Rumor: Touch-based Mac Tablet Coming in October

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Apple is planning on releasing at 9.7-inch touch interface Mac tablet in October, or at least that's what the latest rumors are claiming. According to a report in China Times (translation), the tablet device will sell for about US$800, but additional details about the alleged device are slim.

Foxconn, the same company that builds the iPhone, has apparently been tapped to manufacture the new device and displays are expected to come from Wintek.

Consumers have been hoping for a tablet-based computer from Apple for some time, although the company has steered away from building such a device. Should the latest rumors pan out, shoppers could be able to pick up their OS X-based tablets in time for the holiday season.

[Thanks to 9 to 5 Mac for the heads up.]

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8 Comments Leave Your Own

JonGl

Pshaw. Make it the size of my Newton 2100, and I’ll be happy. Make it this big, and give me a keyboard like my Wind. But don’t make it this big, and give it a touch interface. blah.

-)on

Lee Dronick

“Consumers have been hoping for a tablet-based computer from Apple for some time”

From what I read it isn’t so much the consumers that want an Apple tablet, but it is the pundits. Also as JonGI says the size isn’t quite right. However, maybe it will be a clamshell design that has a touch keyboard and a “regular” monitor, maybe the keyboard can mirror the monitor, both being displays, so that you can draw or something without blocking the screen with your finger. If Apple does a tablet you can bet it won’t be a “me too design”, it will be something that will leave others to say “Why didn’t I think of that?”

JonGl

However, maybe it will be a clamshell design that has a touch keyboard and a ?regular? monitor, maybe the keyboard can mirror the monitor, both being displays, so that you can draw or something without blocking the screen with your finger. If Apple does a tablet you can bet it won?t be a ?me too design?, it will be something that will leave others to say ?Why didn?t I think of that??

Actually, it’s already been done by the One Laptop Per Child group—and it’s Linux-based. wink

-)on

deasys

Make it the size of my Newton 2100, and I?ll be happy.

The iPod touch’s screen has the same resolution as the Newton 2100’s—480 x 320. However the iPod touch’s screen is in glorious color, not 16-bit greyscale.

Make it this big, and give me a keyboard like my Wind. But don?t make it this big, and give it a touch interface

To each his own. I would prefer the reliability, flexibility, and compactness of a chiclet-free portable.

JonGl

The iPod touch?s screen has the same resolution as the Newton 2100?s?480 x 320. However the iPod touch?s screen is in glorious color, not 16-bit greyscale.

It’s the same resolution, but physically smaller. Think of a screen the size of the Newton’s but much higher resolution. The iPhone is great for a phone, and short-term use, but for real use, I still prefer my Newton’s size, especially for writing or navigating. Apple’s done an excellent job of making the iPhone useable in such a small space, but give yourself some breathing room, and you have a much nicer system in actual use. Back in the days when the Palm was actually competing with the Newton, it was common amongst us Newton users—Palm for carrying, and Newton for working. Apple could most certainly now, what with technology as it is, produce a device with the Newton’s screen real estate, but much smaller and easier to handle. but 9.7” is just too big for handheld use while standing or moving (or riding the bus or tram) wink BTW, notice the complaints about the Kindle2. That’s the proposed size for the Apple tablet. Doesn’t, IMO, bode well…

Make it this big, and give me a keyboard like my Wind. But don?t make it this big, and give it a touch interface

To each his own. I would prefer the reliability, flexibility, and compactness of a chiclet-free portable.

At 9.7” I don’t see it being flexible, or compact. It’s just a tad too big. That’s almost as big as my Wind’s screen (10.1”). Just sitting here, looking at it, it would be, to me, too unwieldy for handheld use, so you are using it on a table, but it’s lying flat, or on your lap—flat. If it’s vertical, it’s too wide to wrap your hand around. As I sit here typing this, I keep picking up my Wind, and playing with it, and I just don’t see it being something that people will be clammering for. Sure, some of us will love it, but it’s not a mass-appeal device that Apple has been aiming for.

Upshot—-I will believe the rumors when we see the genuine Apple deal. I just don’t see this being what Apple will sell. I’m a boring, average person. I don’t have wild-outside-the-box ideas. I’m not a pundit, nor a gadget geek. I want simple things that work. (although, I’ll admit my long-term usage and love of my Newton does put me outside the norm—but that’s only because I’ve found nothing to truly replace it). I really don’t think my thinking is too far off the mark from what people want. But—we’ll see in October or January, won’t we. wink

-)on

Dean Lewis

9.7” is right around the size of a piece of paper or paper notebook.  I never had any problem using paper in a bus or tram. Not having to jockey a pen/stylus at the same time is a bonus, and the paper didn’t give me access to multiple bits of software. I think 9-10” is about the right size—but that maybe because I’m a Star Trek geek and can’t wait for my real PADD or holodeck (which real is only a couple years away, at least for putting us into the screen if not a full room hologram…)

This will be another device, like the Air, that is for a particular segment of people: those who want a something larger than an iPhone but smaller than a laptop, as well as those whose big fat fingers just are too cramped on a netbook keyboard. Gestures and the occasional use of a resizable keyboard are key to us big square hand folks with carpal tunnel waiting to turn our hands into claws while using little netbooks.

jfbiii

RUMOR: Rumors about Apple tablet to persist into late 2010.

MacSpudster

Rumor: Rumors will persist until Webster removes Rumor from its dictionary.

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