Originally posted by \\/\\/ickesWow, with the response to this post... you guys clearly don't know when I am joking... do you?
I didn't either. Smilies exist for a reason. Use them.
Back on topic: Since we don't appear to be limited to currently shipping technologies (or even physically possible technologies, per the Star Trek references!), here goes.
I want a tablet. Not anything like the MS crap, but a real, thought-through design: 300ppi OLED screen printed on heavy-gauge Mylar for durability, backed by an entirely solid-state machine with every part soldered down firmly (including a generous allotment of RAM). The board would be suspended in a carbon fiber cage (as the PowerBooks are) and shockmounted. The back and sides of the case would be designed to act as a crumple zone in case the machine was dropped, to minimize hard shock to the machine itself, and all edges would be trimmed in rubber. The case could be easily replaced in the event that it got broken, as could the screen if it somehow got dented or torn (the material I'm thinking of is a type of polyester film used for drumheads - most varieties are tested to withstand pressures of 1000-1800psi, so it's not easy to accomplish the former, nor especially easy to do the latter). Since everything is solid-state, the machine would be thin and like, and it would last long on battery power. It would have onboard Bluetooth and 802.11*, a USB port for peripherals, and FireWire and Ethernet jacks for high speed communication (including syncing to another Mac), a headphone jack and a power jack. A bluetooth stylus - nice and plump in the ergonomic style, not one of those chopstick designs - would be included, and replacements would be inexpensive. The back would include a picture frame stand that could be released to perch the tablet upright for use with a keyboard and mouse when convenient. There would be sizes from about paperback dimensions up through a 16:10 about the size of legal paper for more high-end work.
Software wise, the tablet would run the same OS X available anywhere else, so the following updates would be in place in OS X:
- No-apologies HWR, widely and transparently supported (this is IMO why Apple is shipping InkWell with no obvious use yet - it has to be refined and broadly supported by applications before Apple can build hardware around it);
- Frameworks updated to enable the sort of dynamism NewtonScript supported, but built on (and within) existing OS X technologies (this shouldn't be all that hard in Cocoa at least);
- Full support for gestures, a la Newton;
- Adaptive energy-saving mode for wireless networking, that profiles applications for network use (so that it can shut off if none of the applications currently running use the network) and is otherwise smart about when to be on and when to be off;
- Support for pressure sensitivity and pen angle (sorry Wacom!);
- Resolution independent UI.
Besides revealing exactly how far away I think a workable tablet is
, this would rock my world. A light, durable, powerful and network-savvy companion that I could sync at high speed with other Macs, and with which I could work in whatever manner I pleased (on the couch with a pen, on the desk with a keyboard, on the couch with a keyboard and the screen sitting upright on the coffee table, etc.).