Apple iBook: 9.7-inch Slate

Apple_Tablet_Patent

9.7-inch Multitouch Slate The rumor is back. Apple’s iBook, a solid name IMO for a device geared to compete against Amazon’s Kindle and other ebook readers, will sport a multitouch 9.7-inch TFT LCD integrated into a slate. I don’t think it will be netbook like many others are guessing. I’ve guessed that too. But I’ve changed my mind. Why? When Apple was building the thinnest notebook PC in the world the company could have gone with a smaller display, say a 12-inch or 10-inch, but decided not to and go with a 13.3-inch. There were probably a million reasons but one critical reason was that a full-sized keyboard could be integrated into a 13.3-inch LCD-based chassis. Most will agree that one of Apple’s main mantras is usability and that goes against the concept of a netbook as we know it today.

No E Ink I don’t think Apple is using an E Ink-type display either. There are too many disadvantages compared to a regular LCD. Sure it lasts a long long time and readability is excellent, similar but not quite like paper. But the advantages ends there. You want look at a picture? Only in black and white. Yes, E Ink and others are working on color displays but you’ll need to hold your breath for a good long while. Video? Out of the question. Want to zoom in by pinching? It won’t look pretty if at all possible due to the slow response times. Instead, Apple will use a TFT LCD. Power consumption is down so you can get a full day’s work on those with the current battery technology. Most of us get back home (or somewhere else) that has a plug at the end of each day. A TFT LCD is fast and is color and can be integrated with multitouch. I see this as a no brainer.

According to China Times, Wintek and Dynapack has already received orders from Apple and Foxconn will be the main manufacturer. Engadget is stating that this iBook will be available in October and go for around US$800.

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