- The Price: The price is the most important thing here, and the deal maker or breaker as far as I'm concerned. Apple made a huge mistake with the Newton MessagePad back when it was first released, pricing it higher than the average business would front for a PDA. That was a long time ago in Electronics terms, and businesses are now more willing to fork over the money for a laptop replacement if it's cheaper than a laptop itself. At $599 to $699, with all the rumored features, it's a good price.
- 3G Wireless: As far as I'm aware, there are no laptops with a built-in 3G wireless connection in the US. Japan has had them for years, but the US has just not seen it necessary to make that kind of investment. The iPhone, the Kindle, and SmartPhones in general have changed that considerably as more people and businesses see the advantage of keeping connected while on the go. Of course the problem with a built-in solution is it's compatibility with different carriers: no one likes being locked into a single carrier, because everyone has different needs. If this is built in, I hope that the ability to switch carriers will be available in the future, if not immediately.
- 3G Data: Building on that, I would like to see the device come with a Data-only option, and not restrict which apps can be used on that data stream. Why? Because I want to use a VoIP solution, such as one from the office, without having to redirect lines and use precious minutes. This is crucial, though I'm not sure any carrier would see it as viable. Either that or they would price the connection far too high. Perhaps with competition, the prices will be realistic (yes, this is a slam at the AT&T exclusive rights to the iPhone).
- 10" Touch Screen: I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that the screen would be a touch screen. The touch technology is what made the iPhone the iPhone, and makes using the iPod Touch so cool. The size does make it a little problematic, in that it can't fit into someone's pocket. This will be a bag device, though it would fit nicely in a messenger bag or purse, and therefore not too much of a problem.
- HD Video: Great that they are focusing on HD for video, and this makes for a convenient method of taking a lot of video with you while traveling. I can anticipate car mounts for this device, as it would be large enough for anyone to see in the back seat (or more than one back seat).
Okay, those are the rumors that are being spread right now, and my opinion. What do I want it to have?
- Office. It needs to have both Microsoft Office and iWork available on this tablet.
- Presentation tool: it needs to have a way to hook up to a projector, if not be a projector itself (that was a wild rumor, one that I don't expect to be true). Why? Because I don't want to haul a huge laptop around just to do a quick presentation, or edit one.
- VoIP: Real VoIP needs to be supported, in some form or another. There are quite a few solutions available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but they are limited to WiFi, and I would like it through a 3G/4G connection.
- Word Processing: Being able to create documents of some sort needs to be there. There are some good solutions for the iPod Touch, again, but it's not ideal.
- iPhone OS Support: I don't think I really want it to be a bigger version of the iPhone or iPod Touch (unless all my software needs are met by said OS), but it should be able to use the same apps. That means using something like Dashboard to run your iPhone apps. That way I have all those apps I want (i.e., games and stuff), while still being able to use full-fledged OS apps.
- WiMax support: I know this isn't a technology that has taken off to a great extend in the US, but I like the idea of getting 7 MB connection speeds for up to 70 miles away from the antenna. Having this built into the device would be just as useful as 3G/4G, since it is a 4G technology. ^_^
- Full Bluetooth: No more throttled bluetooth. I want to be able to pair my Plantronics Voyager 510 headset to the thing, and a bluetooth keyboard.
- SD Card and/or USB port: a port on the thing would be really nice. Make it easier to add video/audio/image files to the device without having to do dock it to a computer.
- Mini Display Port: How else would it connect to a projector?
That would be about it. Most everything else I would either expect to be included, or I would expect I would find a need at another time. It all comes down to which direction Apple has decided to take the device: Media player only, or a nice, affordable replacement for the MacBook Air.