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  1.  (6461.1)
    Not enough detail yet, but sounds interesting:

    Apple is working with the four largest record labels to stimulate digital sales of albums by bundling a new interactive booklet, sleeve notes and other interactive features with music downloads, in a move it hopes will change buying trends on its online iTunes store.

    The talks come as Apple is separately racing to offer a portable, full-featured, tablet-sized computer in time for the Christmas shopping season, in what the entertainment industry hopes will be a new revolution. The device could be launched alongside the new content deals, including those aimed at stimulating sales of CD-length music, according to people briefed on the project.
  2.  (6461.2)
    Apple Tablet? A scaled-up iPod Touch?
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2009
     (6461.3)
    The rumors seem to be pointing to a full-on OS X install, which would be a huge point in its favor (moreso the full OS bit than OS X specifically). Assuming its real this time, I'm rather excited at the prospect, as the rumored ~9.7 inch screen seems just about the right balance of size versus serious usability for something on the go. If it can use cell wireless and not just wifi (or perhaps tether to a device that does), so much the better.

    Tablet space could be heating up in general though, the guys over at CrunchGear are almost ready to launch an internet tablet of their own, though its appeal is more limited
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      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2009
     (6461.4)
    Who wants to bet they call it the Applet?

    (I'm sorry, I can't resist terrible puns.)

    I'm interested to see what the rest of the computer industry does around it. As far as comics are concerned, it would address the "I don't want to be tied to my desktop" argument people have against digital comics. Depending on the quality of the screen and the overall design, I could see it as a definite boon to creators (and to computer people in general). Maybe we'll finally get to the Star Trek-style "PADD" device...
  3.  (6461.5)
    On an aesthetic scale, the CrunchGear version is gorgeous-- I can only assume that Apple will come up with something just as sleek, as they've been always been ahead of the curve on that.

    From a functionality viewpoint, I've got mixed thoughts. Strictly from the stance of a full-color, back-lit viewing capacity, I'd love to see something like this come out. However, I'd have to wonder about battery life, especially if it's running full OS X. Now, from the stance of being an illustrator who utilizes a Wacom drawing tablet (or any other brand), I would love a portable tablet PC with that technology integrated. It's not that they don't exist, but they're usually not cheap. If either company can integrate that sort of capacity into this sort of 'iTablet' endeavor, I'd be thrilled. However, I'm just not seeing it happening. Doesn't mean I wouldn't consider getting one though.

    What I do wonder, however, is how much of this will operate in the way that Microsoft Surface does, utilizing an encapsulated version of that concept (which, in concept, has a lot of potential).
  4.  (6461.6)
    Keeping my fingers crossed for this one. It looks awesome.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2009
     (6461.7)
    @Seantaclaus: Now, from the stance of being an illustrator who utilizes a Wacom drawing tablet (or any other brand), I would love a portable tablet PC with that technology integrated.

    I thought something very similar when I was looking a the Crunch Gear one - a Cintiq the size of an Intuos tablet. That might be a ways off, though, considering they made the Cintiq as thin as they could and it's still quite a brick.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2009
     (6461.8)
    > The device could be launched alongside the new content deals

    That's something that someone said about Google's new O/S as well: that such a device would be (at least in part) for content delivery.

    In other news, display techologies continue to improve: Amazon's Kindle is still black-and-white this year, but ...
  5.  (6461.9)
    If you've handled a Macbook Air, it's as light and bright as any tablet pc I've seen. Packing that into one half of a device seems very doable.

    I have a Kindle DX and it's about netbook sized (10inches) and has a nice heft. I'd happily read B/W comics on it, legal ones where the people making them were getting paid.

    I wonder if the next bisecting of the market is between comics as art object (Mouse Guard, Chris Ware) and comics as pure digital output? You get tons of beautiful comic-shaped things and you have access to as much comics as you can download.
  6.  (6461.10)
    A multitouch Apple iTablet running Stanza could really fuck with Kindle....
  7.  (6461.11)
    I would totally buy one if it were cheaper than $800, but something tells me it'll be about that price. It'll be sleek as fuck and it'll have the Apple logo but it'll be expensive.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRantz
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2009
     (6461.12)
    There are three color tablet (8" x 10"-ish size) devices besides the iBook and the CrunchPad that are scheduled for release in 2010-2011 (but have not been announced yet.) having messed around with two of them, I will say one of them is... ok, one of them is WTFOMG-level amazing. The thrid I've seen full specs for, and shots, and it could go either way. The price range for these that is getting batted about is $350-$900 USD.

    The WiFi-connected tablet space is going to be very crazy in the next 2 years.
    (Which is great, because it'll drive the costs down, the quality up, etc, etc.)
    • CommentAuthorE0157H7
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2009
     (6461.13)
    It's not going to run OS X - Apple will never produce anything that could hurt iBook sales. My guess is that it will be occupy a sort of awkward area between UMPCs and miniaturized ARM-based devices like the Nokia N8XX series. That has been tried before, but Apple has such a good design department and such strong customer loyalty that they can probably pull it off.

    @Sentaclaus - The defining difference between whatever Apple is about to unveil and the CrunchPad is that the latter is designed around consuming online content while the former is probably going to be built around consuming already-existing media like ebooks, music and video purchased from an online store.
  8.  (6461.14)
    @Rantz:

    I hope if they go low on the prices they don't tie them into internet providers, as some companies are doing now with netbooks.

    Subsidized pricing on the iPhone has led to AT&T providing some of the worst service while reaping in the cash.

    You're about to get very right aren't you?
  9.  (6461.15)
    •  
      CommentAuthorRantz
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2009
     (6461.16)
    @orwells_eyes there's one device in particular that isn't announced that I am rooting for... but it also is probably the 'highest risk' in ter4ms of being able to pull it off. there's some aspects that will make it hard to bring the price in low at initial launch, and there's concern about the 'durability' factor, but having messed with it, I (personally) really REALLY want it to work, because it is what *I* would want to use. (note: that doesn't always = "the right solution" though, as the market has proven again and again...)

    You're about to get very right aren't you?

    We'll see... (obviously, I hope so, but as I stated at SDCC, this is very new territory in many ways) I will say that, you don't establish a decent foothold if you don't plan forward, and have contingency plans to adapt to the directions that the technology market takes.
  10.  (6461.17)
    Warren, did you hear that Amazon actually bought Stanza a while back? But still yeah, things are going to get interesting for the Kindle.

    That Gizmodo article makes good points. I'd think the only way Apple is really going through with this is if they're planning to roll out a big book/magazine store addition to iTunes.
  11.  (6461.18)
    If it does come out (seems highly probable now) I really hope that comics publishers are smart enough to follow suit and start releasing digital comics that are not weird lame half-animations or tiny iPhone squintgarbage but just the real comics at full screen resolution.

    I know, I know, real physical comics are better. But I keep having to move and I can't keep moving all of these books with me.
  12.  (6461.19)
    I imagine that screen resolution/format would be an issue for smaller tablets if you're thinking about reading comics on them - my old toshiba m200 had a wonderful 12" 1400x1080 screen which was high enough resolution to read on comfortably - my latest one has 1280x800 which is a totally hopeless format - being letterbox shaped it's too wide to read well horizontally and too narrow to read well vertically.
  13.  (6461.20)
    Warren, did you hear that Amazon actually bought Stanza a while back?

    I did not. Interesting.