In the electronic etc. category, we bring you rumors of a new device from Apple, reported by the Financial Times. The new tablet, which should be available for Christmas shopping, is expected to have a 10" diagonal, color display. It will be a multi-function tablet, capable of operating as an electronic reader to challenge players in that category - Amazon's Kindle, Sony's Reader, and the forthcoming device from Plastic Logic, which recently allied itself with Barnes and Noble bookstores. In addition to reader capabilities, the tablet will likely be good for viewing movies and playing graphics-intensive video games, and, hope entertainment executives, encourage the purchase of entire CDs complete with liner notes and accompanying booklets as opposed to single songs. It is expected to connect to the Web like the iPod Touch, but most likely will not have phone capabilities. The predicted price for the new device is between US$ 600 and US$ 1,000.
PC World has already pronounced the tablet to be "a trainwreck," saying that the tablet is good for only a few things: great for artists, debatable for note-taking, not so good at movies since it is designed to lie flat, and possessed of a display too small to comfortably accommodate a virtual keyboard. Further, it is unlikely, they believe, to compete successfully with netbooks. Wired nonetheless says the device could be a "Kindle-killer" if Apple manages battery life successfully.
Regardless, newspapers need to be thinking about presenting their offerings on the new device, which will likely be out as early as September, which would coincide with Apple's annual announcements about iPods.