Okay, so the iPad has taken the world by storm. However, I am not an Apple guy. I never have been. Sure, when the iPhone first hit, I thought it was impressive and have toyed with the idea of purchasing an iPod Touch, or even the new iPad. However, I am not big on the limitations that Apple has put on the software you can put on the devices. Google’s Android OS platform, however, does what the iPhone OS can do, for the most part, and then some. It is also touted as an open platform allowing anyone to develop for it, and have their product on any given device, whether they go through the market or download directly from the developers website. So, what would my “Dream Android Tablet” be like?
Let us start off with the core of the device, the processor. I would go with either the ARM based Nvidia Tegra chipset, as it is impressively powerful. It may not have the overall speed of the Snapdragon processor, but it definitely has the power to push the device. If you want to look at what it can do, check out this Wikipedia entry. Another contender is the Snapdragon Processor. This is an impressive ARM based processor that has a lot of power and speed.
Next up we need RAM/Memory. 256 mb’s of memory is a nice round number, but I would love to see it with 512mb’s of memory. That gives the device plenty of space to do a lot of things, and have enough internal memory left over for other functions. On top of that, no less than 16gb’s of storage via a removable microSD card. Some form of internal storage would be great, but to keep the price down, and allow for expandability, a removable media would be the best bet.
How big should the screen be? I would go with no less than 9.x inches. Something on the size of what most netbooks have would be a perfect size screen. As for the touch, it has to have a similar feel to something like the Motorola Droid’s screen. It is smooth and responsive.
Input should be a combination of a touch interface, and some kind of retractable keyboard. The keyboard should also make it so that the device can be placed on a table, or a lap with ease and allow the user to type on a netbook sized keyboard. This will allow one to be able to type up documents quickly, easily and familiarly. The iPad has shown that a good keyboard is still hard to beat. If the keyboard isn’t attached, then a dockable keyboard that holds the device in landscape view and makes it stable to place on a lap, that would be quite acceptable. Along with the two forms of input, there should be some touch “buttons” on the device, similar to those on the Motorola Droid. This obviously allows for navigation and such with the device.
Another thing that would be great for this device is some kind of USB interface. At least one USB port would be great. If a user requires additional USB ports, the user could use a USB hub to allow multiple devices. Why a USB port though? This would allow the user to hook up their camera, digital camcorder, or other devices to transfer media over to the tablet for easy sharing and distribution.
Now, connectivity is a tricky decision. I do have to admit I like Apple’s structure of a 3G and non-3G version of the iPad. The problem here is deciding on a carrier for the 3G/4G coverage for the device. Making it “unlocked” would be ideal, however. However, the standard non-3G/4G version would have 802.11b/g/n, and Bluetooth connectivity. I would even say throw in GPS on the device to help expand the social aspects of the device.
So, what version of the Android OS should be on this device? Definitely Froyo Android 2.2! I would also make this device upgradeable when new versions of the OS are released. The interface would be the stock Android interface, so worrying about specialized GUI’s would not be an issue.
Additional features would be video output to hook it up to a TV. This would be accomplished via a specialized docking station similar to what you can purchase for the Archos|5it. It should have standard A/V, S-Video, and HDMI outputs. With the dock, you would also get a specialized remote to control media. With Flash coming to the Android platform, you could use this device in conjunction with the dock to watch streaming television and more.
On the remote, it should be designed to not only be able to control audio/video, but be suitable as a good bluetooth enabled controller for gaming. Each button should be useable in such products that allow the user to map buttons.
One last thing I would want included with this device is a camera. Ideally, one facing away, and one towards the user. This camera would be an 8mp camera that should do no less than 780p. The camera that faces the user should allow them to do virtually anything, including a webcam.
The last thing I can think of for this device is the weight. It should weigh in at a similar weight of the iPad. The iPad weighs in at 1.5 lbs without 3G, and 1.6lbs with 3G. This Android Tablet should be similar to that.
So, that is everything I can think of that would set this device as my perfect dream Android tablet. What do you think? Did I miss something that you feel should be included? Let me know. Comments are always welcome!