The Web tablet looks to be the next major evolutionary stage in portable computing. Such tablets have yet to emerge, but at least one real product, the CrunchPad, is getting close.
Reportedly the device is a dead simple Web tablet with a custom-built Linux OS, an Intel Atom chipset, two USB ports, a Webcam, and microphone. The CrunchPad could arrive as early as this summer. Apple is rumored to be working on a tablet of its own, the Apple Tablet, rumored to be set to debut in October 2009.
The Web tablet returns us to the Dynabook. Conceivably these devices will someday be as powerful as regular laptops. And though we aren’t there yet, Alan Kay’s vision might finally become a reality with Web tablets, albeit without a physical keyboard. If so, perhaps one day we’ll be discussing milestone Web tablets in a retrospective slideshow.
Don’t miss these other slideshows focusing on laptops and desktop PCs:
• The Laptop in 2015: Not Your Daddy’s Notebook
• Laptops With Epic Battery Life Keep You Working
• 10 Must-Have Netbooks, from Super Expensive to Bargain Basement
• Evolution of the PC
• The Computer Hardware Hall of Fame
• World’s Most Outrageous PC Cases
And for an interesting alternative take on laptop milestones, written a couple of years ago, check out “The 10 Most Important Laptops of All Time.”