Apple Tablet Hints: Virtual Keyboard, Camera, eBooks, More - Mac Rumors:

According to those familiar with the situation Apple will be targeting the new device at both homes and classrooms. Apple is said to envision that one device might be shared by multiple family members to read news and check email. For classrooms, Apple is looking into electronic textbooks. The device will include a virtual keyboard for input.

I enjoy reading pdfs with applications like Skim (OS X) and Foxit Reader (Windows), which both do a decent job of annotating pdfs, but on a tablet, I don't see how you make marginalia effectively without a stylus. The virtual keyboard of my iPod touch, even if it was in a giant device, isn't going to make the grade.

The iSlate turned iPad is going to need a stylus for marginalia if any serious scholarly work is to be done, and if Apple's targeting educational institutions, I've got to guess a stylus'll be in there. That's about as far as my predictions/wish list go/es.

In other news, $1000 is more expensive than my MacBook that I'm hypocritically using to type this, and more expensive by a pretty serious margin. I can't see spending that type of dough on an eMagazine/newspaper/book reader. Which, of course, means Apple is pricing this one exactly right. I'm an early adopter, but I'm also a cheapskate. As an example, I made the fam give up a Sprint cellphone plan to use Tracfones, and now I'm piddling around with plans from Cricket. It's amazing how much you can save on phones if you don't assume nearly unlimited minutes is a necessity and you use Google Voice for voicemail. Price it so that I'm interested in buying an iPad now, and you're leaving cash on the table from the "BMW drivers" of zeroes and ones.

So the first wave -- rich early adopters -- pad Apple's pockets. Once the hardware costs go down, they start pitching the thing for schmoes like me who, in the meanwhile, have plunked down embarrassing sums for a Magic Mouse, iPod touch, and MacBook. /sigh At least I still own some stock.

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