September 11, 2010

What Features Do You Want to See in a Tablet?

Soon, the iPad won't be the only tablet on the block. Samsung's Galaxy Tab was first out of the gate, but a bevy of other Android-powered tablets have also been announced. And while this first wave of Android tabs looks a bit hacked-together (Google has referred to their current rev of Android as "not optimized for tablets"), one thing's for sure: we're going to see a lot of iPad knockoffs in the months to come. Whether or not you already have an iPad, what features would you like to see added to the iPad's basic feature set? For my own filmmaking and creative purposes, there are two things I'd want to see in a tablet:

  • A stylus - for designing, diagramming, and freehand writing
  • A video input - for use as a field monitor

One thing's for sure about these iPad competitors: they're not straying far from the iPad's hardware design (Viewsonic's model is pictured below).

When it comes to features that come in handy for creating and not just consuming, these two input options -- stylus and video -- are atop my list. What about you, what features would you like to see in a tablet?

Your Comment


Resolution. I'd like a 1920x1080 or at least a 1280x720 tablet so its useful as a monitor -- pixels 1:1 and whatnot.

September 11, 2010 at 1:20PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I'd like a keyboard and a mouse.

September 11, 2010 at 3:16PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


my first thought was HDMI in: get a free tablet with your field monitor!! Now you can also use it to keep track of your shooting schedule, and watch movies while on the move. I'd definitely get one of those (especially since I don't have a field monitor yet, and my viewfinder loupe is a not-so-great-but-really-dirt-cheap DIY)

after reading your whole post, and the first two comments, I can add a couple of bits:

* stylus: unless it's pressure sensitive, I don't see how that one could be so important; and I wouldn't dream of a $300 wacom cintiq anytime soon... maybe in a year or two

* resolution: 1920x1080 would be great, but also quite expensive, so I'd also compromise at 1280x720, which should look sharp and is all my eyes can see from a 7" screen at 40 cm from my eyes:

in any case, without HDMI-in, don't worry about my opinion, I won't be getting a tablet anyway

three generations from now, it would be great to have HDMI in plus USB connection to the camera, in order to control the focus just by pointing at things on this viewfinder...

September 12, 2010 at 10:00AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I wouldn't mind a tablet being a bit more expensive if it had a pressure-sensitive stylus input; it'd be like a iPad Pro. But my needs are pretty particular and not demonstrative of the broader populace...

@Alex -- zing!

September 12, 2010 at 10:06AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Ryan Koo

> Ryan, largely inspired by your HackPro research, I've started my own experiment. Instead of a Hackintosh, I've ordered the new Linux netbook from HP. I want to see just how much work I can get done on a system that's less than half the price of the cheapest MacBook, and running only open-source software.

The key word though, is "work." Tablets are fundamentally designed to consume content. I'm much faster with a keyboard than a stylus, and although the mainstream press seems to be ringing the death knell for netbooks, I think the combination of ultra-portability, familiar form factor (it's like a laptop, but smaller!) and fairly robust horsepower makes netbooks a better choice for content creators.

It'll probably be a fairly typical 80/20 split: 80% of folks will want something to read ebooks and watch video on, and 20% will want something to write/web design/edit photos/chop video.

September 13, 2010 at 6:16AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I'd like an iPad that supports Flash :)

September 12, 2010 at 3:19PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM