When the new Apple tablet gets released, will you buy one?
TRICK QUESTION. Did I fool you? Did you already tab out to pre-order on Amazon? I did, and I was the one writing that sentence. Approximately one bajillion rumors are circulating around about Apple’s fabled foray into tablet PC territory, but so far there’s no solid proof. But, like Mulder, naturally I want to believe.
WTF is a tablet? Should I care?
A tablet computer is basically just a laptop without a top, usually coupled with a stylus or featuring a touchscreen. And touchscreen is the name of the game for Apple. I’ve still yet to use any kind of touch device worth a damn that didn’t feature a little piece of forbidden fruit with a bite out of it when you turned it over. You may hate tapping and swiping your way around, but Apple still rocks touchscreen technology. Why wouldn’t they make a tablet? If you consider the iPhone as a teensy little prototype, it makes perfect sense.
According to prophecy, and also CNN, a Mac tablet will completely obliterate the need for other gadgets. Combining the features of a MacBook, an iPhone, a Kindle and God, it will herald the end of days. Personally, I love thinking about the Armageddon, so I’ve got my head on straight here. And I’m just not sure the Apple tablet’s mesmerizing, impossibly beautiful screen will be the super glossy face of my maker.
This relates to how I really don’t get netbooks. Have you seen people in cafes with freakishly tiny little baby computers that look like they just got born? Those are usually netbooks. They’re meant to be extremely mobile laptops you can carry around to surf the web. And they generally have a data plan so you can be online almost anywhere, like with a smartphone. Netbooks don’t handle heavy lifting very well, so don’t try to do any fancy shit in Photoshop or open four programs at once to show off or anything. They will explode.
I imagine Apple would want to compete with netbooks, since the only thing like that in their lineup is the MacBook Air, which nobody seems to own. Probably because it’s stupid to pay more for less, even if it weighs negative 2 ounces. A tablet could make us forget all about the MacBook Air, and they already have it designed- just put the iPhone on steroids! Maybe give us some real word processing too, that’d be nice. If you’ve seen any images of the Mac tablet online, 1. They are fake (“artistic renderings” blah, blah) 2. They just look like overgrown iPhones- sweet! And 3. People will believe anything you make in Photoshop. Usually.
But where do I put it?
I’m almost sold. Really I just have one hangup. Well, it’s kind of a biggie, I guess: What the hell do I do with it? If I already use my laptop as a quasi-desktop computer (hooking it up to a big monitor, a mouse, a dock, etc. when I’m home) and as portable computer (I put it in my bag, I go places, I use it in those places) then where does the Apple tablet fit? Yeah, internet anywhere would be cool, but I’m too poor for that, unless they gave us some kind of combined data plan. And netbooks are underpowered enough so that I probably wouldn’t be able to play embarrassing games while opening eight thousand programs at once while posting YouTube videos of myself doing that in realtime. And that’s how I roll.
I mean, my iPhone does a lot of stuff. It’s a music player, game console (meh, not quite pleased with this so far), e-reader, GPS thinger and it lets me sext. I’m just not certain that there’s a technological niche between my iPhone and my MacBook for the Apple Tablet to desperately wedge itself into. The Apple tablet might be smallish, but it won’t fit in my pocket. That gives it no meaningful size advantage over my light 13″ aluminum darling. And it’s less discreet, meaning I can’t openly use it in boring meetings or late at night on the train when I don’t feel like getting robbed.
Oh yeah- It doesn’t exist!
So we’ve established that the existing Mac menagerie already does most of the stuff that the tablet will do. Except we haven’t. Because the funny part is that the Apple tablet is still just an unconfirmed rumor. For all we know the Mac tablet might run Windows Vista and toast bread. Or maybe Apple execs are just too high on the smell of money to notice that we want one. We have no idea whatsoever. In the mean time, we have to speculate with as much conviction as we can muster as Apple plays it cool and watches us totally freak out over something they may not even be intending to manufacture. Either way, I think I can cope.
That doesn’t mean I won’t buy an Apple Tablet, were it to ever hop out of Steve Jobs’ head like Athena sprung from Zeus’s. It just means I need to figure out where it fits. Like when you get a new ottoman and you just aren’t sure where to put it or why you bought it when you were at that weird garage sale. Except that ottomans are really lame and boring and why would you want one when you could buy an Apple tablet?