This Wednesday morning, Apple will be holding an event in San Francisco that will feature the debut of their oft-rumored and long-awaited tablet device. We've been keeping tabs on the rumors just like you, and that's what we're basing the following bits of speculation and pieces of expectation on. Stay with G4 all week for our onslaught of iBook/iSlate/Canvas/Newton 2: The Newtoning coverage, and be sure to catch Attack of the Show this Wednesday at 7PM (EST) for expert analysis and opinions of Apple's major announcement!
Patrick Klepek, News Editor
When I travel, I like to read. When I travel, I like to read comic books. So far, I've managed to hold off on investing in an e-book because the lack of color means it'd eliminate the possibility of subscribing to one of my favorite mediums in a digital format. I'm not expecting Apple's tablet to introduce colored, affordable e-ink, but it's a step in the right direction for my preferred take on portable media. I'm curious whether the mythical tablet is anything more than a giant iPod touch, however. That's not to say a massive iPod Touch with more advanced computing power wouldn't be an interesting development, but the too-many-to-count rumors about Apple's new device have me more interested in sitting back and waiting to see what happens. Of course, that's not stopping me from speculating here anyway!
The question pertinent to many G4 readers, however: will it be a gaming device? No doubt, the tablet will have immediately compatibility with most, if not all, existing games for the iPhone and iPod Touch platforms. The ones that will stand out will be the games with art assets, interfaces and gesture inputs designed to accomodate the bigger screen. We should see those at the event, but it'll take some time before the thousands of developers catch up (or are even willing to).
Andrew Pfister, Sr. Games Editor
The tablet is coming at a potentially opportune time for me: I'm in need of a mobile computing solution that's more powerful and flexible than an iPhone (you're great, honey, even if you're a little slow sometimes), but I'm not sure if I necessarily need a full-fledged laptop. The concept of a larger multi-touch surface is exciting, and I've got a blossoming crush on the idea of digital publications, so the big question mark leading up to the grand reveal is the price. The rumored range of $600-$1000 is the no-man's land between the iPhone and the MacBook: how those two technologies cross-pollinate is going to be the deciding factor.
But that's just for my selfish, personal needs. For gaming in general, even if the screen is bigger and the games look better, any price tag higher than $300 means that the device will have to figure prominently into your everyday tech life to justify the purchase. Games on the iPhone take a (enjoyable) backseat to its primary function as a phone. That will likely be the case with whatever the tablet's primary function ends up being.
One thing is for certain: No matter how big it is, if it looks like an iPhone, I'm going to be compelled to try to fit it into my pocket. And that will be amusing to watch.
Jake Gaskill, Feed Writer
Considering I’ve never purchased a first-generation Apple product in my life, I’m not even going to start taking the iTablet seriously as something I would personally own for at least a few years (see every Apple product’s evolution). But while I can’t really see any reason why I would buy one at this point, I’m sure once I see it demoed it next week it will become all too clear to me why my life would be incomplete without it, at which point I will proclaim something along the lines of:
"I would like to welcome our new iTablet overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted G4 writer, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground App caves."
Seriously though, I can’t wait to see what the cases are going to look like. I’m pulling for an over-sized version of my rubberized iPhone case. How delightfully silly!
Eric Eckstein, Director of Gaming Editorial
I have no idea what the Apple Tablet is going to be, if there even is an Apple tablet and it's not just an iPhone for people with larger hands. I expect it to be some sort of glorified e-reader, which would be awesome if didn't cost more than $100 and let me get comic book subscriptions and Entertainment Weekly. Of course, none of this has to do with gaming which is kind of what I expect from the new announcement. Gaming instead is a byproduct; it's something that app developers salivate over as they imagine their games (or new ones) on a bigger screen with more functionality (and more customers!), but if rumors hold true and the device is 10" in length, it's not really a replacement for handheld gaming. Now, if it does sport a camera with facial recognition, that could be a real game changer in the way Natal may change game interface and control. But who knows?! We will soon!
Brian Leahy, Previews Editor
There are two things I want in an Apple tablet: out-of-the-box compatibility with all of my iPhone apps and unlimited data at no extra cost through my iPhone contract. On the first, I expect this could be true. The iPhone OS is already a mobile-sized version of OSX and should be able to run a tablet with some powerful hardware. Apple would also be crazy not to further monetize the thousands of applications released on the App Store. On the second, I don’t think it will happen because AT&T obviously hates iPhone users and the last thing they want is Apple fans actually using their data connections. I’m sure it will have Wi-Fi so I can enjoy constantly be annoyed that every hotspot I come upon is owned by T-Mobile and not AT&T…
Sterling McGarvey, Sr. Reviews Editor
It’s tough for me to muster excitement about the rumored tablet. Unlike many of my co-workers, I’m pretty neutral on Apple. The iPhone 3G I got a year ago is the first Apple product I’ve ever owned. I’m thrilled with my phone -- I hope that the new OS brings some great new features -- but I’m finding it very difficult to get excited or speculate on this tablet. The idea of a huge iPod Touch sounds nice for apps, but I can’t really see myself investing in a new gadget less than a year after I got a netbook.
I suppose I’ll have to just see what the gaming implications are for the device and how it can fulfill a need in my household. But ultimately, tech stuff isn’t really my domain for early adoption. If Apple’s rumored tablet is something truly awesome, I’ll probably wait until the second or third generation when some big improvement gets implemented and the previous versions are rendered utterly irrelevant. Wait…that’s why I still don’t have an iPod.
Stephen Johnson, Troubled
I don’t care about the Apple Tablet. It will end up being another thing I leave on a subway or throw at Jake Gaskill. I understand all the benefits this Tablet could bring to my life, but I don’t care. I don’t care that it might connect to iPhones (don’t have one); I don’t care that I can play games with my friends (don’t have any); and I don’t care that could make my life better (fat chance).
Is that clear enough? I’m drowning in stupid gadgets I paid a lot of money for that somehow didn’t manage to fill the emptiness at the center of my being. Now go away and leave me alone with my gin and my shotgun.
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Interested in the tablet? What kind of features would be most important to you? Is there a price ceiling that you wouldn't be willing to go over?
And be sure to tune-in to Attack of the Show this Wednesday at 7pm Eastern for in-depth analysis and expert opinion of this story.