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Old 02-03-2010, 10:14 AM   #1
Cavelion
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Lightbulb Wishful thinking: the perfect tablet and e-bookreader

Based on several upcoming technologies and recent developments I started thinking about what would be the perfect tablet PC/E-book reader.

So here goes:

Format:
Booklet format (think MS Courier).
Screens:
Screens: Dual IMOD (interferometric modulation) Mirasol screens 1920 * 1200 Pixels, 225PPI, roughly 9.8", H=8.5", W=5.3" (Based on info regarding XGA 5.7" screen)
Including bezel and rugged slipcover the device should be about 10,5" to 11" in size.
Screens are hinged like a normal tablet PC, so that one can rotate over the other to make a regular tablet. In closed condition both screens protect each other.
Processor:
Processor: Texas Instruments new OMAP4 (which is capable of driving those screens!)
Storage:
32 - 80 GB SSD
Internal SDHC Card holder for expanding storage.
External SDHC Card holder for even more expanding or getting photo's, video, ... onto your device.
1 combined USB/eSata port
Communication:
UMTS
GSM/EDGE
HSDPA 7.2Mbps
HSUPA 2Mbps
Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
A2DP stereo Bluetooth
Webcam: 5 mega pixels + led flash: hidden in the side of the left screen, and can be popped out and rotated in the direction you want. So it can be a webcam for videoconferencing or a camera to take pictures with.
Coupled with a bluetooth earpiece and voice operated it can replace your regular phone.
Extra's:
Accelerometer (to detect orientation!)
GPS (to use it as a map in the car or out on the street)
Digital compass
Enough speakers to always give stereosound in whatever orientation you hold the device.
A headphone plug standard 3.5mm
miniusb charger or whatever necessary plug!
Docking connector on the side
Power button, Home button, volume button, and 6-10 extra buttons which can be assigned any function the user wants, ...
Batteries:
2 x User replaceable 9 - 12 Cell High capacity, lithium-ion polymer based, slice variety covering both of the screens.
Providing enough juices to power the device between 16 - 24 hours on highest setting (this should cover a full day use even after wear of the batteries.
What this does for the weight I do not know, but made you could make it so that 1 battery can be taken away for half the run time, but also significant less weight. Maybe even make one half detachable so that you can work with half a screen and use that as a tablet (like the IPad), the other half cannot be used however!
Or have a lightweight battery just for reading purposes and with half the booklet, mirasol screen and IMAP4 proc, it should still allow 8+ hours of reading!
Extra feet turnable on the screen that would function as keyboard, so that you can have it slope a bit, just like a regular keyboard!
In option:
Dockingstation: having a CD/DVD/Bluray reader/writer
Extra USB ports, e-sata, HDMI or diplayport, 52-1 card reader
Let me know if I forgot something! Propose changes and additions.
Not everything has to be in there, e.g. we could leave out 3G/4G for those not needing it. But the best configuration should have it all!

This device would be the perfect device all round.
You can use it as a phone, book, tablet or laptop/netbook.
In laptop mode, 1 screen gets transformed in a keyboard + touchpad configured to the users liking, with the keyboard layout of his/her choice and which can be adapted on the fly. a, b,c, ... press SHIFT and all the keys change to A, B, C, ..., function keys can get video iconised, ...
Games can get a limited keyboard or icons fitting the game!

Regarding Operating system: custom made, Android or Windows Mobile 7?
With a proper shell to take full advantage of it being touch based.

Reactions?

Cavelion
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:25 AM   #2
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kjk View Post
Price?
A LOT!

Also the 3g/4g module should be PCIe with a choice of EVDO or HSDPA (GSM or CDMA) for those of us who don't have decent ATT/T-Mob coverage.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:50 PM   #4
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There is no "perfect tablet and reader." Nor could there be such a thing, as different types of users have different needs and requirements. E.g. some heavy readers will only want a distraction-free device to read that is small and highly portable; some heavy readers will need color, low power consumption, and a large screen for technical manuals; a casual reader will want a device that's adept at video as well as a little bit of reading; education might want super-long battery life, a rugged case, and a fairly controlled environment.

