Home Open Thread: What Features Should iPad’s Competitors Have?

Open Thread: What Features Should iPad’s Competitors Have?

Last week, we asked if you thought the iPad was a flop, and many of you told us exactly why.

In that comments thread, you joined us in collective head-scratching and fist-shaking over the price point and the lack of certain key features. It’s clear that many of us won’t be flocking to the nearest Apple store to pick up one of these gadgets. But there may be alternatives. In the event that a competitor releases a tablet device, what features would you want it to have?Give us your wish list in the comments; hopefully, manufactures are listening.

Here’s our own wish list of features that would make us really excited to buy a tablet from an Apple competitor.

A Better Price

The iPad starts at $500, but with just 16 gigabytes of storage, it’s not the music-, video-, photo-carrying device most of us will need or want. That price point is essentially a phantom. And when we start to add up all the costs for the iPad we’d actually want to have, it makes more sense to scrape together another couple hundred dollars and spring for a top-of-the-line PC laptop – something a bit more functional, not just a big, expensive geek toy.

A Camera

For a device that promises to make picture- and video-sharing simple and fun, the lack of a camera is a great disappointment. Without a camera, it’s true that there’s no ability to snap pics and vids for Facebook or DailyBooth or talk to others via Skype video or TinyChat, but users are also missing out on one of RWW’s favorite tech trends: augmented reality! We wrote a whole post lamenting the fact that this long-awaited device can’t play nicely with some of our favorite AR toys.

A Stylus

Our awesome cartoonist, Rob Cottingham, just wrote this morning that as one who draws and doodles, he’d appreciate a way to interact with the iPad’s multitouch screen. Bridging that gap between the screen and the stylus might even be the graphics tablet-killer. For a company that’s traditionally held sway over the design and arts communities, Apple should’ve thought more about this part of its core audience.

A Slide-Out Keyboard

This is one of the reasons I’m so glad I held out for my Droid when the Apple fanboys and fangirls were mocking my iPhone-free lifestyle for years. Having a physical keyboard simply can’t be beat, particularly for content creators and enterprise users.

More Options for OSes and Carriers

No multitasking? AT&T? Those conditions are deal-breakers for me and quite a few others, I’m sure. I’d love to see a device that could run Jolicloud, Chrome OS or a lightweight Linux distro. And as a happy Verizon customer, I’d like to stick with my current carrier and perhaps even work the data charges into my current plan. Overall, we just want more openness and more options.

So, what do YOU want in a tablet? USB or other ports? A built-in WAN card for instant Internet connectivity? More storage? A faster processor? Flash? In the comments, give us your list of must-haves and what you expect to pay for them. Who knows – perhaps a manufacturer will be able to produce something for non-iPad fans sooner than we think.

Check out ReadWriteWeb’s full iPad Archives.

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