Apple Tablet Speculation

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In a speculative article, Matthew Rothenberg believes that Apple will be entering the Tablet PC arena that Microsoft is presently entering.

Rothenberg appears to base this opinion on the circumstantial evidence provided by Apple's revivial of Newton technology as well as rumors that Apple's laptop lines are undergoing radical new design revisions for 2003.

Meanwhile, Ian Betteridge, MacUser.co.uk's editor, agrees with Rothenberg but feels that Apple will more aggressively pursue this market in 2003.
 

drastik

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2002
978
0
Nashvegas
A tablet would be fabulous for my purposes sometimes. As long as it has some form of keyboard, or at least the USB ports ( I'm sure on the last one) the aplications for video techs are enormous, providing extra screen realestate for on site monitoring whe a seperate NTSC monitor or Powermac setup is inconvienent.
 

djniche

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2002
175
0
DC
If we have a tibook with writting (inkwell) features would be great.
I think we should have this as an alternative portable. If apple was to do this then we would see an apple pda as well. Apple needs to come up with something to take the lead in this market. A la IPoD.

It would also be amazing also to use the pen in photoshop and illustrator. Can you do this with the new pc tablets?
 

redAPPLE

macrumors 68030
May 7, 2002
2,615
2
2 Much Infinite Loops
with the inkwell technology staring at us... i would be crazy not to have a hardware which uses this cool technology.

especially when apple points out all the advantages.

it will of course be a niche product. it should be directed to specialized markets like, hospitals, factories, etc.

but they would have to watch out how they market this thing.

market it the wrong way, people might misunderstand the point for such a hardware.
 

agreenster

macrumors 68000
Dec 6, 2001
1,892
2
Walt Disney Animation Studios
I dont know.....

The tablet PC seems akward. Maybe Im wrong, but all I can imagine is a messy, fingerprinted screen whose software wont recognize your handwriting especially since typing is so much faster anyway.

However, Alias has new tablet software....

Also, with HyperTransport being pushed by AMD and Apple, and the speculation surrounding their partnership.....anything is possible.

A HyperTransport Apple Tablet?

Hrmm.

Niche for sure.
 

lmalave

macrumors 68000
Nov 8, 2002
1,614
0
Chinatown NYC
Yeah, keyboards are still a must. My guess is if Apple does a Tablet PC at all, it'll be a convertible laptop configuration, rather than a "slate" with a docking station. Apple's designers probably figured out an elegant, easy, robust way to convert a laptop to a tablet, unlike the awkward designs I've seen from Gateway, etc. that look clumsy and fragile...
 

lmalave

macrumors 68000
Nov 8, 2002
1,614
0
Chinatown NYC
Re: It's just like I've been saying...

Originally posted by kfury
For more speculation, check out http://fury.com/topics/iPad.php.

Hint, read from the bottom up, or start here: http://fury.com/article/745.php

Right now I'd guess that they're still wating for inkwell to catch on more, and an iPad will probably be in the coming around May or July...

Kevin Fox
http://fury.com
Saw your page. Very cool. Except I think an iMac with a detachable screen would fulfill a very different need than a laptop. Without a keyboard, it's not the kind of thing one would take to school or work. It'd be more for surfing the web at home while you're sitting on your couch.

Maybe Apple will use a two-pronged approach: iMac with a detachable screen for home use, plus a rugged, convertible iBook for the mobile user.
 

Cappy

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2002
386
2
Originally posted by lmalave
Yeah, keyboards are still a must. My guess is if Apple does a Tablet PC at all, it'll be a convertible laptop configuration, rather than a "slate" with a docking station. Apple's designers probably figured out an elegant, easy, robust way to convert a laptop to a tablet, unlike the awkward designs I've seen from Gateway, etc. that look clumsy and fragile...
Nope. They're strategy would be to add an item to their product line. It follows with their hub strategy and helps build revenues.
 

Timothy

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2002
473
0
Seattle, WA
Tablets a bad idea...

OK, I've asked this before and few people responded. At the current form factor, Tablet PC's provide very little functionality over a laptop; in most scenarios, they provide less. If a tablet is only as portable as current laptops, and I wouldn't use it in a substantially different way than my laptop, why would I choose a tablet? Given that keyboards are quicker and more efficient that pen input, if I am in a place where it makes just as much sense for me to use a laptop, then a Tablet makes no sense at all...

