Macrumors posted this picture which is supposedly pretty close to what the actual Apple tablet will look like. Actually seeing something definitely makes me quite interested, but I'm not going to be sold until I see what exactly the device will be like. I thought I'd put together a list of what I personally am looking for. The closer the device is, the more likely I am to be interested.
- 3G must be optional. I don't want another contract. I have my phone data plan, and I have my Verizon 3G card. That's already one data bill too many. A third won't cut it. Ideally the tablet will have a USB port that accepts 3G USB devices just like Mac laptops do. (insert side rant about lack of expresscard slot on the new macbook pros)
- The app store must be optional. My locked down iPhone is really getting on my nerves, and a tablet that was limited to only approved software would be just plain evil. The gold test is whether or not I can play on Full Tilt. You'll never see an online poker site on the iPhone. If that is true of the tablet too, it isn't open enough.
- Java and flash should be available in some form. While I find it constraining, I can live without Java and flash on the iPhone. There's a lot that I can't do online because of those limitations, but the iPhone is too small to really make good use of either technology. However, both would be fine on the tablet. My test: can I run cgoban (java only) to access the KGS go server? Can I play kdice? (flash) It's easy to be frustrated at the creators of products that are Java or flash only, but in the end not everything will be ported to the native cocoa. I expect a tablet device to be flexible enough to deal with it.
- The device should offer a good reading experience. I love my kindle, but the lack of PDF support made it difficult for me to read everything I had. The PDF converter was just not any good. I almost ordered a DX, but in the end I decided that early reports of a poor PDF experience and the rumors of the Apple wonder device caused me to keep my money in my pockets. If I can access the kindle store and have a great PDF reading experience, I'm 100% on board for a tablet.
That's what I'm looking for. Give me a contract-free open device, and I'm sold. Give me Java and flash apps and kill my kindle on top of that, and I'll be on board on day 1. Next week will be quite interesting.