Waiting for Apple's Tablet

Hey, fans! I’m sorry. My blogging schedule has been totally out of whack. I still have plenty of pictures to post from my African trip. I haven’t done anything with the adventures we had in Burkina Faso. That’s on the schedule for tomorrow. I almost have the slide show together.

I’ve spent most of today combing the tech sites, reading all the rumors about Apple’s announcement tomorrow of its tablet computer. It will be big: about the size of a sheet of paper. More important, it may be replacing paper; especially the paper in the form of a book.

I love my Kindle. It works! I’ve been devouring books on it since I got it. After the ALA children’s book awards came out, I checked on Amazon. They’re all available for Kindle in electronic editions. The future is here.

But a Kindle functions as a book, not a computer. The black and gray screen doesn’t do color. You can download newspapers and magazines. However, you read them one article at a time. Doable, but not the same experience as reading the NY Times in the morning over my coffee.

Now imagine the Times in color, page by page, with videos included. Imagine being able to share picture books in full color. Imagine being able to switch into computer mode to get email, surf the web, download information.

Sounds magical. Will the reality live up to the dreams? How easy will it be to read books on the screen? My laptop gives me full color, but I wouldn’t want to force my ancient eyes to read Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth on it, which I just read effortlessly on my Kindle. How long does the battery last? A Kindle goes forever with a single charge. A tablet e-book won’t be much fun if you have to charge it up every few hours. I’ve taken my Kindle to places where there is no electricity. Could I do the same with Apple’s tablet?

Finally, how much will it cost? A Kindle is currently $250. Kindle books on Amazon are about $10. How does Apple plan to market books?

Publishers seem eager to embrace it. They’ll embrace anything that will save them from a shrinking book market and from having the prices of their books set by Amazon. Will Apple’s tablet save them?

All good questions. Right now there are lots of rumors. Tomorrow we’ll have answers.

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