With regards to surfing the web with a tablet while sitting on the couch...that is exactly what I am doing right now. And, given that I am typing this lengthy message on a keyboard, it makes little sense to me to use a pen-based tablet where a laptop works almost perfectly for the application. Tablets don't make surfing the web any easier; in fact, given how much I type while I surf, they'd make it considerably slower.

Now, let's get back to discussing the perfect form factor for ultra-portable computing. The Newton 2100 size was just about perfect. It allowed me to take it everywhere, and the screen size was large enough to actually do productive work on. Current PDA's are too small for real-world use, and current Tablets are too big for ultra-portability. The Newton size/form factor was just right.

I wouldn't mind seeing a unit the approximate dimensions of a paperback book. But a full 8.5 x 11 inches? That's too large, and I'd rarely take it with me.
 

dongmin

macrumors 68000
Jan 3, 2002
1,708
0
Rothenburg is lame

Ugh, this Rothenburg dude is on a complete fishing expedition. He needed to meet a deadline so he puts forth some random speculation as 'reporting.' I can't believe this guy gets paid to write this rubbish. Nothing remotely factual nor vaguely insightful in the article. He doesn't even do the standard "A friend of a friend who used to clean the toilet at blah blah told me ..."
 

pgwalsh

macrumors 68000
Jun 21, 2002
1,639
218
New Zealand
Originally posted by lmalave
Yeah, keyboards are still a must. My guess is if Apple does a Tablet PC at all, it'll be a convertible laptop configuration, rather than a "slate" with a docking station. Apple's designers probably figured out an elegant, easy, robust way to convert a laptop to a tablet, unlike the awkward designs I've seen from Gateway, etc. that look clumsy and fragile...
I'm with you on this. I think they would have the ability to hide the keyboard or fold it someway behind the screen. Then they would add a built in mic and heavy voice technology.
 

lmalave

macrumors 68000
Nov 8, 2002
1,614
0
Chinatown NYC
Re: Tablets a bad idea...

Originally posted by Timothy
OK, I've asked this before and few people responded. At the current form factor, Tablet PC's provide very little functionality over a laptop; in most scenarios, they provide less. If a tablet is only as portable as current laptops, and I wouldn't use it in a substantially different way than my laptop, why would I choose a tablet? Given that keyboards are quicker and more efficient that pen input, if I am in a place where it makes just as much sense for me to use a laptop, then a Tablet makes no sense at all...

With regards to surfing the web with a tablet while sitting on the couch...that is exactly what I am doing right now. And, given that I am typing this lengthy message on a keyboard, it makes little sense to me to use a pen-based tablet where a laptop works almost perfectly for the application. Tablets don't make surfing the web any easier; in fact, given how much I type while I surf, they'd make it considerably slower.

Now, let's get back to discussing the perfect form factor for ultra-portable computing. The Newton 2100 size was just about perfect. It allowed me to take it everywhere, and the screen size was large enough to actually do productive work on. Current PDA's are too small for real-world use, and current Tablets are too big for ultra-portability. The Newton size/form factor was just right.

I wouldn't mind seeing a unit the approximate dimensions of a paperback book. But a full 8.5 x 11 inches? That's too large, and I'd rarely take it with me.
Yeah, besides surfing the web, eBooks would be another obvious application for a tablet. Maybe Apple would add a wrinkle to its iBook/Education push and promote the idea of putting textbooks and other educational materials on its iBook/Tablet? If textbook publishers license an electronic version at a discount over the printed version (since they save printing and shipping costs, after all), then schools would at least get some savings to balance against the cost of buying the iBooks.
 

unclepain

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2002
67
0
Va Beach VA
I have to admit that I've been wanting a form factor like a Mac Tablet for a while. I've tossed about the idea of a handheld, but I hate the limited functionality and the need to sync with a host computer, plus the price! Good night- 500 to 900 dollars for some of the Pocket PC handhelds! Yeesh! A laptop is just too big to really be portable for me. I want something I can fit inside the bag I already carry, not have to carry another bag just for my laptop. I've been infatuated with the OQO design scheme as well (also the IBM MetaPad, which is being brought to market by Antelope http://www.antelopetech.com/accys.html ). I love the idea of your whole computer in an enclosure no bigger than a pack of index cards, then you just mount the component in different configs like desktop, laptop case, handheld case, or tablet case. That's really sweet- but ultimately, I'm just looking for something bigger than the newton, smaller than an ibook, DVD internal, 802.11, Firewire, USB, Tablet- I'm sold. Price it under 1500 and I'll run you over in the parking lot just to be first in line at the Apple Store.
 

pgwalsh

macrumors 68000
Jun 21, 2002
1,639
218
New Zealand
If you had a tablet PC and you could speak your URL's and documents you'd appeal to a number of people including my parents. Though my mother is a good typist, she has trouble with her pc. My father on the other hand can't use either. But I don't expect much for they're are 72 years young.

