It's not often that I get excited about things (on this scale anyway). The world is about to change (sort of).
In 48 hours time, the world will be enlightened and no longer just wildly speculating about the technological marvel that will change the way we view electronic content. I've been following the rumour mill recently and we can gather pretty much what Apple is going to give us - the Kindle Killer, the slate of slates, the replacement of print media and change the way electronic content is sold and distributed.
Okay, Apple have pretty much nailed it with the iTunes store and distribution of music, movies, podcasts blah blah blah and of course the app store. The iPhone and iPod and Apple TV have been vehicles to drive sales of content, simply a pathway to purchase stuff over and above the cost of the device. Beautifully designed hardware with ever evolving software to drive sales of other stuff. This new device will be exactly that, large enough to view traditionally previous print media comfortably, deliver a rich multimedia experience, make purchasing content child's play. It's everything you wanted, but didn't know you did. You WILL want one, even if you don't know it yet. I certainly want one, even if I don't NEED it.
Think of the rainforests we'll save, think of kids going to school, with an iPad (that what it's gonna be called) instead of a bag full of books. Think of the latest glossy magazines and novels you'll be able to carry around if you feel the need to tuck into one while you're out and about. Maybe have a video chat with a friend on the other side of the planet, or catch the latest episode of True Blood.
What we know is that the 'iPad' will have:
Look like a proportionally flattened first generation iPhone
3G Connection and Wifi
Have a 9 to 11 inch screen
'Revolutionary OS' - a fresh re-think to how to switch users and manage lots of apps and content
Handwriting recognition without a stylus
Usual USB connector
Camera (for user input - may be able to recognise user - iPhoto can already do face recognition)
Video chat may not be currently offered yet (due to crappy camera and bandwidth issues)
Volume and 'Home button'
Eventually have actual tactile buttons on a previously smooth surface, though this will probably be in a couple of years
Great for gaming
A touch version of iLife 10 - with all your data and documents stored in the Cloud
Be priced at +- £500
It will not be your replacement for your Macbook Pro, though for many basic end users it would suffice to do most everyday tasks really well.
I want one already and, trust me, you will too.