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Why an Apple Tablet Could Replace My MacBook

I've used these pages to discuss exactly how I feel about my Macs. In a column entitled "Help! My Macs Hate Me", I discussed exactly why my Macs have caused such heartache in my life. I've experienced several problems with both my 24-inch iMac and my 13-inch MacBook.

But that doesn't mean I've abandoned them. Quite the contrary, I've spent considerable time with my Macs and I've been pleased with the experience. Although I probably will end up buying a Windows 7-based PC, I'll never live without a Mac. I'll need at least one in my life. And by the looks of things, that one Mac might be the Apple tablet, which according to a recent report in the China Times, is slated for release in October for $800.

So, why did I pick vaporware to be my next Mac? And why do I think it will replace the MacBook that I've used for so long? After all, it will be underpowered. It won't have all the features I've come to expect from a Mac. And chances are, it'll feature a virtual keyboard, making it a big iPhone without the phone.

Well, guess what? That's exactly why I want it.

Say what you will about Macs or the iPhone, but a Mac tablet priced at $800 is the best of both worlds. It would be portable, like the iPhone. It would be more powerful, like the MacBook. It would have a more lush display than the iPhone. But it would also sport the touchscreen I've come to enjoy in Apple's mobile device.

And best of all, it would provide access to the App Store.

Why not? All of the apps in the Apple App Store are designed specifically for devices containing a touchscreen. Since the Mac tablet would be no different, I would suspect that every single app listed in the Store will work with Apple's latest Mac. That not only would make it one of the most compelling devices on the market -- it would make it one of the most supported, thanks to the App Store's more than 50,000 apps.

That alone is worth the $800 price tag. Right now, the Mac is hobbled by a general lack of several compelling third-party applications. Sure, they're out there, but the most part, they're tough to come by. With the help of the App Store, all that can change. Can you imagine having access to all the cool third-party apps the App Store provides? The tablet would be a social networking force and a gaming machine. It would be a productivity platform and a music player. It would be anything to anyone. It would be the iPhone, but without the phone and much better.

So, while I can't say that the MacBook is truly best for me, I do believe that the rumored Apple tablet is. If it turns out to be what all the reports suggest, it will easily compel me to pick one up. And it will ensure that no matter what, I'll be using a Mac that provides an experience unlike anything else on the market.

That's what I've come to expect from Apple. And that's why that unique tablet will replace my not-so-unique MacBook.

Who's with me?

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist whose work has included popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.



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