What I’d Like In My First Dream Tablet

Posted: July 29, 2011 in Concepts
Tags: , ,

The HTC EVO 4G was my very first smartphone and I couldn’t have been any happier. Why? Because it was everything I ever wanted in a phone: big screen for watching videos, good front and back cameras, a kickstand, and an OS that lets you pretty much do as your heart pleases. It was like a dream come true.

Now with the tablet revolution underway, I want to be wowed the same exact way when I dive into my first tablet. I don’t want something that’s mediocre or comes with the promise of getting better when the next version comes out. I want my socks rocked out of the gate. I’ve already laid out ideas for my dream 7-inch tablet, so this is a wishlist that I contemplated about having in my first 10″ tablet.

  • 10.1″ screen: the Android tablet standard
  • Quad-core processor: My tablet shouldn’t feel outdated after 6 months, so a quad-core processor (preferably with great battery management) will future-proof it right from the gate
  • 5MP or 8MP rear camera with Flash: who knows what kind of apps will be developed in the future, might as well have all of the hardware you’ll need just in case
  • Adobe Flash: this should almost go without saying, but we all know what happened with the XOOM and the iPad
  • 3D front facing cameras for HD 3D videochatting and a glasses-free 3D screen: After having the EVO 3D, I can’t imagine going back to a strictly 2D device. Recording videos in 3D is pretty cool, but how about 3D videochatting? I like! Only if it has a glasses-free display though, like the EVO 3D (or better)
  • Honeycomb 3.2 (or later) with support for SD cards and USB peripherals at launch: This would pretty much eliminate my need to have a laptop. A USB port, like on the Toshiba Thrive, will let me access my external hard drives (to add music, movies, etc. to the tablet), play games using PS3 or Xbox 360 controllers, attach a mouse, webcam, or any other USB peripherials
  • Full HDMI-out or DLNA (or both): The EVO 4G spoiled me, this is a must have
  • Lots of built-in memory: At least 32GBs, and up to 64GBs or even 128 GBs!
  • Wifi-only, but easily upgradeable to 3G/4G if I choose so: I may start out only wanting a wifi-model, but what if I change my mind 2-3 months down the road? Do I have to buy a new tablet? No, I should be able to just send it in to the manufacturer and they could upgrade it just like they did with the XOOM. Carriers should offer a month-to-month plan option, in addition to the traditional contract option
  • Infrared: A tablet is the ultimate couch companion, and the ability to use it as a universal remote would be awesome. Honestly, IR-capabilities is the only feature I’m envious that iPhone users have. Imagine the types of apps that Comcast, TV Guide, or TiVO can make with a tablet that have this ability? Netflix-type channel guide, full TV show/movie synopsis, Twitter/Facebook integration, tap the show to change to the channel on your TV. It’s the future!
  • Two-way Chrome-to-Phone functionality between devices: Chrome-to-Phone is one of my favorite features on Android. Press one button from your laptop’s web browser and the webpage, YouTube video, or Google Map is immediately available on your phone. Too bad it currently only works one way. I’d like to be able to go from my phone to my tablet, from my tablet to my phone, from my tablet to my Google TV or laptop, and from my Google TV to my tablet with the tap of a button.
  • Access to tons of content: Netflix, Netflix 3D, ESPN 3D, live NBA/NFL games, Google/YouTube Movies, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, HBO, Magazines, Newspapers, Books, etc. There should be no shortage of content
  • Slide out keyboard like the ASUS Slider: Let’s face it, typing on a 10-inch touchscreen is less than ideal. It’s the single most important factor handicapping tablets from taking over laptops and personal computers. With a screen this size, I need to be able to type on a physical keyboard so I can blind-type without making corrections to every other word. Not only is the keyboard itself useful but it also solves the problem of needing a kickstand when you want to watch movies or YouTube videos. ASUS’s slide-out keyboard is the best idea I’ve ever seen for a tablet
  • Thin and lightweight design: I understand that with a slide-out keyboard, it can’t be as slim as the Galaxy 10.1, but it should aim to be as slim and as light as possible
  • Manufacturer skins are ok, as long as we have the option to revert to stock Android if we choose to: This should be as easy as switching between Homescreen Launcher Replacements. Stock Honeycomb is nice, but what if I want to see what Sense for Tablets is like? What if my tablet ships with Sense, but I want to check out stock Honeycomb? I should be able to switch just like I can switch between GO Launcher, ADW Launcher, LauncherPro, and HTC Sense on my Android phone
  • Excellent battery: I don’t know what battery life is like on tablets today, but I’d like to go at least 12+ hours under heavy use in a single day before my battery icon turns yellow.
  • Seamless tethering from an Android phone to the tablet: This goes back to the USB support mentioned above, PdaNet on an Android phone could be used to tether to the tablet
  • With Google branding: See point #6 at the reference link
  • Google+ with full Hangout integration: Google+ Hangouts are so cool. With a screen that’s 10-inches, one-to-one videochatting just don’t cut it anymore (unless it’s 3D)
  • Sub-$650 price point: Honestly, I’d probably pay XOOM prices for a tablet that has this many features, but to make it appealing to the general consumer, a price point at $650 or less would be easier to swallow

That pretty much sums up my tablet wishlist, and until I hear of something coming out soon that’s somewhere along these lines I probably won’t be getting a tablet. Everything that’s currently coming out just gets outdated too fast – yes, iPads too. Hopefully this article gets to some prominent Android manufacturers before the holiday tablets go into production. What would you guys like included in your dream tablet? Let me know in the comments.

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