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iSlate: a Mac-iPhone Hybrid Apple on Tuesday?

August 6, 2007

iPhone / Mac Hybrid Slate ConceptAs Apple prepares to make a Mac-related hardware announcement on Tuesday, my thoughts inevitably turn to my dream machine — a potent hybrid of the iPhone multitouch interface and full Mac OS X functionality melded into a sleek and totable tablet.

While the scale of the hype around the event likely portends a less-revolutionary change (i.e., a major revamp of the iMac), I can still hope that the new machine(s) — whatever they might turn out to be — will give some hint of future fusion of the now-branched lines in Apple’s evolutionary tree. Apple’s patent filings are already strongly hinting at such a machine, one that will finally bring life (with no small irony) to Bill Gates’ unrealized vision for tablet computing.

My initial experiences with the Lenovo X61T Tablet PC show that the concept is solid — the machine is powerful enough for day-to-day computing while providing a uniquely-useful form factor for tasks like ebook reading, drawing or light web browsing. Where it stumbles is in its interface. The Vista touch implementation still feels like a superficial and inadequate layer on top of a fundamentally mouse-centered paradigm. I find myself constantly having to switch between fingertip, stylus and keyboard to get things done.

A more deeply-designed touch interface — like the iPhone’s — minimizes such discontinuities. Tasks flow fluidly and naturally, and the user is shielded from the underlying machinery whenever possible (good-bye, Vista confirmation screens!). That’s the real magic that makes the iPhone special, and I’m looking forward to using it on a future multitouch Mac.

Maybe tomorrow?

Update: Apple has announced major upgrades to the iMac, Mac Mini, iLife, iWork and .Mac. No iSlate or iTablet… yet.

7 comments

  1. http://pressposts.com/Books/iSlate-Mac-iPhone-Hybrid-Apple-on-Tuesday/

    Submited post on PressPosts.com – “iSlate: a Mac-iPhone Hybrid Apple on Tuesday?”


  2. Luv this post. Maybe the Mac theme, maybe the perspective: i’d like to think what struck me is the writing quality.
    I lost tracks of the microsoft table (frankly a dinosaiur idea, as I see it), and gladly I have no experience of vista. I only know
    that the first promo movies explaining how vista worked were realized with apple computing/graphic devices.
    Well, I’ll search for tablets then.
    Thanks again.


  3. Maybe it’s not a novelty for anybody here, but I found this stuff about the iSlate, and I want to share since I enjoyed it.

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan06/articles/leader.htm

    cheers again.


  4. Society has been talking about going paperless for years now and while we won’t quite go paperless, one of the catalyst for the transformation in my mind has been the e-reader device and once devices like islate and Sony’s reader etc. become as prevalent as the desktop, we’ll see fewer and fewer books. I especially like the idea of college textbooks going ebook.


  5. Efialte, thanks for the link. We can only hope that such a future will come to pass.

    Philip, I agree —college textbooks are an ideal target for ebooks. The target audience is savvy and amenable to activities in the digital realm. It seems that publishers are starting to come around, becoming more receptive to the idea. Surely, it’s just a matter of time (and, as you said, a bit of technology development).


  6. […] iSlate: a Mac-iPhone Hybrid Apple on Tuesday? iSlate vs. iPhone: A Clear Reading Advantage iPhone and eBooks: the Video iPhone and iPod: Dense Pixels, Happy Eyes eBook Reader Technology Scorecard […]


  7. iSlate is going to change the world like the iPhone did! http://www.iSlate.org



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