[Editorial] Is Future Tablet Design Already Here?

Posted on Mar 20 2012 - 3:16pm by Doug Puccetti

I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking as of late, and wondered what the future tablets would look like. And to be honest, I found out the future might already be here. There are a few different designs when it comes to tablets. Like color, shape, screen size, weight, thickness, etc, but with all that aside I think there is one major design implementation that really scored big. And the prize would have to go to ASUS with their Transformer Line. The ability to dock and un-dock your tablet to and from a keyboard, which also supplies additional battery, is genius. But why am I wasting my time with this when its something you might already know?

Here’s the thing, The dock-able keyboard bridges the gap between tablet and netbook so easily. Here’s a question, What if the iPad did this? Essentially making their tablet into a ‘Mac Net-book-thingy’. If Apple ever rehauled their iOS to look slightly different and more like a portable Macbook, then this idea would be perfect. A few cosmetic changes on the iPads end (like docking port on the side of the device for landscape docking) would make this a monumental idea (too bad ASUS beat everyone to the punch). Granted the way iOS is set up now would work fine as well. You would still have the cases with the built in keyboards, but for people who want longer battery life and a more uniform design, a hinge-able keyboard is the way to go.

ASUS has already mentioned developing Windows 8 tablets, one can only hope for them to be in the Transformer series. Just imagine, an 11.6 inch touch screen tablet with 1366 x 768 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio (optimized for Windows 8). Because it would be running the Windows Operating System, you still will be able to use all your games, programs, and work applications on it just like you would your PC at home. The tablet could then dock in to a full size ‘hinge-able’ keyboard adding 2 additional usb ports, Ethernet port, a track pad mouse and 8+ more hours of battery life. Hinge it shut and be on the go with your tablet that looks like a netbook/laptop. Honestly, with some of the windows tablets out now (Samsung Series 7 Slate) that run Core i5 and 4GB of ram, this could easily replace my laptop and maybe even my desktop.

The one problem is price. So far, the ASUS Transformer Prime 32GB (Android Tablet with Hinge-able keyboard dock) sells for about $650 on Ebay while the New 32GB iPad sells for $700 by itself, and the current Windows 7 tablet optimized for Windows 8 will set you back a good $900-$1,000. Add the Hinge-able keyboard dock to the mix and you’re looking at a price increase of $150-$200.

Wouldn’t it be ideal if people could have one device that could be their tablet and function as netbook/laptop? Maybe this would give more people a reason to buy a tablet who don’t want to commit to just using touchscreen or bringing a keyboard and mouse with them everywhere they go. I give the kudos to ASUS. This is a step in the right direction.

What are your thoughts about Future Tablet design?

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