Surfing the web via touch screen while you're slouched on your couch is pretty nice. Also reading an ebook in bed without the large keyboard jabbing your throat or chest is a good thing. Watching TV and surfing the web during commercials and then jumping to an online poll to vote on something that's presented on the tube.

There's numerous other uses, but it's key that they make it as easy as possible. That's why I think voice command and applications like viaVoice are so important. They're not up to snuff now, but hopefully they will be.
 

Archer

macrumors newbie
Jun 12, 2002
18
0
The full sized tablet as it is seen by MS is too large, just use a laptop. But as some have stated above a smaller, Netwon-sized tablet is very sexy. I don't like, never have, hidden keyboards or the chiclits. Just add a USB port for a keyboard. You knnow you're going to be carrying that keyboard around, perhaps the roll-up rubbery one.

However, the true power and elegance of all tablets will be when we have a WiFi type of experience in cities. The smaller than a laptop, but larger than current PDA's will be with a person everyday. But let's face the facts, this isn't coming from Apple or anyone else till the role of a tablet type device can be defined - exactly what does this do. When yiou can answer this question folks you better understand the devices size and perhaps even its apperance. Also, an infrastructure within cities to be WiFi Enabled will be key. And most importantly above all, battery life/cells have a longer charge. I believe the Tablet PC goes for a wopping 2 hours.

So in short, the Tablet idea as it is today, is a more expensive laptop with less features. What exactly do you want to do with your Tablet?
 

eric_n_dfw

macrumors 68000
Jan 2, 2002
1,507
55
DFW, TX, USA
Originally posted by pgwalsh
Then they would add a built in mic and heavy voice technology.
hehe - When I read that I immediately thought of Austin Powers giving agent Shagwell a backrub and saying "How does that feel baby?" in a real low voice. (If you haven't seen Austin Powers 2, this will make no sense)

That would be interesting "heavy voice" technology!

:D :D :D

[edit: corrected misquote of Austin]
 

johnpaul191

macrumors regular
Jan 5, 2002
139
0
Philadelphia PA
have you actually used inkwell? its good

it is darn impressive. i personally have TERRIBLE handwriting and it does a great job of translating mine. yes it might be pokier than a keyboard, but it is silent. there is talk of (does it exist now?) being able to take notes with inkwell and clicking right into drawing sketches as you go along. right now i am using it on the older graphire tablet, hooked up to a G4 with a 19" and 15" monitor. the only awkward thing i have to get used to is the square on the tablet is spread across both monitors, so if i start writing at the top left of the tablet, it goes to the top left of my desktop space (top of 15" monitor)... minor thing i have to work out or get used to. as for the software, it is impressive. it may be a little slower, but i make about as many mistakes as i do typing. within about 5 minutes of setting it up i was using it for talking to a few people on AIM. the button on the side of the pen toggles the pen from inkwell mode to mouse mode. i still have to set some of the prefs for my writing style, but all in all it is a very underrated feature in 10.2. it makes me wonder if inkwell in 10.2 is a way to field test inkwell with the masses and maybe tweak the software for a new device someday. the software is cool enough as is, but it seems like it has so much potential down the road.
 

Cappy

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2002
386
2
Actually a tablet system would have some advantages in the educational and some research fields. It would be more lightweight than a laptop of same screensize and the handwriting functions if powerful enough could be a boon to training just that, handwriting. Lets not forget such fields as the medical field where it could be used to pull up data in a more convenient way. There are a number of areas for such a device to succeed but the battery life, interface(this includes how good the HR is), and weight are the key. For many of the traditional computer users a laptop will probably be the best solution. This is why MS's PocketPC has failed on a number of fronts. They keep thinking in terms of the PC.
 

redAPPLE

macrumors 68030
May 7, 2002
2,615
2
2 Much Infinite Loops
Originally posted by agreenster
I dont know.....

