I’ve been thinking about this a little bit… Is there any point in a writer getting a tablet computer – to write with?
At the moment – the ultimate tablet for writers doesn’t exist. What would it have if the ultimate tablet DID exist?
Ultimate Writer Tablet Scenario 1
It would have a normal sized and backlit IBM chicklet style (Edge 14 style) wireless keyboard – low profile, easily stored in a case that also held the tablet.
The tablet screen would be about 10 inches diagonal. It would be thin like the iPad. It would have an epaper screen that the Kindle uses – it’s phenomenal for reading -and for writing – I imagine it would be an improvement on the current computer screens as well as better than using an IBM selectric typewriter on paper. I think it’s going to prove impossible to create an epaper screen that also somehow converts to a beautiful color LED screen for surfing online. If the epaper screen was a clip on screen that went over the LED screen – that’d be cool. I’d go for that. It would also store neatly and be protected well in the case.
The ideal writer’s tablet doesn’t necessarily have to have anything but a writing program in it. It could be as simple as what I’ve mentioned. Writers are to focus on writing. Like the current Kindle helps readers focus only on reading – and getting new books downloaded – the ultimate writers tablet will focus only on helping writers WRITE. It will help you do this by not having any connection to the internet at all. No distractions. Some writers NEED this. I’ll admit I would use it a lot – taking it to my favorite writing spots and knowing I wouldn’t have a chance of going online to check email during my writing hours.
In scenario 1 this tablet would have USB ports and 2-5GB of flash memory, and run on battery for 24 hours.
Cost? About $300.
Ultimate Writer Tablet Scenario 2
One flat tablet, with no external keyboard. The keyboard would be virtual and built into the software – available with a right pinky tap anytime and show up over ANY application. The keyboard would be variably transparent 10-80% and easily adjustable. The keyboard would be full size, or, ideally, customizable size for your hands. If your hands are small – the keyboard can be adjusted to a smaller reach and key size so you can easily type. Likewise, those with large monkey hands can adjust it for their hands.
With each keystroke there would be excellent haptic feedback. That’s a short vibration that tells you a key was pushed enough to cause a character to be written. I have it on my Xpress Music 5800 mobile touchscreen by Nokia in 2008, and it’s EXCELLENT. We’ll need it on the second iteration of the ultimate tablet for writers too.
The size of the device would be about 12 inches long, perhaps even 13. The reason for the larger size is that the keyboard must be big enough to fit all hands. Maybe it needs to be 14 inches wide?
The tablet would be WIFI and 3G/4G enabled. The screen would be similar to or exactly the same as the iPhone’s Retina display – ultra sharp, ultra bright. The display would have very little glare.
Because it will be reaching the internet and substituting for a notebook computer at times, the ultimate tablet 2 should have 64GB of flash memory, USB ports, HDMI port, card readers, and wireless capability (Bluetooth).
If the battery ran for 24 hours – that’d be great. Even 12 hours would be good enough.
Cost? About $500.
I haven’t bought a tablet yet. I can’t see the point of it. Right now I use a $600 HP ProBook 4310s notebook computer with 3GB RAM, Windows XP Pro, and Word to write in. The keyboard is just one step away from being the ultimate keyboard – the IBM Thinkpad Edge 14 keyboard. But, neither of those are backlit. An Edge 14 backlit keyboard would really be the ultimate writers keyboard. If you want a notebook to write with – that IS close to the ultimate notebook.
I’ve not tried the new Macbook Air keyboards. I heard they are sweet. I’ll have to try one soon.
I am a step away from ignoring all my other projects and writing full-time for Amazon’s Kindle store. If I do that I’ll likely use a notebook computer. I don’t find that carrying around 5 lbs is too much for me. I appreciate the convenience of having a machine that does everything I need it to do. I’m just happy it isn’t 25 lbs.
Anybody else want to weigh on in the ultimate writer tablet? DO!