What the ultimate tablet might look like

We have some ideas about what features such a mythical model might possess.

As cool as some of the new devices are, we've yet to find one that offers everything we want in a tablet. Here are the essential features we'd expect to see on our dream slate.

Weight and Dimensions

Most tablets are at least 0.5 inch thick, and weigh about 1.5 pounds. But for comfort during prolonged use, that weight must drop closer to 1.0 pound, and the depth needs to shrink by at least 0.1 inch (to about the thickness of the iPhone 4).

Antiglare Display

Movies and photos look great on glossy displays-as long as you're indoors. But take an iPad outside in full sunlight, and it quickly turns into an expensive handheld mirror. All tablet screens need better glare protection, and all of them should offer an antiglare coating at least as an option.

Kickstand

Flip this thing out to prop up the device. Some smartphones have this feature. It should be a no-brainer on tablets.

USB Ports

Want to add a keyboard, a mouse, a thumb drive, or some other peripheral to your slate? Forget the proprietary ports and awkward dongles from Apple and Samsung. We want USB A, the standard USB port that USB storage devices and other peripherals use.

HDMI

Tablets are great when you want to watch TV, movies, and home video, or showcase photos. But we need an easy, standard way to share it all on a bigger screen.

Web Standards

Flash is all over the Web, and we want access to it. The ideal slate will support open Web standards like HTML5 and add-ins like Flash and JavaScript.

Instant On

What makes the iPad and new Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab superior to the old Windows tablets? After the initial cold-boot, they turn on instantly, just as a cell phone does. Don't make us wait for our systems to start. If Windows 7 acquires this ability, it may stand a chance as an OS for slates.

Dual Cameras

Once you've had the experience of saying good night to your two-year-old, face-to-face, from 3000 miles away, you'll be convinced that a front-facing Webcam is not merely a convenience; it's a necessity. And no mobile device is complete without a high-resolution rear-facing camera for snapshots.

Open Video

To make video chat more accessible and usable for everyone, we need open standards whose applicability extends across all social networking devices. Tablets should lead the way here.

IP Printing

Most PCWorld staffers use tablets at work, and we often wish we could print documents from our slates without resorting to sketchy third-party apps tied to our PCs.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags tabletsApplehardware systemstablet PCslaptops

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?