The Perfect Tablet

Apple announced their new iPad 2 today. It looks OK, I guess: thinner, faster, dual cameras, etc. Oh, and it’s available on Verizon and AT&T. Nothing unexpected.  One day I hope to see my dream tablet.

1. It fits in my pocket.

No, I don’t expect everyone to start wearing pants with comically over-sized pockets, nor do I consider 5 inch devices to be “tablets”. The perfect tablet can be collapsed, folded, rolled-up, or otherwise shrunk enough to fit inside a standard pocket. Impossible, you say? Well, it won’t be out this year, but this technology is coming soon. Once this happens the last barriers to tablet portability disappear.

2. Light weight, but not fragile

A merging of tablet and e-reader technology is probably inevitable and people are moving from occasional tablet use to more extended periods of use. Lighter tablets that are easier to hold for longer times are needed, but the hardware must not sacrifice durability or hardware quality standards.

3. A screen I can read anywhere for as long as I want

I want to read in a dark room and outside at noon on a sunny day and everywhere in between. Glare must die. But simply fixing issues with screen reflection is not enough; LCD screens produce eye strain issues after long term use. Electronic ink doesn’t strain the eyes, but that technology has it’s own problems, such as the speed of the display. The perfect tablet takes the best of both worlds.

4. I can choose the input device

Most consumers prefer using their fingers for tablet input, however for business uses (and some games) where filling out forms, signature capture, and precision input is required a pen or stylus is far more precise. Other users would love a physical keyboard or a voice command system. The perfect table lets the user decide rather than mandating the input controls. The device can’t sacrifice response speed or sensitivity though.

5. Universal connectivity

Why should I have to pick my carrier when I buy a tablet? Why can’t I move it from one carrier to the next? Why do I have to buy a new device to take advantage of new (4G) communication options? The perfect tablet would allow you to change your communication and connectivity choices at any time.

6. My device, my apps

Don’t tell me what software that I can and cannot install on my tablet. App Stores and moderated content has it’s place, but the perfect tablet lets you install any software you want. If there is a real business or personal need to install an application that hasn’t or cannot go through an app stores rigid content control system I should be able to override that control without complicated unlocking or hacking of my device.

7. Hardware updatable

My perfect tablet lets me add more disk space or RAM whenever I want. I could also swap out the CPU, graphic processor, or physical shell.

Thinking this is too much like a desktop or laptop computer and not enough like a tablet? Well, I guess that’s the lesson here: the perfect tablet is a PC that fits in your pocket. No matter how good or useful as the current tablet options might be, they have a way to go before they reach that level.

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