The tablet PC seems akward. Maybe Im wrong, but all I can imagine is a messy, fingerprinted screen whose software wont recognize your handwriting especially since typing is so much faster anyway.

However, Alias has new tablet software....

Also, with HyperTransport being pushed by AMD and Apple, and the speculation surrounding their partnership.....anything is possible.

A HyperTransport Apple Tablet?

Hrmm.

Niche for sure.
this tablet computer (i hate using writing the "pc" when i talk about a mac) would, of course, not replace the notebook.

do not forget there are people who could not type (or not type fast enough).

i guess this thing would be used to check off stuff, for inventories, jotting down numbers, making crude diagrams. but never wordprocessing.
 

Dunepilot

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2002
880
0
UK
Originally posted by redAPPLE


this tablet computer (i hate using writing the "pc" when i talk about a mac) would, of course, not replace the notebook.

do not forget there are people who could not type (or not type fast enough).

i guess this thing would be used to check off stuff, for inventories, jotting down numbers, making crude diagrams. but never wordprocessing.
Well that's what PalmOS devices excel at now. There would be no real feature-gain by going to a tablet format for the things you described...

IMO a phone-like device is much more likely. If you've used the bluetooth Sony-Ericsson and imagine what apple could do with a similar device, then that seems to be the way to go. Also, closer integration of phones and computers is happening in a big way now. A friend of mine has all of his voicemail diverted to his PC in .wav files. Just imagine Apple leveraging the power of quicktime and their Rendesvous tech towards an apple-branded phone :cool: .

Don't forget, iTunes preceded the iPod, and the iPod was Apple's response to the need for a really good MP3 player. With Apple now pushing Rendesvous (and its .mac policy) a phone seems like the ultra-portable we'll get from them.
 

alset

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2002
1,262
0
East Bay, CA
Originally posted by redAPPLE

it will of course be a niche product. it should be directed to specialized markets like, hospitals, factories, etc..
You forgot Graphic designers. However, I figure this group will shun such a product in favor of a full power dual gig with a $150 tablet hooked up via USB. But everyone will still try to push it there, and some people will go for it.

Dan
 

dricci

macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2001
537
0
Take the TiBook. Rip off the keyboard and trackpad and LCD panel. Put the LCD panel on the keyboard side, and add a touch screen/stylus, maybe internal bluetooth as well... There's your tablet Mac. It'd have the same battery life as a portable, and would be lightweight. Same could be done to the iBook for the "i" line with the G3 (but probably a bit bulkier)...

As for use a notebook, well that's not always convienient... Think of the places clipboards are used. Inventory, Surveying, Doctors, etc... Imagine how an "electronic clipboard" could help in these every day uses. Instead of searching for patient records, a doctor could simply open up an secure wifi connection to the database server down the hall and pull up the patient records, sync their blood pressure results to it via bluetooth, look up drug information... etc... there are a lot of advantages over a clipboard, and where a notebook just wouldn't fit.

But my point is, it wouldn't be hard for apple to make one of these things. Take either of their portables, strap the LCD where the keyboard goes, and add a stylus.
 

voicegy

macrumors 65816
Put me on board!

What's kept me from running off to meetings with my fellow IT people without a Palm Pilot in hand?

I hate the dang things. They're too small.

So I drag my Titanium into meetings.

Well, that's too big!

So I use a yellow legal pad. Hey, it works. But it would be neat to tap a portion of that pad to check my e-mail and/or look up a web page that's germane to the meeting, or zap my just written notes to whomever I please. Will this happen? Hey, without a doubt.

I've been holding my breath for Apple to bring a "tablet to the table" and I have no doubt in my mind that they're ready to unveil sometime come next year. And I'll buy one so fast the accounting department won't know what hit 'em.
 

railthinner

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2002
177
0
just some thoughts:

What could one do with a tablet pc that can't be accomplished with an ibook and wacom tablet? I can't think of anything.

The tablet screen can and probably will get scratches -- wacoms are durable and optional. don't carry it when you don't need it.

having a tablet pc tacks on about $200 to the price a complarable notebook.

I've heard several people mention that you should or could carry a keyboard to plug into your tablet pc? why carry a keyboard as an extra? carry the tablet as an extra.

seems to me there's almost space under the keyboard and besides the track pad on a powerbook for a small "tablet" with some rearranging

how about if Wacom comes out with a tablet device that latches to the bottom of your ibook or tibook and slides out when you want to use it for writing?