With the advent of multi-touch capabilities, and the iPhone popularizing this capability, together with Windows 7 having multi-touch capabilities in-built to the operating system itself, I will expect slate tablets (i.e. no keyboards, just screen) to be back, better than before. For those who have forgotten, slate tablets died out long ago in preference for the convertible tablets (i.e. keyboard and screen).
To get into the market, it first has to be light enough, and a screen wide enough to be comfortable. Together with a “Slate Stand” for desktop usage, this will enhance multi-touch on the desktop itself. We now are seeing laptops so slim (1 inch thick) and so light (2 lbs) with screen sizes of 13.1” or larger, I predict that this will be the critical factors in bringing back the slate tablets.
If somehow, someone is able to integrate a “Slate Stand” as part of the tablet design, that will be awesome.
Imagine a “Slate Stand” being a supporting stand to tilt the tablet in a 20 to 40 degrees angle (adjustable of course) for easy touch screen experience. I’m thinking just a fold under the laptop which can increase and decrease the degree angle as the fold gets closer together. Imagine this: / :underneath your laptop, and flattening out: —— :when you don’t need it.
Together with full size keyboard which will “slide in and out” virtually on the screen with a flick of a button (or gesture, or on some text input) and each key is big enough for our fingers, I think we’ve got something pretty good going on here.
Re-engineering applications’ user interactions to make full use of multi-touch, and we have endless possibilities. Hey, that’s what WPF is for. *wink*
Let’s hope to see it out there soon!