Report: Apple's Game-Playing Tablet Ships March

Apple is set to unveil its take on the tablet computer, the touchscreen bigger brother to the iPhone rumoured to be branded the iSlate, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal's report cites "people briefed by the company" who say the multimedia device will "let people watch movies and television shows, play games, surf the internet and read electronic books and newspapers". That long-rumoured, now apparently impending device is reported to be finally revealed on January 27 and ship sometime in March, according to the WSJ.

Obviously, we're somewhat interested in the game-playing capabilities of such a device, given the popularity of Apple's App Store, currently bursting with games - admittedly of wildly varying quality - and the desire to acquire shiny new things with touchscreens and Apple branding.

Will the Slate - or iSlate, which I do not prefer - simply be a bigger iPhone, only bigger and of larger size? Will games and applications designed for the 3.5-inch screen of the iPhone work on the Slate? If so, how will 480-by-320-pixel resolution games look on the rumoured 10-inch screen? Probably not very good.

But speculation that the Slate is simply an iPhone given the XL treatment probably aren't accurate. It has to do more - well, maybe with the exception of making phone calls. As Apple subject matter expert John Gruber of Daring Fireball notes, Apple's tablet likely falls somewhere in between the iPhone and MacBook lines, designed and marketed as a potential third pillar.

"Like all Apple products," Gruber writes. "The Tablet will do less than we expect but the things it does do, it will do insanely well. It will offer a fraction of the functionality of a MacBook - but that fraction will be way more fun."

As far as the Slate's gaming capabilities, it may sit somewhere in the middle, capable of playing anything you'd find on an iPhone (or iPod Touch), but maybe not as powerful a gaming device as a MacBook or MacBook Pro.

And what of the meagre library of Mac OS native PC games? Can it at the very least play a capable game of World of Warcraft? The device is likely to support an on-screen keyboard and multi-touch gestures, making more complex, more traditionally controlled games a possibility. How awkward would it be?

We'll be keeping a close eye on the device, which analysts are pegging in the $US800 to $US1000 range when it launches this year.

Apple to Ship Tablet Device in March [Wall Street Journal]


    If the thing can run WoW I predict huge sales. If any WoW nut out there can buy a portable touch screen WoW playing device they'd jump on it right away.

    Has any noticed the trend that its becoming fashionable to carry bricks in our pockets?

    I mean people use to complain about phones with 2inch screens.

      Nice pick up. Very true.
      We had bricks in our pockets back in the day, then slimmer and smaller phones were the rage, and now that same smallness and slimness is sacrificed for other things.
      It's retro.

      People used to complain about internet speeds too.

      Times change dude, and, as it seems, so do bricks. They've shunk, become about 4cm thick and gone all pretty like.

      The iPhone and co are big, but they are thin. You barely even notice them because they don't stetch your pants outwards like giant fat phones used to. It's not like walking around with a giant cube in your pocket anymore.

    I don’t think this will be that great, touch screen computers are already out that the reviews are terrible, honestly who wants to sit in front of a monitor and touch the screen all the time?, i realise that this is a tablet, but judging from the measurements it’s not going to be portable enough to take with you everywhere.

      Not saying i would get an iSlate (SUCH A HORRIBLE NAME FOR APPLES BEHALF), or saying i', interested (maybe only in what it will do, actually look like etc...)

      But have you every played with an iPhone or iPod Touch? And then played around with another touch-screen device.

      It's true that, with Apple and their products, they do less than what we expect, but what they do, they do "insanely" well. And i would say, no other touch-screen mobile phone out their has matched the greatness of the iPhones touch capabilities.

      I just find it stupid that everything is touch these days. I'm predicting the new iMac later this year or early 2011 will be touch or they'll bring out a new Macbook like the Air, but with touch. Heck, they brought out their new Might Mouse that runs off touch. The old one was annoying as hell with the scroll and only one button - but it sure beats using TOUCH for a mouse.

      I also question, When will Apple get over the whole 'i' thing. It's seriously become the 2.0 where its old and no one cares. Especially after that iSnack 2.0 debacle.

    I only actually heard of thise device yesterday (I don't really keep up on this stuff as much as I should). I'm excited, and I think anyone who read the Ars Technica article about the guy who used the touch screen tablet to play Planescape Torment and other Infinity Engine games should also be excited!

    i dont think this tablet is aimed at the gaming community, its more art-ty with graphic designers and those who wish to be creative. And if its portable, watch out for scratches!

    Just looking for nice an easy pdf reader. Give D&Di an even bigger boost at the table.

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