A Mac tablet would be a welcome addition to tablet PCs

Maybe the current success of the company's touchscreen products, the iPhone and iPod touch, can convince the company to expand touchscreens up its product line

It would not be the end of a slow news week without more rumors concerning an Apple product with a large touchscreen. Some call it a netbook, others say a so-called "mediapad" is probably on the way, and now comes word of a "tablet" Mac, rumored to be headed our way in 2010. What gives?

I think the rumors all describe a single device, This is the oversized iPod touch that I'm calling the media pad, but could also be seen to be a small tablet or even a netbook without a physical keyboard, just one that appears on-screen.

Some have started calling this a tablet, which is true enough, but makes me think of Microsoft's not-very-successful tablet effort. Apple, I think, could do better.

Suppose Apple were to do a tablet PC right. Call it the MacPad: A MacBook or MacBook Pro with both a keyboard and a screen suitable for writing or drawing. It would be a major departure from current Apple touchscreens, which are not intended for use with a stylus--useful for drawing or notetaking.

This dual mode touchscreen could prove very interesting, allowing more handwriting recognition that could potentially drive Mac sales and improve applications. Artists and photographers, many of whom already use third-party graphics tablets, would presumably flock to the new tablet MacBooks.

Handwriting could become a much more standard part of Mac apps. Microsoft has tried this, but Windows tablet PC hardware remains far from common. Apple might better popularize a computer that is optimized for handwriting than Microsoft's partners have been able to.

Apple might also be able to figure out, finally, the best way to turn a keyboard-based laptop into a pad and back again. Swivel screen? Hinge? Apple's industrial design team could take an innovative approach to the challenge.

This is all speculation--brainstorming, almost--because even the most optimistic rumors have not pointed toward this sort of machine, though it's something Apple has doubtless considered (and rejected) at some point.

Maybe the current success of the company's touchscreen products, the iPhone and iPod touch, can convince the company to expand touchscreens up its product line. As for the current rumors, they seem to all reference a single device, with a touchscreen, and perhaps running iPhone 3.0 software.

It will be intended primarily for entertainment, to be sure, but will also likely sport its share of business apps, just as the iPhone now does. The persistence and increasing frequency of these rumors could indicate that Apple is thinking big, but I hope Apple will think bigger still, at least where touchscreens are concerned.

David Coursey actually has a tablet PC. He tweets as dcoursey and is available via e-mail from www.coursey.com/contact.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPhoneipodipod touchtablet PCsapple mac

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Coursey

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?