now the clout to foster the birth of a new ecosystem, a la iPhone. Wait and see.

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But it's Apple

no software, premium support prices and lock-in. no thanks. been there and sold it.

@Anonymous Coward

DirectX 10 is a bit more advanced than anything you will ever see on a Mac and it's Spectrum based graphic infrastructure.

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Dead Vulture

One of the most tombstone worthy moments ever.

Please explain exactly how a one-two of a media player and a phone (however successful) makes a company more relevant in the Personal Computer market? If there were any truth in this, the most relevant player in the PC market would be, er, Nokia (hugely successful phone launches 'R us).

It's true that Apple have become more relevant in the personal computer market, but that's down to the hugely improved Macs which, let's face it, were looking decidedly ropey prior to the Second Coming of St Steve.

The tablet might enhance this position, assuming that it a) happens and b) is successful. Personally, I reckon that b is the difficult one here as tablet PCs have traditionally always been in the same category as VOD for mobile phones. i.e. Something that every vendor in the market thinks that everyone should want, but nobody actually does.

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Stop

One Word

There is one word I have to say to Mr Jobs - FLASH. I can forgive it, grudgingly, on the phone but try and shaft me out of user experience on the web in a tablet format and you can shove it. Politely of course.

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Megaphone

Maybe..

If it runs on MacOS and Intel architecture then I'll consider buying one - if its just a glorified iPod Touch, then they can whistle!

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Gold badge

@uhuznaa

Thanks. That saved a lot of typing.

You're right, the repeated failure of other manufacturers to learn from Apple's demonstrations of "how it should be done" is frankly amazing. For years, I've failed to understand how Apple could get away with their pricing. Surely it's just a matter of time before someone churns out a similar product at "commodity" prices, I thought. But no, it turns out that everyone else in the industry is just incredibly stupid.

I expect this new iTablet will be the same. Everyone will say how it is just what they always believed a tablet could be, with none of the dumb (ie, not technically necessary) limitations of previous efforts. Implicit in that is that customers are waiting to buy a "nice" tablet, and the manufacturers know what that involves, but strangely can't bring themselves to produce it.

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@ David Bell

You should look at Vodafone, okay they're a little bit more pricey at £15 for 1GB but it doesn't expire, you just top up when the allowance is used up. I have a Vodafone 3G modem which I use occasionally, had it about 5 months now and I'm still on the original 1GB of data allowance that came with the modem (which cost £40, with 1GB of allowance worth £15). For me it's ideal, I can use it for web browsing, e-mail and the occasional bit of remote access and don't have to worry about it expiring at the end of the month (plus when I'm in a HSDPA area I get around 2 to 3 Meg and when I'm in a 3G area I get around 384K/sec which is perfectly fast enough).

On the other hand, T-Mobile and O2 also do a pay per day/week/month option. You basically pay £2 (or there abouts) for the entire day which on O2 gives you about 500 Meg and T-Mobile it's as much as you want (although IIRC if you use over 3GB in a month they seriously cap your speeds).

Anyway, back to this tablet thing. I can certainly see the point, kind of a bigger iPhone type device with web browsing, games, media playback. I guess it depends on who they're trying to target, I mean will this device run a standard copy of OSX like the MacBook etc or will it be more of a locked down OS like on the iPhone with apps only available from the Apple store?

I guess either way it'll probably sell well to those who can afford it (and those who can't but get one free with a 3 year mobile data contract).

Rob

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Go

PeeSeebois take note?

Apple's success in this venture is everyone's success.

Hardware component manufacturers, kit assemblers, distributors, retailers, ISPs, telcos, Apple's own design and development teams and (most importantly?) the end user/customer himself or herself.

There will be a marketing opportunity for wannabees too.

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Why tablet PCs have never worked

Whatever Apple have come up with, there's a simple reason why tablets (or, lets just say every ultra portable PC pre-netbooks) have never taken off.

Nobody's trying to solve a simple problem. Microsoft have tried, as usual, to create a hell of a lot of problems that nobody knew they had and then solve them all at once. And failed.

What would you want in a tablet? Personally, I want an electronic version of the notepad on my desk. Handwriting recognition, easy upload to a PC (so bluetooth / wireless) and conversion to a word doc and filing, plus an internet connection to research or send whatever you've written. Anything else is just a bonus. Video playback, music, games... just make a simple, electronic version of the notepad.

I'd buy one. And I strongly suspect it wouldn't cost $800.

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Ru
Unhappy

Gaming is irrelevant

Hard-core PC gaming is dying. All that sort of stuff will move to consoles in due course. What's left will not require serious hardware to run, and will be quite happy on a moderately powered machine.

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Silver badge

@ TeeCee

I think the argument is either that the tablet won't be oriented as a computer, in the same way that phones (including Apple's) are computers but are not sold as computers, or that the App Store has widened the category of what matters. Probably much more the former than the latter — though I'll wager that the number of programmers with some knowledge of Objective-C is up several thousand percent since 2007.

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@Peter Mylward

Having seen the less-than-favourable reviews of Flash on the HTC Hero, I think you can most likely shove it.

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WTF?

@AC

"Generations of Windows laptops provided by the company have come and gone (died, ran out of puff, whatever).

His 17" G4 laptop just soldiers on. I'm looking for an old cheap G4 laptop just to play some old games which aren't supported on the Intel Macs but they don't seem to be available at a price equivalent to 6 year old Dells or HPs."

Duh!

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@mage

"It really needs to be under £250/€300/$400 to have much traction."

seeing as that's cheaper than an iPod Touch I don't think that's in any way realistic

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Bronze badge
Grenade

Cost and usability

If Apple can produce a device that does what the ordinary person wants it to do, at a total cost of ownership that makes it realistic, and looks cool, then they have a winner. I might not like it, but the guys in the back office will.

It's why the iTouch sells.

I like PCs because I like fiddling with 'em and adding stuff.

Most folks do not

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uh, wrong

'Pitchers, that's Yank for bowlers'

Yes, and sheep is Yank for cow. Pitcher's pitch, Bowler's bowl - there's a difference. Bloody Brits

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I would buy one

Even though I am not an Apple zealot (like a few people on this thread...), I would consider buying one.

Mainly because I am sick of current smartphones and I dont want to be locked into a lifelong contract with o2 for an iPhone. I had been thinking about getting the Nokia N810, but now I see this on the horizon, I may wait a little longer.

I already own an iPod Touch, so having one of them with a larger screen would be ideal.

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Pint

Apple vs Windows

Ah, religious wars, gives one a nice warm feeling. But hey, if the iCrap iPad kicks off a decent windows version (like the iPhone did for mobile touch screens - I love my Samsung Tocco), then I'm all for it.

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