Your laptop. Just your laptop. Maybe. Just maybe. Unless Apple is going the Sony route in their marketing:
Which I don’t think they’re stupid enough to consider. The idea that the Apple tablet might replace your Kindle or iPod as Dan Ackerman suggests in this CNN article is rather preposterous. A 10-12 inch tablet is still a chunky piece of equipment no matter how light or sleek it might be.
It could be an effective large scale media player for when you’re on a train or a plane, but the possible usage scenarios beyond that seem limited. Touch typing on a large format tablet isn’t likely to be fast enough for hardcore productivity-focused laptop users. However, for someone who isn’t a hardcore laptop user like myself, it could be a good alternative.
The Kindle will run for 2 weeks after the tablet runs out of batteries – plus, if you’re reading for an extended period of time, Kindle’s e-ink puts less strain on the eyes than an LCD screen.
It’s not going to fit in your pocket, so it won’t replace your iPod during your jog or morning commute.
I’m sure it could replace your portable-DVD player (does anyone even use those?) even though I highly doubt the tablet will have an optical drive.
So what could it challenge? It could challenge netbooks. But that will depend on the price. An average netbook costs $300-400, where will the tablet end up? I’d guess that above $500 takes you out of many netbook buyers’ consideration set – even accounting for the Apple cool tax.
It could challenge the PSP or DS, but that will depend on the OS it uses, and again its price point. Assuming it comes in at around $600-800 though, I have trouble believing it’ll be a serious challenge for the $130 DS and the $170-250 PSP. Although its presence could suppress pricing for future Nintendo, MSFT and Sony entries.
Or maybe it’ll carve out a new niche in an underserved market that people are just not thinking of right now.