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I don't know if a similar concept has been floated in the past, but if it has, I'm unaware of it.

So here's my idea:

A lot of people in AI's forums deride the idea of multi-touch on a desktop and I think those arguments hold a lot of weight. Who wants to hold their arms up to touch a screen when they use a desktop computer? But some folks do, and multi-touch would be a useful technology on a portable Tablet, obviously. And the designs of the iPod Touch/iPhone certainly hint at a winning design that can be extended for a larger Tablet product.

In keeping with Apple's dedication to simplicity of design and ease-of-use, I would like to see Apple create a product line that is centered around a larger, portable Tablet with multi-touch that has its own internal OS, a version of OSX like the iPod Touch/iPhone, but with expanded onboard software offerings.

Now, for the more powerful, processor hungry apps, Apple could create a companion product that is essentially a desktop-class docking station for the Tablet. The docking station would have all the power of the current iMac desktop lines, and the Tablet could be docked, either horizontally or vertically on the top of this work station. A mouse and keyboard would be connected to the desktop/dock and would turn the Tablet into a monitor for a desktop workstation, and the multi-touch could continue to work or be turned off when in the dock by a user preference setting. When the Tablet is docked, Apple would work some software magic to make the the Tablet automatically revert to using the workstation OS and its programs, and then revert back to its own internal OS when the Tablet is undocked. In system settings, the two systems (Tablet and Dock/Desktop) could be set to automatically sync information that the user wants to have portable: email, notes, calendar, pdfs, documents, etc.

And, the great thing about this setup, is that an infinite number of dock/desktop stations could be added as desired by the user: one at home, one at work, one wherever the user wants it. The Tablet could be docked and undocked in as many workstations as the user wished and the content would continually be kept up to date by syncing both between the Tablet and the dock/desktop and between all the different dock/desktops in use via the new .Mac service. Likewise, those that only want the Tablet would not have to use a dock/desktop station at all, but could sync to an existing workstation with via USB, like the current line of iPods/iPhones.

I hope the description is clear enough that you get the idea. I don't have any rendering skills, but would love to see something like this rendered.

I think this concept would go a long to placating the folks that want a Tablet, want a desktop with multi-touch, and want a single product to satisfy the many different ways that users might want to use such a device.

Any thoughts? Good concept? Bad? Any ways that you might improve upon the idea?
"A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions."
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"A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions."
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