With Apple’s mythical tablet supposedly being unveiled next week and tons of companies trying to beat them to the punch: a lot of people are talking about the perfect tablet. Here’s my take.
The perfect tablet needs to fill the -somewhat narrow- gap between smart phones and netbooks. The iPhone has a 3.5″ 480×320 display and weighs under 5oz. The typical netbook has a 10″ 1024×600 display and weighs under 3lbs. A tablet will compete with ereaders so those must be kept in mind as well. The Kindle has a 6″ 600×800 display and it weighs 10oz.
So tablet should have a 7-9″ with at least 800×600 resolution up to either a 1024×800 or 1280×720 depending on aspect ratio. It should weigh between one and two pounds with lighter being better except at the expense of battery life. A 2lb tablet with 6 hours of battery life will out sell a 1lb device with just 2 hrs. And battery life is key meaning that the hardware should either a snapdragon ARM or Nvidia’s tegra: both can power HD video at a smart phone level power draw. The screen should be the Pixel Qi as it supports multi-touch and conserve power in e-ink mode. Not to mention helping any tablet compete with the dedicated ereaders. As for OS you have two choices really: windows 7 or Android. Win 7 has the advantage of easy transition from PCs but may bring with that unrealistic expectations. Droid has much promise but is still a tad high on the potential to actual software ratio. Lastly, the perfect tablet should include the most commonly overlooked port in these devices: SD. People bring netbooks on vacation for web or work sure – but also to view/backup digicam pics which is why an SD slot is crucial to utility.
So to summarize the “Perfect Tablet” with currently available hardware:
- 8.9″ Pixel Qi 1024×600 multi-touch screen
- Nvidia Tegra CPU/GPU
- Wireless: b/g/n & BT
- 60GB 1.8″ HD or SSD
- 256MB RAM
- Ports: Headphones, mini USB, SD
- 256 x 134 x 17 mm
- 800 grams
- Android 2.1
- 10 hr battery life
* dimensions taken from the Archos 9 tablet