Potential You Can Touch.

January 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm (Interests, Intrigued) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This Could Be Good

Today will be a simpler blog than normal, and that is because the Tech-obsessive side of me is rearing its head again.

What? Is this really my first blog about consumer electronics?

Well, there’s a first for everything…

So what brings all this on? Here’s My Simple Answer:

Here's A Mock Up of What it Might Look Like.

The Rumored Apple Tablet. (No Longer Rumored! See Update Below!)
In fact, I’m writing this about 30 min before the Apple press event where this product is rumored to be announced. I know I’m saying “rumored” a lot, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and there’s a LOT of smoke.

So what has me so geeked out about this product? That’s a good question, that has had some people wondering if the tablet will even be worth it.

A Star Trek Data Pad Thingy

Well, the simplest answer is that I’ve always waned one of those glass tablet things that everybody seems to hand around on Star Trek shows. You know, an engineer will come up and hand a tablet to the captain with some report on tachyon particles or some-such. (If I spelled Tachyon wrong, I don’t want to hear it. I’m not that big a trekkie.)

But in reality, there are a number of other reasons I’m excited as well. Starting with the practical, I could buy electronic versions of textbooks for it, and never have to buy a massive tome to lug around anymore (admittedly, this is less important now that school is winding down for me a little.) This would save my back and my wallet at the same time. Theoretically, an e-book would cost less than a printed volume (no printing fees,) and I could feel better for saving a few trees.

Another Mock Up

Similarly, I could subscribe to electronic magazines, newspapers and comic books, and take them to read on the go. This would actually increase my interest in subscribing to multiple magazines, comic books (and Journals and Professional Publications for Education and Creative Writing) which I don’t do at the moment because it’s more expensive and not that convenient, which a tablet could rectify.

Branching out a little, it would also be sweet and easy to be able to write while I’m out and about without having to take notepads. Furthermore, surfing the web would be nice, and having a number of applications would be pretty cool too.

Speaking of apps. If the graphics and processing capability is decent enough, gaming on the tablet could be pretty awesome as well. I’m mostly thinking about Real Time Strategy Games, which could benefit from the touch controls of the product.

Yet Another Mock Up

However, there are some worries, which I hope the live event will erase. There’s the chance that the tablet won’t be much more powerful than the iphone. It could still do much of what I said above, but that would rule out more graphically sophisticated and complex gaming, as well as likely removing the ability to run office-style programs. Will the screen be big enough for electronic comic books to be awesome, or will it be smaller, so that it is an annoyance? Also, just how expensive will this thing be? Will it be priced right for the content it provides?

Other concerns won’t be answered until the product has been in consumer hands for a while. How durable is it? Will it shatter the moment something untoward happens? Even if it can run high-powered games, will it be supported as a platform? Will it just be a glorified iPhone without the ability to make a call? If it does have support for electronic publications, how many publications will support it? Will they be the ones I want to read? Even if everything I want is on there, will it be cheaper content? It should be, because of the lack of a need to print, but bookstores and print-dependent organizations could buy off whomever necessary to keep the price equal or even higher (This happened to the recently released “PSP Go”, which is currently tanking around the world.)

There is so much potential that the likelihood for disappointment is also astronomical. I know most of you aren’t plugged into the tech world, but if you had been, you’d know that this is one of the most anticipated consumer electronic devices ever to be made. People are literally frothing at the mouth (as a warning, the comic below contains explicit language, and it comes from Penny-Arcade.com, I do not own it.

Penny arcade is a Hilarious Webcomic if you're okay with explicit content.

And I can’t blame them too much. I’m excited too.


The Tablet is out, and it’s called the iPad!

Very Pretty. (Thanks to IGN for the image

Not only does it look slicker than the mock-ups, it also has a very nice form factor to the way it’s curved and such. It looks like it could very well fulfill all of its promise, with IGN’s article on the Pad showing specs that promise a better degree of gaming than on the iPhone, as well as office program file compatibility, and the expected e-book store which could offer text books at cheaper prices and so forth.
The best part of the whole thing is that it is more reasonably priced than expected with the best model being sub 1000 dollars.

The screen adjusts depending on how you hold it.

Of course there are still many, many questions left to be answered, which I mentioned in my blog above. All in all, a win for Apple, I think.

– Edward

Oh, and if you missed it last time, don’t forget my Last Blog, on Faith and Religion in Gaming.

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