Asking "what's perfect" is more like asking "what do YOU use an ebook reading device for."
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavelion View Post
Format:
Booklet format (think MS Courier).
For me, yuck. I would hate the bulk of such a design. I like having a single tablet with a leather cover that I can fold back on itself and hold with one hand.

I've never cared much about color, even when I'm reading a magazine, so LCD/Mirasol/whatever doesn't mean much to me. For me, the perfect reader can be B&W-only, just with much better contrast: the kind of black on white I see when I look at my Sony 505 at a very wide angle rather than straight-on (too much of an angle to read, of course, but if you look at the screen at a big angle, the background appears much whiter than looked at straight-on). WiFi and 3G would be great with a decent web browser, but that of course implies that e-ink gets its pixel response times way faster. If Mirasol can show up as a high contrast black and white more like paper than Vizplex does with its shades of gray, that would be great.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:10 PM   #6
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Damn, Cavelion, you put some thought into that. Personally I think I'd prefer a single screen over the dual screens, but that's just me. I'm also a big fan of the Mirasol technology you included -- that looks like it has a lot of potential. For your fantasy specs you could also add a section on "supported file formats: epub, mobi,etc."
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:46 PM   #7
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Single touch screen for me. Two would be too bulky. As well as bit smaller I like the size of my 900 with the leather cover on it.

Color I could go either way with, if it doesn't impact eye strain or price too much then sure, why not, but it is hardly a requirement.

Most importantly, if it was to replace my reader and laptop, it would need to be able to function as a real computer/netbook not a hyped up entertainment device.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:25 PM   #8
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Smile Should probably have phrased it ...

My perfect tablet/ereader.

I know some would prefer a single tablet like the Ipad or some sort.
That's why I mentioned to make them detachable, so that you can operate with only a single half of the tablet. Thus making it lighter to carry, and if it is for reading a book a single battery will probably let you read to your heart's content or until you fall asleep.

Since I'm employed in an educational environment I was more thinking along those lines aswell and so this device would be ideal in the classroom.
Lay it down in portrait mode and students can look at the left at the theory for the given lesson, the exercises could then be shown on the right screen. Or the reverse if the are left handed. Otherwise they can show the lesson on one screen and have a blank sheet of paper on the other one to write.
You can not do this properly with a single screen, it would never work, you can ofcourse write in the margin, but for decent note taking it wouldn't suffice.

I also forgot to include mesh networking. So that in a classroom, one booklet or a few have wifi access but others cannot reach it properly, they could start a P2P network lifting on the connection of those nearby.
Ofcourse the software should handle the settings per WIFI connection if lifting on the signal is allowed like known tablets, private (no others) or public (anyone may use the wifi connection). Out in the field with only one or two booklets present this wouldn't be much of use, but in a school environment you would probably save a lot in deployed wifi access points.
And who knows if other laptops, tablets, ebookreaders would start doing mesh networking it could start a whole new chapter of web access.

For a classroom, a proper software environment would be needed aswell, allowing the teacher temporary control over the other tablets in the room. Like no internet access, or no messaging, no phone, ... .
Combined with a digital board on the wall, a teacher could look at the screens of the students and even show one on the board for the whole classroom for some extra instruction or showing a much made error, ... .
The webcam would allow to reach those sick at home or in the hospital, away but still part of the classroom, ...

This device would allow a paperless classroom, all books could be digital. Content could be updated on the fly, content could even be within limits be automatically corrected, provide extra exercises or introduce new content allowing a teacher to limit instructions to those pupils who really need it. ...

Someone asked for a price.
I would think at introduction my proposed tablet full option could easily be $2000. And you know what I would buy it in a heartbeat.
I would expect the price to drop over time to around $500 - $800, depending on mass production. It isn't the $100 dollar laptop, but at least it would be fully functional and save a lot of expenses on the paper level. Books could be cheaper, have interactive content, be instantly updated upon detecting an error, ...

We only need to find a way to integrate a lunch box into it and we are all set and done for :-)

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Old 02-03-2010, 04:30 PM   #9
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I'd buy that!
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