After looking the iPad and finding it lacking I am eagerly awaiting some Android based tablets. Maybe Google will brand one themselves like they did with the Nexus One phone.
Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) is expected before year end. Current Android devices already support Flash (a major iPad flaw) with the latest version and are fast. The latest version of Android has really increased performance. Hopefully 3.0 will be just as fast or even faster.
So hardware wise what I want to see is a few features to make it great for me. It needs a SD and CF card reader built in. Sure CF is a big card in not used much, but it is used in professional cameras so I want it to make my life simple.
A firewire port and a few USB ports would be nice. Firewire for camera control and video in. If the CF is not built-in, at least I can use firewire of USB to hook up an external reader.
This next item can be done via a cable, but I want to be able to hook it up to a projector. When I am on the road it would be great to use this device to do demos.
A removable battery so I can have a spare ready when I can get to a charger. Also a way to charge the spare outside the device! I really hate not being able to replace my battery – Apple apparently uses this as a profit center. Even if I can use a spare, still want to get by with more than a few hours use per charge.
Yes it needs Bluetooth and wifi and GPS. I like the concept of using your phone carrier for remote data, but I would like to see removable “radio cards” so I can switch carriers and not need to replace the device due to different frequencies they all use.
Of course a fast processor, lots of ram and disk space. Solid state disk might be interesting. A good screen, and a tough one. Don’t skimp on quality – we sometimes drop these things and we don’t want the screen to crack or the guts to die.
Built-in front facing camera would be nice too for video calls (we will see a lot more of this in the future). Of course a microphone. Headphone / audio out jack.
Size – I like the size of the iPad, so a similar size would be great. Start getting much bigger and I will just use a laptop or netbook (I use a netbook now and it works great).
As you can see I didn’t talk much about software as the open android market and their new toolkit for do-it-yourself app creation are already producing amazing solutions. The only thing software wise is don’t it customize for your device by adding your “special” user experience.
So manufacturers, when you have when ready to test, let me know. I’ll give it to you straight.