Over the past couple of years there’s been a lot of hype about Apple releasing a tablet computer product. In recent weeks more details have been leaked to the press that Apple will be holding a press conference on January 26th. It’s speculated that Apple will announce a new product called “iSlate”, that would likely ship in March with a price in the range of $800 to $1,000. Gizmodo has put together a very good a article entitled The Exhaustive Guide to Apple Tablet Rumors, that tries to illustrate what the product will be based on patents and other details that have been leaked over the last couple of years.
While most conversations revolved around Apple when discussing Tablets, a large number of companies have released tablets in the past few days at CES 2010.
Dell has released a tablet called “Slate”, that is essentially an oversized iPod Touch running Android with a slot for a SIM card.
Microsoft and HP have announced a very impressive joint product called “Courier” that is a large book format tablet with multiple screens running Windows 7. Gizmodo has the first details on this new device.
On another, yet very similar note, there have been a number of netbooks announced that have touch screens where the keyboard can be folded below the monitor, similar to older TabletPC’s. Lenovo has also announced a notebook tablet called the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid that is in the rough stages of development, where the monitor can be completely removed to be taken with you, leaving the keyboard behind.
It’s been quite a while since I was excited about a new type of device; however the possibility of having a tablet is very interesting to me. With the development of Smartphones it’s become much easier to always stay connected without having to have a laptop with you, however the screen real estate can be very limiting when trying to take notes, read lengthy material, and reply to long e-mails.
I can definitely see a big market for a device roughly the size of a notepad for those occasions when a laptop is too big and our phones are simply too small. We’ll see what materializes from these rumors and prototypes.