As the day of the apple tablet release is nearing, there are so many rumours floating about what the tablet would be and what it's core functionality would be. I thought let me document my thoughts too before the device arrives so that I can brag if my thoughts become true.
The apple tablet could be like Lenovo's hybrid laptop/tablet or a hybrid handheld/tablet. Or it could be like MSI's laptop where the keyboard area is replaced with another display for ebook reading with an option to load a virtual keyboard if needed (this virtual keyboard area could just used a e-ink based display to save power consumption).
My most probable guess is that the apple tablet will be an iPhone with a bigger screen and better processor and more memory/storage, better graphics card with 3D support for better gaming experience. It will have all of the features of an iPhone like multitouch, GPS, WIFi, one touch power on, etc. The operating system will be a hybrid of a mac OS (which means you can install any application, like flash for example) and iphone OS. It will have ability to run all of the existing iphone apps. It would also serve as an ereader for books, magazines and newspapers and even for textbooks (which the college crowd would love). It would have better handwriting recognition and also maybe better voice recognition. It better have some kind of an embedded webcam so that it enables users to do video chat and maybe even take pictures if needed. It would be better if the tablet also has USB or firewire ports just like a macbook.
With respect to the ereader functionality, the question that still ponders me is that whether would that be just yet another app on the app store or would it have an e-ink mechanism (static display without need for screen refresh) to save power consumption (the device could also have the regular LCD display mechanism when not used for reading books). Another question that ponders my mind is whether iTunes will start selling magazines, newspapers and ebooks (or even chapters of books) just like songs? News Corp's Rupert Murdoch would love the idea if iTunes enables newspaper companies to sell Content.
With respect to enabling better gaming experience, another question I have is whether the tablet will have enhanced hardware improvements (maybe an attached game controllers which just slide from the side? (so that it feels like holding a gameboy while playing games) or maybe 3D or even holographic display makes sense for gaming and maybe even for watching movies) or would it just be the kick ass software that would make the tablet THE gaming device. Because rumors are that it could have both.
I cant wait to see if apple comes up with a novel user input mechanism or interface, which just blows our mind (similar to how the multitouch on the iPhone blew our mind when it was released). Would the tablet have a scroller wheel on the sides (similar to a blackberry) for easily traversing between apps,content, etc? One million dollar question I have is whether the tablet would have some significant hardware improvement over the iphone/macbook or would it be some bad ass software on the tablet that would blow our mind (because most of the innovations mentioned above could be just as well done in software without any hardware improvement)....we shall know in 2 days.